Jeremy Hunt to unveil ‘back-to-work’ Spring Budget with energy bill help, fuel duty freeze & pension boost for millions | The Sun

JEREMY Hunt will finally reveal his Spring Budget today – with more energy bill help and major changes to Universal Credit on the way.

At 12.30pm the Chancellor will announce his plan to drive millions of economically inactive Brits back to the workforce in a bid to boost the economy.

Rishi Sunak will sign off on the key measures with his Cabinet this morning in No10, before taking PMQs in the Commons.

Then, his Chancellor will stand up to deliver his major fiscal update, with the PM by his side.

Mr Hunt's first big Budget will set out a string of new policies to get people back to work and boost growth.

But he faces a backlash from MPs, who will call on him to cut taxes now to achieve that.

Chiefs at the Office for Budget Responsibility will also give an update on the nation's finances, with ministers hoping that inflation will tumble this year as the economy starts to grow again.

Find out more by reading our Spring Budget live blog here.

This afternoon the Chancellor is expected to say: “In the autumn we took difficult decisions to deliver stability and sound money.

"Today, we deliver the next part of our plan: a Budget for growth.

"Not just growth from emerging out of a downturn. But long term, sustainable, healthy growth that pays for our NHS and schools, finds good jobs for young people, provides a safety net for older people."

Mr Hunt will today announce how much the price of booze and cigarettes will rise by this year.

And he'll reveal major changes to Universal Credit, which have been long campaigned-for by The Sun.

But he is expected to let millions down when he confirms there'll be no cuts to income tax right now – as the nation can't afford it and needs to pay down our eye-watering Covid debts.

Rishi Sunak has insisted that slashing personal taxes won't be possible until inflation calms down.

However, Mr Hunt will introduce a raft of measures to help hard-up households with the cost of living squeeze.

The current Energy Price Guarantee will be extended for another three months – meaning average bills will stay capped at £2,500 until July.

From then, gas and electricity costs are predicted to fall to £2,000, meaning ministers will be able to wean the nation off taxpayer support.

In a major win for The Sun's Keep It Down Campaign, fuel duty is set to stay FROZEN for a 13th year running.

The additional 5p cut to fuel introduced in March 2022 is expected to stay – and fuel taxes won't go up in line with inflation either.

Most read in News


BBC is hounding my Claudia for TV licence fee… 14yrs after she went missing


US slams 'brazen' Russia after it takes down drone & warns Putin of war risk


Dreamboys boss dead after being jailed for trying to kill ex who kissed star


Moment grooming gang rape fantasist buys hammer to fake injuries for evil lies

Meanwhile, Brits on benefits and hard-up pensioners will see their payments uprated by 10.1 per cent in April, in line with September's inflation rate.

And in a huge win for mums, childcare costs will paid upfront for mums going into work from Universal Credit, rather than in arrears – as we have long campaigned for.

The maximum cap on Universal Credit costs is set to increase to £950 for a single child and £1,680 for two – a welcome boost after years being frozen.

And ratio rules are predicted to be ripped up too – in a bid to make childcare cheaper.

The number of kids who childminders can look after is expected to be changed from four to five.


Full list of drinks rising as alcohol duty set to be hiked in Spring Budget

Sir James Dyson warns Jeremy Hunt against double tax grab on business

At the Budget the Chancellor will launch his major drive to get millions of Brits off work back in the office.

In a huge and welcome change, parents of one and two-year-olds will get 30 hours of free childcare a week – for the first time ever.

And those looking after three year olds will get extra help too.

The Chancellor is also expected to hike the hourly rate paid by the Government to childcare providers, who have long said that the help they get doesn't actually cover their costs.

More wraparound childcare through schools is also expected to be announced.

A series of “skills bootcamps” will be formed to tempt retirees back into work.

There will also be an expansion to the “mid-life MOT” scheme where people are offered financial advice to see whether they can actually afford to retire early.

The Work Capability Assessment used to judge eligibility for the sickness benefits will be scrapped.

Under the current system disabled people need to have the assessment and be found unable to work to receive additional support.

Meanwhile, around 2million middle-class Brits will benefit from an increase in the lifetime pension allowance.

Mr Hunt is expected to lift it significantly from £1million to around £1.8million to keep workers in jobs for longer.

The move is specifically targeted at doctors who leave the NHS early to avoid being trapped by taxes on their savings.

The £40,000 lid on annual tax-free pension contributions is also set for a boost – which will apply to everyone.

In bad news for smokers, the price of cigarettes is set for a record hike.

Industry insiders are bracing for taxes on cigarettes to increase with inflation.

Hiking cigarette levies with 12.7 per cent RPI – plus an extra minimum two per cent bump applied to tobacco products – means a pack would jump by more than 15 per cent. 

It would see a 30g pack of hand rolling tobacco rise by £2 to £14.90 thanks to higher rates.

And a pack of 20 cigarettes will cost around £11.80, up from £10.65.

After booze duties were frozen until August, it's expected that Mr Hunt will raise them in line with inflation.

Hated alcohol levies were due to be hiked on February 1, but the Chancellor has already delayed it by an extra six months until August 1.

After that, drinkers are set for a double-digit tax hike, which could whack 45p on a bottle of wine.

Most read in The Sun


Strictly's Giovanni Pernice & Jowita Przystal call it quits after romance


Dreamboys boss dead after being jailed for trying to kill ex who kissed star


Katie Price reveals most shocking tattoo yet – with THONG inked on bum


Family slammed after pic of trip to beauty spot goes viral – can you tell why?

The Chancellor risks a row with backbench Tory MPs as Mr Hunt is expected to hike corporation tax from 19 to 25 per cent.

The hike is only set to affect around 10 per cent of businesses, but MPs say it will hit growth and cost jobs.

In cheerier news for struggling firms, a dozen pioneering high growth Investment Zones giving tax incentives will be set up across the UK – nicking one of Liz Truss' old ideas.

Twelve areas will be "supercharged" with £80 million of funding over five years to improve skills and local infrastructure.

Read More on The Sun

I shared my Netflix account with a pal and regret it – don’t make the same mistake

Fan spots the best perfume dupes at Aldi that’d be perfect for Mother’s Day

The zones, clustered around universities or research institutions, will focus on sectors such as technology, artificial intelligence and the creative sector, with cash used to improve the planning system and business support.

Eight places in England including Greater Manchester and Tees Valley have been shortlisted to host the zones – with more in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to be revealed by the end of the year.

Source: Read Full Article