Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak to promise ‘new economy’ after pandemic

22


Rishi Sunak is preparing to spend billions in his budget (Picture: Getty / PA / Rex)

Rishi Sunak will promise his budget will help usher in a ‘new economy’ after the pandemic as he prepares to spend billions on the NHS and wage rises.

The chancellor is set to outline his latest tax and spending plans on Wednesday with the economy still severely damaged by months of lockdown.

Mr Sunak is expected to hail an ‘economy fit for a new age of optimism’ despite the country being plagued by driver shortages and rising prices.

Many of the headline polices have already been announced including a rise of the ‘national living wage’ to £9.50-an-hour from April.

Pictures released by the treasury showed Rishi Sunak preparing for his budget speech (Picture: HM Treasury)

A pay freeze imposed on public sector workers will also end but it remains to be seen how much of an increase the country’s teachers, nurses and police officers will be awarded.

During his speech, Mr Sunak is expected to say: ‘Today’s Budget begins the work of preparing for a new economy post-Covid.

‘An economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity of strong public services, vibrant communities and safer streets.

‘An economy fit for a new age of optimism. That is the stronger economy of the future.’

Rishi Sunak has been the Chancellor throughout the pandemic (Picture: Getty Images)

Other measures expected to be confirmed in the budget include a further £5.9billion in funding to help clear the backlog in the NHS.

The Treasury has pledged green investment and policies to take advantage of post-Brexit freedoms and has touted nearly £7 billion of new funding to overhaul local transport.

But just how far the Chancellor goes in delivering support for the regions will be seen as a key test of how serious the Government is about its pledge to ‘level up’ the nation.

Mr Sunak has spent big over the last 18 months to get through the pandemic and he now has an opportunity to restore his conservative credentials by setting out a plan for bringing borrowing under control.

Public sector workers are awaiting news of pay rises after the end of the pay freeze (Picture: Shutterstock)

He must also raise revenues to address national debt, but the Treasury is understood to have all but confirmed to MPs that he will not do this by raising fuel duty.

However, reports have suggested that VAT on household energy bills will not be cut to help families struggling with soaring prices.

Mr Sunak could also approve large hikes to council tax to help struggling local authorities, including to cover social care.

The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, urged Mr Sunak to use the Budget to ‘create a more resilient economy and take the pressure off working people’.

‘With costs growing and inflation rising, Labour would ease the burden on households, cutting VAT on domestic energy bills immediately for six months,’ the MP said.

‘And we would not raise taxes on working people and British businesses, while online giants get away without paying their fair share.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.





Source link

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.