POLITICS

Budget 2013: What's Leaked So Far From George Osborne And Co?

20/03/2013 07:04 GMT | Updated 20/03/2013 12:19 GMT

Last year, so much of George Osborne's Budget had leaked beforehand that by the time he came to announce it to the Commons all that was left were the bad bits, many of which he ended up having to U-turn on - quite the omnishambles.

This year the leaks and briefings have been less extensive, of course that could just be because the chancellor has less to announce. But here are some measures that MPs are expecting to hear in the Commons this afternoon, including making it cheaper for the prime minister to organise a, knees up, in a brewery (assuming he knows how).

EXTRA £2.5BN IN CUTS

The pre-Budget headline is the news that Osborne will impose a further £2.5bn of cuts on Whitehall, with the proceeds to be invested in capital projects designed to kick-start growth.

Osborne and Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander briefed Cabinet on the plan yesterday morning, telling ministers the savings were made possible because departments have under-spent their budgets this year by more than the historical average.

Aside from the protected areas of health, international aid and schools, most ministers were told they would have to cut 2% of their spending over the next two years.

The chancellor is expected to announce the money saved will be invested in capital projects designed to kick-start growth.

The prime minister's official spokesman said Osborne's announcement greeted with "unanimous agreement around the cabinet table that it was the right thing to do".

CHILD CARE VOUCHERS

Ahead of today's Budget the government has already announced a new system will see childcare vouchers made far more widely available, with families where both parents work receiving subsidies worth up to £1,200 for each child.

However, the shortage of cash and wrangling between ministers has meant the policy will not come into effect until after the general election in 2015.

Many Tory MPs will be unimpressed amid concerns the policy will penalize families in which one parent chooses to stay at home to look after the children. Coupled with the lack of tax breaks for married couples, there could be quite a bit of grumbling behind the chancellor.

TAX-FREE ALLOWANCE

According to The Guardian, Osborne will tell MPs that the move to extend the tax-free allowance, the amount of money someone can earn before paying any income tax, to £10,000 will be brought forward to 2014. The plan is a key Lib Dem policy and will prompt cheers on the yellow benches.

MMM, BEER

The memory of last year's disastrous 'Pasty Tax', which Labour claimed showed Osborne was not in touch with the average voter, is still fresh in the chancellor's mind. The Sun reports that he will scrap next month’s 6p rise on a pint of beer - and abolish the beer duty escalator.

Osborne will be hoping it has the equal and opposite reaction from the press and public to Alistair Darling's 2010 'cider tax' that sent people scurrying to their local supermarket to stock up on White Lightening before the midnight price hike hit.

FUEL DUTY

The chancellor may also delay or even scrap all together the planned rise in fuel duty. If he does it will be seen as a personal victory for Tory MP Robert Halfon, who has made keeping petrol prices down a key campaign since his election in 2010.

THE BANK

The chancellor is understood to be considering overhauling the Bank's mandate to target inflation at 2% in what would pave the way for the first change in its remit since 2003. Osborne may give policymakers a dual mandate not just to target inflation, but also include a measure of economic stability.

This could come in the form of a tweak to the wording of the Bank's remit, which currently sees the inflation target given clear priority over growth.

Given the chancellor does not exactly have a lot of money to throw around, changing how the Bank works ahead of the arrival of the new governor Mark Carney, could grab some headlines.

PAY RISE FOR THE TROOPS

The Daily Telegraph reports that Armed Forces service personnel will see their pay rise by 1.5%, despite the 1% cent cap on public-sector pay.

STAY TURNED AT 12.30 TO SEE HOW MUCH OF THIS IS TRUE...