Advertisement

What can we expect from the Chancellor on Budget Day?

If you feel like indulging in a bit of budget bingo, here is a collection of what you might want to place as good and bad bets for the Chancellor's big day.

1. It's almost now safe to assume he will announce a cut in the top rate of tax at 50p, but not for this year. Expect 2013 to see a cut to 45p and 40p the next.

2. There will be a rise in the level at which you start to pay income tax of more than the £600 or so, that's already planned. As Tom Bradby reported, it will be to just over £9,000. That's a big increase that will help out the majority of taxpayers. By 2015 the coalition wants this to be £10,000 but it seems they will speed up the move. It's also key to watch whether the Chancellor freezes the level when people move into the higher rate to pay for it, that could drag many thousands more into paying more tax.

George Osborne will set his Budget on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters

3. New ways to extract more cash from the very rich will be announced too. It's likely to include a super top rate of stamp duty of seven percent on properties over £2 million. It's not likely, despite Clegg's best efforts, to be branded as 'tycoon tax'. There will be lots of noise about clamping down on tax avoidance and loopholes - much of which government is doing anyway, with a chance the non-dom charge on people who don't spend enough time in the UK to pay tax normally could be increased too, maybe to £50,000.

George Osborne is expected to announce the price of cigarettes and alcohol will rise. Credit: Reuters

4. As ever taxes on beer and cigarettes will go up - rises again likely to be targeted at stronger drinks. There is an outside chance that Cameron's recent devotion to minimum pricing of booze might somehow pop up in some way.

5. It's likely there will be some softening of the sharp change to child benefit that comes into effect in April 2013. There's been speculation that only families with a single earner over £50,000, not £42,475, would be affected.

Air travel is expected to become more expensive following Wednesday's budget. Credit: Reuters

6. There is a slim chance that VAT of 25 percent could be imposed on luxury items to raise a bit of cash.

7. Flying will get more expensive. Air Passenger Duty is likely to go up again, which will whack another £50 on flights to spain for a family of four, an extra £260 on a trip to Florida.

8. Fuel duty rise could be frozen again - with oil price getting higher. This is a massive pressure for inflation for families and for business. But it's also a huge cash generator for the treasury and the political impact gets lost very quickly, as what is happening around the world has more influence on the price we pay at the pump than a penny here or there from the government.

9. Corporation tax for business is already coming down on April 1 to 25 percent and one percent cuts are promised for the next two years - again there is an outside chance this could be accelerated.

10. There will probably be the promise of more removing of red tape and regulation to save a few hundred million quid.

11. The business rate holiday might be extended for some - this only applies to the truly tiny, businesses that could basically be run from a garage!

Corporation tax is set to fall further after Wednesday's budget. Credit: Reuters

12. There is already a promised tax break for people investing in business - 30 percent tax break for investors to be raised from 500,000 to one million from April - and it could go up again.

13. The tax break that companies themselves get for buying new kit or assets or whatever has already been slashed (which many people think was nuts) from £100 000 to £25,000 - due to come in in April - that might possibly be quietly scrapped or delayed.

14. A research and development tax break has already been promised to be increased by 225 percent from April - could that go even higher?

15. Expect more words about apprenticeships and training, although it's not clear if it will be on top of what's already been announced. There could be details of a loan scheme like student loans, for young people who are starting firms.

16. The new planning rules are expected to be published, the final controversial version, along with the budget.

17. There may be some details of where and how the Green Investment Bank will spend some of its three billion.

18. And finally, in the best tradition of Budgets, there is bound to be some kind of surprise.

The big unanswered question is where will the cuts come to pay for all the above - we're told to expect two big ones - where is still anybody's guess.

More on this story