What will be in the Budget?
What can we expect? Well, we've been looking at what's been said in the run-up and trying to decipher political babblings, to make some predictions.
Help To Save Scheme
There's going to be the announcement of a "help to save" scheme, which basically promises people who are lower earners, that if they put away £50 per month for at least two years, they'll get a £600 bonus. We wrote about it yesterday.
Duty could be slashed on beer, which means we could be all looking at cheaper ale. Given that some of the Government's other decisions in the 2016 Budget, we collectively might need a stiff drink or ten, but we'll have to wait and see.
If you like a cigarette with your pint, bad news - there's talk of those going up by 16p. That means, your average 20 pack with break the £10 barrier.
It looks like the Chancellor is going to announce £4 billion of public spending cuts. That's a huge amount of money, and one that will get squabbled over the most in the coming weeks.
There's been a lot of talk about pensions recently, and it looks like the Budget will not end up with a raid on pensions, after Gideon changed his mind on the whole thing. However, some are still talking of a reduction of the lifetime allowance, affecting how much you can pay into your pension without being taxed.
There's going to be £1.5bn doled out to better standards in schools. There's going to be some controversy though - there's talk of all schools being forced to become academies (by 2020), which are very unpopular in the industry, as they're basically schools - but privatised. The school day might be getting longer for pupils too.
It is thought that there's going to be an increase the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) by 3% to 12.5%, which is going to affect millions of polices for those who insure their car, their house, as well as private medical policies, and pet insurance. The Association of British Insurers have said that the average family is going to see a £90 increase in premiums. Seeing as the last Budget put up IPT by 3.5%, that means your average family will see premiums going up by £190 in less than 6 months.
After cheap prices at the fuel pumps, looks like there's going to be a rise in fuel duty, in line with inflation. It is thought that there's going to be a rise of 1p a litre in April. While it might seem like a small amount, along with the rise in motor insurance, this will get the ire of drivers up.
Trains and roads
Looks like £300m is going to be generated for the infamous high-speed trains between Manchester and Leeds and Crossrail 2 in London. If you're playing Northern Powerhouse bingo, today should be a hectic day. There's also going to be £75m for an 18-mile long road tunnel that goes between Sheffield and Manchester.
The amount you can earn before you have to pay any tax is going to go up by £300. This is presumably to reflect the rise in basic wage that is coming into play. By 2020, you'll be able to earn £12,500 without paying tax on it. That said, there's going to be an effort to stop celebrities from getting their wages through personal service companies, which allows them to avoid tax.
The 2016 Budget is going to generate or free up £100m for thousands of places for rough sleepers, in a bid to tackle the UK's dire homelessness problem.
There's always a surprise announcement during the Budget. Chancellors do this to generate some headlines in the papers, in a bid to distract them from the bad news that's been given. So keep an eye out for a Joker In The Pack announcement. Something like an announcement about tampon tax, or something that related to British sovereignty to keep the Eurosceptic back-benchers happy.
If you're interested, the Budget is on TV and will be shown on the box from 11am.