Chancellor suggests tax break for married couples in autumn

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Photo: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

The Chancellor says a tax break for married couples should be expected in the Autumn Statement.

George Osborne was speaking at a lunch for political journalists in Westminster.

Of the married couples' tax break, he told them: "The Government is committed to introducing it and I think you can expect to see it in the Autumn Statement."

The Autumn Statement is used as a mini-budget by the Chancellor halfway through the financial year.

The Conservatives promised the tax break before the election but the Liberal Democrats have always said they will not support it.

Some of the more restless Tory backbenchers have recently stepped up their campiagn for the tax change - and have been criticial of the Prime Minister for failing to deliver on the pledge.

The Chancellor was quizzed by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee earleir today

Mr Osborne has also pledged not to raise tax rates if the Conservatives win a majority after the next election.The respected Institute For Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned after last month) that £25 billion of tax increases would be required to avoid any further cuts to departmental budgets.

The IFS estimated the alternative would be spending cuts of a further 7.9% if there were to be no new tax increases.

Mr Osborne's comments suggest departments should brace themselves for more cuts after 2016.

US President Barack Obama pats Chancellor George Osborne on the arm Credit: Chip Somodevilla/ABACAUSA.COM

The Chancellor also referred to the embarrassment at the G8 when President Obama mistakenly and repeatedly called him "Jeffrey Osborne".

At the lunch Mr Osborne called Barack Obama "my good friend President whatshisname."