Budget 2021 LIVE: Chart shows UK economy roar back as Sunak to hail ‘new age of optimism’

Budget will focus on shoring up British economy

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Sunak is predicted to herald a “new economy post-Covid” due to a fast bounce-back from the pandemic. Notably, he is expected to unveil a flagship measure to help families hit by the £1,000 cut to universal credit.  He has already made £30bn of spending announcements across the health service, housebuilding, crime-fighting, transport and skills. Money will be put into key Tory reform areas and improving local transport links, in a bid to deliver promises before the next election.

Compared to his budget in March, there is more flexibility with the success of the vaccine programme and lockdown lifted.

Soaring petrol prices are expected to be alleviated and there are rumours of cuts to alcohol duties with Boris Johnson and Mr Sunak due to visit a brewery on Wednesday.

The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said a Labour government would cut VAT on domestic energy bills for six months.

The Treasury is expected to insist that there will be no return to David Cameron’s “austerity” from the early 2010s.

Rishi Sunak will deliver his Budget and spending review at 12.30pm, with the Office for Budget Responsibility to hold a press conference at 2.30pm.

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Sunak has a Twix and can of Sprite before budget

Mr Sunak was asked on Times Radio whether he had any rituals or superstitions ahead of the event. He said: “I have a general pre-game routine, pre-match routine, for when I have to do parliamentary things which is, look, I have a sugar problem so I tend to have a Twix and a can of Sprite, even though my favourite thing is Coke but I save that for afterwards.

But I have a Twix and a can of Sprite which Lisa who runs my office always make sure is sitting there on my desk in Parliament, so that is my immediate pre-game kind of booster.”

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