Follow the pre-Budget speech

Link: Pre-Budger 2002 special report

The speech will begin this afternoon at approximately 3:30pm, following prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons.

During his speech, Gordon Brown is expected to say:

  • Government will borrow £16bn this year and £20bn next year to fund public spending, up from forecasts of £11bn and £13bn respectively.
  • Fixed public and private sector investment will not rise by the 2% as earlier predicted.
  • Economic growth will be lower than the 3% to 3.5% predicted for 2003 and the 2.5% to 3% expected for 2004, as announced in April’s Budget statement.
  • There will a be review of employers’ liability insurance, as part of a drive to improve enterprise.
  • There are plans to extend the small firms loan guarantee scheme to companies with turnover of £1.5m or £5m for manufacturers.
  • A tax loophole for wealthy foreigners will be closed.

Speculation is also rife about possible increases in taxation, to fund the increased public sector spending.

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