(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 7th Jan 2020) London, Uk – –
Chancellor promises to tackle regional imbalances by reforming how Treasury allocates funds
Sajid Javid has pledged to use his first budget to kickstart a decade of renewal for the economy after announcing 11 March as the date for the delayed set-piece event.
The chancellor said his package would focus on unleashing Britain’s potential after the country’s departure from the EU at the end of this month.
It is understood that Javid will announce a shake-up of the way the Treasury allocates investment in an attempt to even up spending between the regions. The chancellor also plans to set up a taskforce designed to make his department an engine of economic change.
Javid’s plans to ramp up investment spending by billions of pounds will allow the government to borrow for capital projects. Tax and spending measures will focus on health, the environment and the cost of living.
The chancellor said: “People across the country have told us that they want change. We’ve listened and will now deliver.
“With this budget we will unleash Britain’s potential – uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal.”
Javid’s predecessor, Philip Hammond, moved the budget from the spring to the autumn but the date was pushed back as a result of the election.
A slowing economy has put upward pressure on the public finances, with the budget deficit – the gap between government tax income and expenditure – expected to hit £50bn in the current 2019-2020 financial year.
Javid will announce a set of less onerous fiscal rules so that the Treasury can take advantage of what are expected to be permanently low interest rates. The budget will announce extra investment in public infrastructure while promising to keep the national debt falling as a share of national output.
Boris Johnson’s 80-seat majority was the result of picking up former Labour seats in the Midlands and the north of England, and Javid intends to use his budget to help those on lower incomes and to tackle the economy’s regional imbalances.
The budget is likely to feature an increase in the threshold at which people start paying national insurance contributions, investment in new hospitals and the training of new police officers.