Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed to ministers the main themes of Wednesday's Spring Budget.
The Budget is intended to help young people get the skills they need to perform high-skilled and high-paid jobs in future, and give more children the opportunity to go to a good or outstanding school.
Another key theme is to bring down the deficit so the country can "get back to living within its means".
Mr Hammond said the UK economy had continued to show evidence of "fundamental robustness and resilience", but warned further austerity measures are on the cards with deficit and debt "too high".
The increase - which will add an average of £240 to the bills of self-employed workers - was described as a "modest but welcome change".
The Chancellor has defended plans for a 2% rise in National Insurance for self-employed workers - arguing it makes the system more "fair".
Chancellor Philip Hammond shed his strait-laced image and showed a more humorous side as he packed his first Budget with jokes.