Chancellor Sajid Javid has today launched the beginning of the Budget process and announced that his first budget will take place on Wednesday 11 March 2020.
Setting the date during a visit to Trafford Park Metrolink in Manchester, the Chancellor said:
“With this budget we will unleash Britain’s potential – uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal.”
“People across the country have told us that they want change. We’ve listened and will now deliver.”
Pledge to spread opportunity with budget
The Chancellor will today provide an economic update to Cabinet colleagues before updating Parliament during Treasury oral questions. He is expected to set out plans in the March budget to:
- Open a new chapter for the UK’s economy and prepare it for the decade ahead.
- Deliver on the Government’s promises on tax, to help tackle the cost of living for hard-working people.
- Make good on the commitment to ‘level up’ and spread opportunity, including by investing billions of pounds across the country.
The Government said that The Chancellor will take advantage of low interest rates to invest properly and responsibly, while keeping debt under control.
The budget will prioritise the environment, and build on recent announcements to boost spending on public services and tackle the cost of living, it said.
Living wage rises confirmed
These include funding vocational education and an increase in the National Living Wage from £8.21 to £8.72 for over 25-year-olds, which comes into force from 1 April 2020.
The launch of the budget process means that individuals, interest groups and representative bodies can now submit a Budget representation to HM Treasury to comment on government policy and/or suggest new policy for inclusion in the budget.
Small business leaders and campaigners will want to see the Government make good on the pledges it made during the election campaign, which include:
- Ending the late payment crisis by introducing a reform package.
- Helping small firms with spiraling labour costs and Living Wage rises by increasing the Employment Allowance.
- Extending and expanding existing business rates discounts, while launching a review aimed at reducing the financial burden of rates. During their election campaign, the Conservatives promised to raise the business rates discount available to businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 from 33 per cent to 50 per cent in 2020-21. This change would only apply to England.
- Launching a self-employment review to help those struggling to access pensions and mortgages.
- Improving infrastructure, with an ambition to deliver full-fibre, gigabit broadband and investing £2 billion to improve UK roads.
The Federation of Small Businesses said that the budget would be: “a great opportunity to see through election promises for small businesses.”