What do you want to see from the Budget?

By Luke O'Mahony

On Wednesday, Chancellor Philip Hammond will present his second Budget of 2017. He will set out plans for taxes and spending as well as giving an update on the state of the economy.

We generally get a pretty good idea of what to expect in advance of the Budget via a series of tip-offs and briefings in the run up to the big day. According to the media coverage, this time round, key things to look out for include:

  • Action on housing – this is being billed as the focus of the Budget. The Chancellor is expected to set out a plan to build 300,000 new homes per year, with further help for first time buyers also likely.

  • A shake-up of tuition fees – the Prime Minister already announced a freeze on tuition fees along with increasing the student loan repayment threshold.

  • Rolling-out Universal Credit – this new system merges various other benefits into one.  Expectations are that the six-week waiting period for recipients will be reduced to four weeks.

  • Lifting the cap on public sector pay – the Chancellor is under pressure to formally end the 1% cap on public sector pay increases, especially for those working in the NHS.

  • Transport policies – there are rumours of a levy on new diesel car sales and more electric charging points, as well as encouraging the development of driverless cars.

  • A boost for fast-growing businesses – a report from business leaders (including Neil Woodford, one of RateSetter’s major backers) is expected to recommend action to help UK businesses scale-up and grow.

While all of the above are likely, successive Chancellors have kept one or two surprises to pull out of their hat during the Budget speech itself.