THE Chancellor George Osborne is set to unveil his fifth Budget today and will stand up in the House Of Commons at 12.30pm to give full details.
So, what can we expect? There have already been reports of some of the measures which Mr Osborne will announce but this morning there have been claims that the Chancellor also has a surprise announcement to make.
Personal tax allowance is set to increase to £10,000 this April but it has been widely reported that there will be a further increase to £10,500.
The Chancellor is also expected to deliver good news as there has been lower inflation and higher growth than was previously forecast.
There will also be the much-publicised help for working families in the form of a £2,000 subsidy for nursery fees per child. There is also expected to be more details revealed of a proposed married couple’s allowance.
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The Federation of Small Businesses in Cornwall has responded to today's Budget.
Adrian Penter Regional Chairman of the FSB in Cornwall said: “If you are lucky enough to have savings then yes there are helpful measures, if you can get a good interest rate. The manufacturers and exporters have also had welcome help. However, it seems to be a budget to help those who are in a position to take advantage of the higher value headline announcements.
"I am concerned about a rather forgotten sector of the “doers”, the really small businesses that are not on the growth radar, who don’t have great chunks of money to invest, who are not the highly visible prospects but nevertheless need real practical intervention. In Cornwall there are many and they do much to underpin our economy, provide employment and a service to our rural communities.
"I welcome the measures for pubs and brewers and good news on fuel which helps everyone. Hopefully they will spend some of that £200m on repairing our rural roads. Help with childcare, help to buy homes and incentives for businesses to take on young apprentices are the kind of practical steps we need to see but the lack of more radical steps are disappointing.”
John Endacott, partner at Francis Clark chartered accountants in Truro, said: "Apart from South West cider-makers raising a glass or two as they escape any rise in duty and some welcome news regarding flood defences, there wasn’t much that specifically benefited the region.
"Having said that, overall it was a good Budget for UK businesses and for some of the key sectors in the South West. It was good for manufacturers in terms of help for exporters and doubling the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). The rise in AIA will also benefit the farming sector and major hauliers who have consistently high investment requirements and will also benefit from the continued freeze on fuel duty.
"This could also incentivise the tourism sector including hotels, holiday parks and visitor attractions to make significant investment in upgrading and improving the offer to visitors. Help with R&D could also encourage businesses to invest in IT and to address very real skill shortages by creating apprenticeships and employing more young people.
"The £½bn to encourage house building will be good for the Westcountry and the right to build your own home seems to favour rural areas and farmers in particular who have spare land. However, I was disappointed that there were no measures in this Budget that address the infrastructure needs of the South West although there was something in it for the Newquay Aerohub. £200 million spread across the UK to tackle potholes is a real drop in the ocean."