Young people are set to be hit hardest by George Osborne's Summer cuts, in a financial statement hailed by one Tory minister as "the boldest Budget in more than a decade".
Briefings carried in several national newspapers ahead of Wednesday's anticipated announcement claim the Chancellor will scrap tax credit wage subsidies completely for under-25s, convert university student grants into loans, and remove housing benefit from young jobseekers.
Osborne is set to pour the savings into creating a million more apprenticeships in the first Conservative-only budget for 18 years.
Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, is planning on meeting his department's cuts target by converting maintenance grants for poorer students into loans, the Financial Times reports.
University goers from lower-income households will bear the brunt of changes to the policy, which currently awards a non-repayable payment of up to £3,387 to those whose parents' household income is £25,000 or less.
If implemented, the scheme would save almost £1.6 billion.
Osborne poses with the red Treasury briefcase for his March pre-election Budget
Tax credits awarded to in-work claimants are also expected to be axed in Osborne's Budget speech, The Sun reported on Wednesday.
Wage subsidies for young people could be scrapped in a bid to fulfil the Conservatives' key manifesto pledge to create a “lower-welfare, lower-tax and higher-wage” economy, they claim.
One senior minister reportedly told the paper: "This will be one of the boldest budgets in a very long time, in more than a decade certainly."
On other policies, employers' national insurance contributions for under 21s - abolished under the Coalition government - may be extended to those up to 25-years-old.
Removing housing benefit from young jobseekers is also likely to feature in Osborne's speech, The Guardian reports.
The Chancellor delivering his previous Budget speech
Osborne will use the cover of Greece’s embattlement with the Eurozone to reinforce the need to keep up the speed of cuts.
Briefings on the secretive speech come amid reports that the Chancellor will slow the pace of planned welfare cuts, expected to announce it will take three years instead of two to reach the £12bn savings target.