Rishi Sunak will present his second budget of the year this afternoon.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer will address Members of the House of Commons to present his spending plans for the next fiscal year.
Mr Sunak will hail a “new era of optimism” in his budget speech amid predictions that the economy has rebounded faster than expected after the coronavirus pandemic.
READ MORE: Andy Burnham ‘hearing Tories will turn around on £ 20 universal credit cut’
The government has already confirmed that the 2021 budget will include an increase in the minimum wage, additional cash for the NHS to deal with the Covid-19 backlog and billions of pounds of investment in regional transport projects.
Mr. Sunak will make his statement this afternoon, just after the Prime Minister’s questions.
His speech should start around 12:30 p.m.
The budget statement will likely last around an hour – although the longest budget statement ever made took almost five hours.
As is customary on the eve of a budget speech, the Queen spoke with Mr Sunak on Tuesday evening by telephone.
Mr Sunak is expected to tell MPs that the budget “will begin work to prepare for a new post-Covid economy”.
He will say the budget will pave the way for “an economy of higher wages, higher skills and growing productivity from strong public services, vibrant communities and safer streets.”
The Chancellor makes his second budget statement of the year after the fall 2020 budget speech was pushed back to March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Numerous announcements of today’s budget have been the subject of numerous reports in recent days, which has annoyed the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
The 12-month public sector pay freeze must end, paving the way for more than five million workers to potentially receive a pay rise next year.
Mr Sunak in November announced a pay cut for police, teachers and other frontline workers between April 2021 and March 2022, with the exception of the NHS and workers earning less than £ 24,000, as a result of ‘significant government borrowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Treasury chief, in an announcement Monday night, said the freeze could be lifted due to the economy being “firmly on track” after the virus restrictions were lifted.
The national living wage will also drop from £ 8.91 an hour to £ 9.50 from April 1, it has been confirmed.
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Last week, the Treasury made a big transport announcement when it confirmed that nearly £ 7billion would go to areas such as Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire for projects ranging from the improvement of trams to the introduction of London-style infrastructure improvements, prices and services.
Funding of £ 6bn to help tackle NHS backlogs and invest in technology and data to improve efficiency and safety in healthcare has also been announced.
An announcement on universal credit could also be included in Mr. Sunak’s speech today.
The Chancellor is in a hurry to increase benefits to cushion the blow of the withdrawal of the universal credit increase of £ 20 per week.
It was reported that a change would be made to the universal credit degression rate for working people, while Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the government would do a “U-turn” on reducing benefits.
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