UK pro-aspiration budget targets jobs creation

George Osborne - Chancellor of the Exchequer

George Osborne has said he will deliver a Budget that is “unashamedly pro-growth, pro-enterprise and pro-aspiration”.

How many times have we heard a Chancellor promise a “Budget for jobs”?

This time, senior Tories are claiming that after the cuts of the emergency Budget last June, when the slogans were “age of austerity” and “we’re all in this together”, it is now time for the next chapter in the Coalition Government’s economic story – jobs and growth.

We will see.

Labour’s argument, which we will hear from Ed Miliband when he responds to the Budget, is that the Chancellor is cutting public spending too deep and too fast to allow the economy to grow.

In his bid to create jobs in the private sector while the public sector faces cuts, Mr Osborne has said this Budget – his second – will look at planning delays, regulations, bureaucracy and costs that hold business back and stop jobs being created.

He has vowed to lead a manufacturing revival and promised to introduce new enterprise zones – an old Tory idea pioneered by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s – in regions like the north and midlands, where taxes will be lower, he says.

Get ready for a big Budget Day blame game on the reasons the economy is in its precarious state.

We will hear a lot from George Osborne about how the deficit is the fault of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

We will hear from Labour that the Coalition’s cuts are dangerous and damaging economic recovery.

At Treasury Questions in the Commons on the eve of the Budget, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls brandished what he claimed was a leaked Budget document saying “growth comes first for this Government” and including proposals to red rid of maternity and paternity rights, a claim denied by Mr Osborne.

“Is this going to be enough to stop the budget growth forecast being downgraded tomorrow for this year and next?” said Mr Balls. No answer. But watch out for that growth forecast.

As ever on Budget day when times are tough, Mr Osborne will have plenty of audiences to cheer up.

Motorists rocked by rising fuel prices. “I hear you,” the Chancellor has declared. That’s all very well. But nothing short of major help on petrol and diesel prices through the tax system will satisfy motorists.

Tory MPs. They like the talk of a manufacturing revival, but would also like other tax breaks to help small firms.

The LibDems. The Coalition has taken some pretty bruising knocks. So look out for moves to cheer LibDems like tax help for the very low paid and some green measures too.

Investors. The Chancellor’s critics in business and the City will be looking for confidence boosting measures at a time of rising inflation and predictions of interest rate rises to come.

So far, opinion polls suggest that David Cameron and George Osborne are trusted better on the economy by voters than the two Eds – Miliband and Balls.

The polls show voters worry about the cuts, but still blame Labour for the state of the economy.

That’s why George Osborne wants to move on to the next chapter of the economic story and convince the voters he has a credible strategy on jobs and growth.
Source: Sky News

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