George Osborne will make a pitch to ordinary working people in his budget speech today, along with an official announcement of major development plans for Ebbsfleet.
A proposal to build four new villages with 15,000 news homes across the Eastern Quarry grabbed the headlines in the run-up to the Chancellor’s speech.
And at 12.30pm in the House of Commons he is expected to unveil a further rise in the personal allowance above the £10,000 level promised by the coalition, and confirm childcare subsidies among other measures to help those on lower and middle-incomes.
Mr Osborne is widely expected to maintain the freeze on fuel duty, and has also been under pressure to avoid increasing tax on wine and spirits - after scrapping the duty escalator on beer last year.
An eye-catching move to replace the existing pound coin with a thruppeny bit style design will also be unveiled.
Though the prevailing message is expected to be “steady as she goes”, potential surprises include:
• pushing up the level at which National Insurance contributions start being paid
• raising the threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate
• encouraging employment by extending the £2,000 NI allowance for firms who take on staff.
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