Fleet News

Chancellor prepares to deliver final Budget before the election

The chancellor, George Osborne, will set out his tax and spending plans in the Budget at 12.30pm today (Wednesday).

In his sixth and last Budget before the General Election, Osborne has said there will be "no giveaways" or "gimmicks" in his speech.

Alongside expected pension reforms, the chancellor looks set to scrap the annual paper tax return, in favour of a drive towards digital records, and further increase the personal income tax allowance.

The Budget statement comes against a backdrop of a strengthening economic recovery, with a rosier fiscal picture expected as a result of falling oil prices dragging down inflation.

Lower-than-expected inflation has generated a £6bn windfall through lower interest payments and a reduction in the annual up-rating of welfare, which gives Osborne some leeway.

Further action on fuel duty is being urged by some, including the RAC which wants a freeze on fuel duty

David Bizley, chief engineer at RAC, said: “We hope the Chancellor is forward-looking enough to see the benefit of freezing duty beyond the end of this Parliament so there is no scheduled increase in September, but ideally we would like to see him go a step further and freeze duty until the end of 2016.”

Meanwhile, FairFuelUK wants a future Government to cut duty on all vehicle fuels throughout the next Parliament by at least 3ppl.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, urged the chancellor "not to put politics ahead of economic growth and investment", emphasising the need for a "responsible" budget.

He said Osborne should build on the economic recovery by creating a "stable investment environment for ambitious firms looking to expand".

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