Chancellor promises to use ‘fiscal firepower’ in budget to protect jobs and livelihoods

The chancellor will promise to utilise his “fiscal firepower” to protect the jobs and livelihoods of Britons when he delivers his budget on Wednesday.

Rishi Sunak will tell the Commons that he will do “whatever it takes” to help business and people through the “moment of crisis” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a lunchtime statement to MPs, the chancellor is expected to lay out a three-point economic plan focused on helping people through the pandemic, fixing the public finances and building the future economy.

Possible announcements in Budget 2021 include:

  • An extension to the furlough scheme
  • An increase in corporation tax
  • A freeze in income tax thresholds – a tactic which would not technically be a tax-raising measure but would still mean employees paying more as their salaries rise
  • A six-month extension in the £20-a-week temporary increase in Universal Credit
  • An extension of the stamp duty holiday, which is currently due to end this month

“We’re using the full measure of our fiscal firepower to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people,” Mr Sunak will say.

He is expected to add: “First, we will continue doing whatever it takes to support the British people and businesses through this moment of crisis.

“Second, once we are on the way to recovery, we will need to begin fixing the public finances – and I want to be honest today about our plans to do that.

“And, third, in today’s budget we begin the work of building our future economy.”

Watch and follow the budget live tomorrow with special coverage and analysis from 12.30pm. A special edition of the Sky News Daily podcast will be available to listen to from 7pm.

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