What to expect from Osborne's emergency budget this week
- 7th July 2015
- Business & Economy
All eyes will be on chancellor George Osborne this week as he unveils the first Budget of the new Conservative administration.
Although this will be Mr Osborne's seventh Budget as chancellor since succeeding Alistair Darling in 2010, it will be the first delivered under a Conservative majority government, with the departure of former coalition partners the Liberal Democrats expected to have an impact on the strategic direction of government policy.
The announcement on Wednesday (8 July) will therefore be seen as a barometer of what to expect from David Cameron's new administration, with the Budget proposals widely expected to be led by a fresh raft of cuts to public spending.
For example, pension tax relief rates are expected to be reduced, with those earning more than £150,000 a year seeing a reduction in the amount of tax relief they are able to receive, while new welfare spending cuts will help Mr Osborne to achieve his stated goal of reducing the annual welfare bill by £12 billion.
It has already been revealed that the BBC will need to make £650 million of savings to pay for free television licences for the over-75s, while a reduction in the benefit cap and the removal of subsidies for social housing are also set to be announced.
The chancellor told BBC News: "We have found that £12 billion of savings in welfare that we said we'd be able to find in the election."
Other key fiscal measures will include a rise in inheritance tax rates, the possible abolition of housing benefits for under-25s, a scaling-down of the tax credits scheme and an increased push to clamp down on tax avoidance.
It has also been suggested that the Budget will include measures to introduce longer Sunday trading hours for businesses, while the prime minister told the Times that steps will also be taken to bolster house building and homeownership.
Mr Cameron said: "Having your own place is an important stake in our economy. We don't want this to be a country where if you're rich you can buy a home, but if you're less well off you can't."
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