UK Chancellor George Osborne to deliver ‘budget for working people’ in July
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that he intends to deliver a new budget on 8 July.
In what will be the second budget within four months, Osborne is set to reveal how the Conservative government will cut £12bn from the welfare budget and “deliver on the commitments we have made to working people”.
The Tory government is looking to balance the country’s books while cutting taxes and increasing public spending on health and pensions.
Writing in The Sun, Osbourne said: “On the 8th of July I am going to take the unusual step of having a second budget of the year – because I don’t want to wait to turn the promises we made in the election into a reality… And I can tell you it will be a budget for working people.”
Despite remaining tight-lipped on the details, the Treasury confirmed that further details on savings, which were set out in the election campaign would be provided. In addition, the chancellor is also expected to address Britain’s poor productivity.
“I don’t want to wait to deliver on the commitments we have made to working people,” Osborne said outside Downing Street.
“It will continue with the balanced plan we have to deal with our debts, invest in our health service and reform welfare to make work pay.
“But there will also be a laser-like focus on making our economy more productive so we raise living standards across our country.
“We’re going to put Britain into good shape for the long term.”
In his article in The Sun, Osborne made a pledge to further spending on the NHS and a crackdown on tax avoidance by the rich – a topic which has dogged the Conservatives.
“We will protect the NHS and give it more funding each and every year, while making savings across Whitehall,” he wrote.
“We’ll crack down hard on tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning by the rich – because everyone should pay their fair share.
“We will always protect the most vulnerable, but we also need a welfare system that’s fair to the people who pay for it. If you can work you should be working, so we’ll take the next steps in our benefit reforms to make sure that happens.
“Second, we’ve got to go on helping businesses create jobs in Britain, so we move towards full employment. That means facing a hard truth: in Britain we produce about a quarter less for every hour we work than countries like America or Germany. Fixing that long-running productivity weakness is the big challenge for the next five years.
“So in the Budget we’ll spend less on welfare, and instead invest to create three million more apprenticeships, so that young people can learn a trade, get better jobs and earn more.”
The welfare cuts are widely expected to be felt on in-work benefits, such as tax credits and child benefits, as well as involving further cuts on disability payments.
The day after the general election, 8 May, the Department of Work and Pensions released a policy document outlining cuts to Access to Work: a scheme designed to help employers and people with disabilities pay overcome hindrances to continuing in work.