It’s that time of year again. Tomorrow the Chancellor will deliver his annual Budget.
The papers have already started speculating about what rabbits George Osborne might pull out of his hat. It’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to be announced, but in case you want to play ‘Budget Bingo’, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 expected measures:
1) Get Britain exporting
The Chancellor himself said of this year’s Budget last month, “I want to deliver a budget that supports a Britain that invests and that exports”.
Supporting exporters with specific finance options could be a good way for Osborne to encourage growth. It’s also a measure that the British Banking Association (BBA) has lobbied for, asking for finance options for those importing components that will be made into products for export.
2) Help businesses with their energy costs
Manufacturers have been complaining that escalating energy costs are inhibiting growth in their sector. The Chancellor is expected to announce a reduction in the carbon tax, or the ‘price floor’ in order to lessen the burden on energy-hungry factories.
3) Referring businesses to alternative finance
The Times has reported that Osborne could potentially mandate banks to refer rejected small business loan applicants to alternative finance providers. It would be a radical move, meaning that banks would be forced to work with other lenders to provide the best finance match for each business client.
4) Cutting income tax
There have been multiple reports that the Chancellor’s plan is to cut 1p off the basic rate of income tax, freeing up around £160 per year for someone on the average salary of £26,500. More cash in the pockets of taxpayers would boost consumer spending, having an impact on the takings of small businesses up and down the UK.
5) A freeze on fuel duty
George Osborne has already pledged to freeze fuel duty until May 2015, although he has caveated that pledge saying he still needs to find the necessary funds.
A freeze on fuel duty would help thousands of businesses that need to transport goods or travel to deliver services. It would also help the average motorist with the cost of living, freeing up cash for them to spend with local businesses.
What do you think that the Chancellor will announce? Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Budget2014.