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Emergency Budget to include council tax freeze

Bills to be frozen for a year, say Budget experts

The Budget

Tomorrow’s emergency Budget could see council tax in England frozen for a year, despite the Chancellor’s determination to plug the hole in the public finances.

The promise is expected by some commentators, and it is thought the measure may be intended to help ease the shock of George Osborne’s package of spending cuts and tax rises. The Chancellor says tough action is ‘unavoidable’ if the British economy is to return to strong growth and recover from the financial crisis.

Originally the Conservatives promised a two-year freeze on council tax in England in their general election manifesto, compromising to pledge at least a one-year stop on increases when they formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.

Emergency Budget predictions

Elsewhere, financial experts and economists are predicting that rises in capital gains tax and VAT may be announced on Tuesday, and there is also speculation that insurance premium tax will increase. This could increase the cost of financial products such as car insurance and home insurance for consumers.

A ‘bank levy’ is also expected, as is an announcement on National Insurance. Pensions tax relief may also be reviewed in the emergency Budget.

Sign up now to watch the Which? Money 2010 emergency Budget liveblog

Which? Money experts will be commenting on the Chancellor’s emergency Budget as it is delivered tomorrow, as well as responding to your questions and comments.

You can follow the action as it unfolds by signing up now for a reminder, or visiting www.which.co.uk/emergencybudget at 12.30pm tomorrow.

With the country’s financial future seemingly at stake, can you afford to miss it?

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