Budget 2015 predictions: What to expect

George Osborne delivers the budget n 2014 Credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive

Today the Chancellor deliver the first majority Conservative Budget in 19 years.

If you're wondering why we seem already to have had a Budget this year, this one's an "emergency Budget" - delivered because we've had a change of government as a result of the election, if not a change of Chancellor.

After the Conservative success, Osborne doesn't have the Liberal Democrats to placate. So expect the budget to mirror the Tory manifesto more closely than it might otherwise have done - albeit with perhaps the odd surprise thrown in.

So what's expected?

Welfare cutsThe £12 billion of welfare cuts will be the centrepiece. The decisions will not be easy nor popular but he cannot cut 10% of the social security budget (excluding pensions) without causing some pain.

In the line of fire will be tax credits, the benefit cap, subsidised social housing rent for the better paid, your TV licence (which is going up as the BBC takes on the cost of some pensioner benefits).

However, the timeframe for these cuts will be spread out over an additional year - beyond the current target of 2017/18. It will ease the pain, but only slightly.

Osborne is also expected to cut subsidies for social housing tenants who earn more than £30,000 per household, or £40,000 in London.

Income taxOn income tax, as promised in the election campaign, the tax-free allowance (the amount you can earn before paying income tax) will be pushed further towards the £12,500 target.

And - in a boost for those earning higher middle incomes - the threshold for paying 40% income tax is likely to be moved towards the Conservatives' £50,000 target.

As for the 45p higher rate of tax, the Chancellor is likely to leave this alone. A number of Tory MPs - including Mayor of London Boris Johnson - have pushed him to cut it to 40p, claiming the best time to be bold and unpopular is at the start of a Parliament. But Osborne will postpone this row for another time.

Inheritance taxWriting in The Times, the Prime Minister joined the Chancellor in suggesting a shake-up to inheritance tax. They wrote: "As we promised in our manifesto, we'll take the family home out of inheritance tax for all but the richest."

Expect the allowance for couples to rise to £1 million - a promise the Tories first made in 2007.

ProductivityOsborne will try to deal with the UK's continuing poor productivity rate. Measures will include announcements on education and infrastructure.

'Non doms'The Treasury is also expected to announce plans to charge 'non doms' - those who can legally claim their residence is overseas for tax purposes - a higher fee for the privilege of keeping their unique tax status.

The messageThroughout, the Chancellor will repeatedly set his summer Budget against the backdrop of what is happening in Greece and claim - however legitimate the comparison - that it shows why a sovereign country needs to focus on paying off debt.