Pre-Budget spotlight on public sector

During his speech to the Commons tomorrow, chancellor Gordon Brown will publish interim results of the Derek Wanless report into NHS spending, setting out the factors pushing up spending on the public health care and efforts needed to raise standards.

As part of this public sector drive, Brown is also expected to promise schools a greater chunk of public spending in the future

This is likely to fire off a debate on public sector spending and whether taxes should be increased to fund improved services.

The chancellor is also expected to inject more cash into the fight against terrorism, with Pounds 120m earmarked for this purpose. This follows the passing of the Anti-Terrorist Bill introducing in October, setting out tough new measures to crack down on financial institutions which launder terror funds.

And the state of the British economy will also be assessed with some experts expecting Brown to reduce growth estimates for GDP from the existing range of 2.25%-2.75% to a more conservative range of between 1.5% to 2%, despite an overall endorsement of the status quo.

Other measures expected:

  • extension of the pensioners’ Pounds 200 winter fuel payment to the next election
  • scrapping of VAT on football pools
  • cutting duty on beer made by small independent breweries
  • new tax credit from 2003, worth up to £35 per week for childless couples.
  • a new pensioner credit, designed to top up the income of pensioners not eligible for income support, will be revealed.
  • an overhauling of capital gains tax
  • simplification of VAT rules will help small business cut back on red tape

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown will issue his pre-Budget report to the House of Commons at 3:30pm this afternoon. Make sure you keep logging onto for all the news on the report as it happens, including analysis and comment from experts in accounting and finance.


Treasury’s pre-Budget 2001 page

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