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Great expectations on the pre Budget Report

Economic crisis puts Chancellor under pressure

The pre Budget Report was originally introduced in 1997 by the then chancellor Gordon Brown as a means to reduce financial uncertainty, the pre Budget Report is published each autumn. 

The pre Budget Report is the time when the personal allowances, benefit rates and national insurance rates for the next year are announced.

Tax cuts

Monday’s pre Budget Report will outline the government’s plans for tackling the current economic crisis as the country lurches toward recession and unemployment continues to rise. Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to introduce tax cuts aimed at reviving the economy, helping small businesses and instilling confidence in consumers to spend more on the run up to Christmas.

Despite these tax cuts Price Waterhouse Coopers are expecting that the Chancellor will make the temporary abolishment of the 10 per cent tax rate permanent, forcing those on lower incomes into the 20 per cent tax bracket.

It is also anticipated that public spending will increase and planned building works on schools, hospitals and transport will be brought forward.

Struggling mortgage borrowers

Many will be hoping that measures are introduced to put in place a safety net for borrowers facing mortgage payment difficulties.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is calling for a national, government backed mortgage rescue scheme. It claims that mortgage lenders are willing to participate and may be prepared to: ‘Consider a government-backed mortgage rescue scheme as an option for defaulting borrowers as part of standard forbearance policies once all other coping strategies have been exhausted; consider ‘fast-tracking’ urgent cases if there are clear eligibility criteria; defer or suspend decisions to start possession proceedings while an assessment of eligibility is considered; and freeze charges and additional interest while eligibility is being assessed’.

Help for pensioners

Age Concern’s Gordon Lishman is calling on the government to help struggling pensioners, he said: ‘It is only fair that Pension Credit should be increased by the real rate of inflation for low-income pensioners. We also want an emergency payment of £100 for those pensioners entitled to benefits and a further increase of £50 to the Winter Fuel Payment to help all pensioners afford their bills.’

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling will present his Pre Budget Report on Monday 24 November at 15.30. Which? will be providing comprehensive coverage of the pre Budget Report and its impact on consumers.

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