Budget 2021 LIVE: Rishi Sunak speech TODAY plus pensions latest

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will unveil his second Budget of the year today, with economic plans that will take us through the winter.

Rumoured measures include a 30p hike on the price of a pint – meaning it will cost Brits more for a visit to their local boozer.

Mr Sunak will not axe VAT on household energy bills in today's Budget – despite families being clobbered with eye-watering rises.

The Chancellor is under pressure to scrap the 5% VAT charge on heating bills for six months from November 1 to help bills be more affordable during the winter.

Another confirmed measure will be to increase the minimum wage to £9.50 an hour this week, giving a pay rise for millions of Brits in his budget.

The Chancellor is also set to unfreeze sector pay on teachers, civil servants and police wages.

It is also expected that he will ditch a 2.84p budget hike in fuel duty — a win for The Sun's Keep It Down campaign.

Read our 2021 Budget blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Rishi Sunak accused of presiding over “widening inequality in UK”

    SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss has accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of presiding over “a widening inequality in the UK”.

    Thewliss told BBC Brekfast: “We have the worst inequality in north-west Europe in this country,”

    “There is nothing that has been trailed in this Budget so far that suggests reducing inequality is a priority for this chancellor.”

    She calls on Sunak to reverse the £20 cut to universal credit, describing it as “a real lifeline over the past 18 months”, the removal of which has left “a real hole in people’s pockets”.

  • Milica Cosic

    Labour slams government living wage offer ‘distinctly underwhelming’ 

    Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Bridget Phillipson, has said that the government’s National Living Wage offer is “distinctly underwhelming.”

    The National Living Wage is due to rise from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour.

    Speaking to BBC News, Phillipson said that: “with everything getting more expensive, and hand-in-hand with the cut to universal credit [and] the increase in National Insurance that people are facing”, a worker on universal credit would “still be £800 a year worse off”.

    She says the government is “choosing” not to make life easier for families.

    “Smoke and mirrors from the government just won’t cut it,” ended Phillipson.

  • Milica Cosic

    Looking sharp

    An employee has been pictured cleaning the door of 11 Downing Street, the official residence of Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, before the government's annual budget announcement.

    Britain will unveil its latest budget, looking to fix the public finances after emergency pandemic support sent debt rocketing around 12:30pm today.

  • Milica Cosic

    MP's flood Downing Street

    MP's have been captured arriving in Downing Street, London, to attend a Cabinet meeting ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivering his Budget to the House of Commons today.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps
    Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab
    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
    (left to right) Chief Whip Mark Spencer, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and Attorney General Suella Braverman
  • Milica Cosic

    What’s already been announced: (Continued…)

    • £435m for victims services, crime prevention and the Crown Prosecution Service
    • £560m for adult maths coaching to help increase numeracy
    • A six-month extension to the COVID recovery loan scheme to June 2022
    • A £6bn package of funding to help tackle NHS backlogs across England
    • £850m to restore museums and galleries
    • £700m for new sports pitches
    • £500m for new family hubs and other support for families
    • £5bn to help fund health research and development
    • £1.8bn to turn brownfield land into hundreds of thousands of new homes
    • £2.6bn boost to education for children with special needs and disabilities.

    What's already been announced:

    There have been a huge amount of announcements already made ahead of the budget today.

    Rishi Sunak has already pledged:

    • Millions of nurses, teachers and members of the armed forces will receive a pay rise next April as the public sector pay freeze ends – though details remain scant
    • National living wage to rise from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 – affecting those aged 23 and over from 1 April
    • £1.4bn to encourage foreign investment into UK businesses and attract overseas talent
    • £700m to be spent mainly on the new post-Brexit borders and immigration system, as well as a new maritime patrol fleet

    Priti Patel arrives

    Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel has arrived in Downing Street for the cabinet meeting in central London, before the government's annual budget announcement.

    Explained: What is the taper rate?

    The taper rate is used to reduce the rate of a person's service pension or income support supplement if they or their partner have any ordinary income in excess of the ordinary/adjusted income free area.

    Your Universal Credit payments will adjust automatically if your earnings change. It doesn’t matter how many hours you work, it’s the actual earnings you receive that count.

    If your circumstances mean that you don’t have a Work Allowance, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by 63p for every £1 you earn.

    Cutting the taper rate down to 60p

    The harsh taper rate effectively taxes Brits 63p in the pound on anything they earn over their base level of benefits – which puts many thousands off applying for better paid jobs or taking on more hours.

    It's understood that the DWP's main spending review ask – to cut the taper rate down to 60p – will be backed by Rishi's team in an attempt to soften the blow for the lowest paid ahead of a tough winter.

    One minister said: "The Chancellor wants to incentivise work, this makes sense."

    And a former Cabinet minister said: "Reform of the taper would be very sensible.

    One insider told the Sun said: "This isn't about offsetting the end of the uplift. It's about making sure people feel they can work more hours without losing more cash."

    • Milica Cosic

      What time is the Budget speech today?

      Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech will take place later today, Wednesday 27 October after Prime Minister’s Questions.

      This means it will kick off at around 12.30pm.

      Budget talks usually last about an hour.

    • Milica Cosic

      A 'Budget surprise’?

      MILLIONS of Brits on Universal Credit will be able to keep more of what they earn thanks to a Rishi Sunak Budget surprise, ministers believe.

      The Chancellor was last night said to be on the cusp of slashing the harsh Universal Credit taper rate that punishes workers.

      Yesterday, Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “In the short term there is going to be some good news for the Chancellor because the economy has grown faster than projected and that will feed through to the public finances.”

      Read more here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Preview: what to expect from the Budget today

      Rishi Sunak will deliver the government’s latest budget at 12.30pm in Parliament on today (Wednesday 27 October).

      Here’s what businesses want to see from the speech:

      • More support loans
      • More funding for skills training
      • VAT and other tax cuts for hospitality
      • Reform of business rates to lower costs
      • Reversing the increase in corporation tax

      Labour present part of their plan

      The Labour party have just now presented part of their plan to deal with rising energy costs.

      MP Rachel Reeves wrote on Twitter: "Today's Budget must create a more resilient economy & take pressure off working people.

      "Labour will grow our economy with our Climate Investment Pledge, and our plan to buy, make & sell more in Britain.

      "With costs rising, we'd cut VAT on domestic energy bills now for 6 months."

      Thank goodness he's not Chancellor of fashion

      Rishi Sunak's pre budget photo captured him wearing socks and sliders, alongside a very strangely designed jumper that zips to the side.

      Questionable fashion choices form the Chancellor of Exchequer… let's hope that these choices don't translate to today.

      Chancellor urged to scrap VAT on heating bills

      THE Chancellor has been urged to give everyone a winter warmer in his Budget by scrapping VAT on domestic heating bills.

      Millions are feeling the pinch as rising inflation and energy costs stretch the family finances.

      Labour last night challenged Rishi Sunak to remove the five per cent charge for six months from November 1 to help ease pressure on household budgets.

      It would save the average consumer about £38. The estimated £1billion cost could be paid for using the extra VAT cash coming in as a result of rising prices.

      • Louis Allwood

        Online shoppers could be hit with 2% sales tax 

        ONLINE shoppers could be hit with a 2% sales tax under news plans in the Autumn Budget.

        It's being dubbed the "Amazon tax" as the purpose is to level the playing field between big corporations and high street retailers.

        Most shoppers flocked to online retailers during the pandemic with many physical stores forced to close their doors during lockdowns.

        Now that things are beginning to return to normal with schemes like furlough having come to an end, along with a number of other benefit uplifts, the government could be considering a review of business rates.

        It could mean shoppers will have to fork out more for goods if bosses have to hike up prices to cover the tax outgoings.

      • Louis Allwood

        £3billion chucked at British workers

        RISHI Sunak will chuck a whopping £3billion towards the British work force to train thousands of British workers for better-paid jobs.

        The Chancellor will use his Budget to build a high-wage economy and “level up” across the UK.

        He will take action to turbo-charge post-16 education to give everyone the chance find jobs and earn more.

        It will include free, personal maths coaching for 500,000 adults who failed to make the grade at school.

        Extra funds will also be pumped into modern apprenticeships, skills bootcamps and new T-level technical courses for teenagers.

      • Louis Allwood

        Rishi's slogan

        Rishi Sunak appears to have taken on his own slogan with the release of his budget today. On the front cover he has made the phrase 'A stronger economy for the British people' very clear.

        Throughout the past year the economy has been trying to recover from the damages caused during the pandemic.

        It seems Rishi is planning to rebuild the economy and come back stronger.

      • Louis Allwood

        When can we expect the minimum wage increase?

        Those that can look forward to the increase in minimum wage will have to wait six months as the date for the change to come in to place is April 1.

        That means that although the rise is expected to be announced in tomorrow's Budget, you'll have to wait for another six months to see the extra cash land in your pay packet.

        But it might not be the only hike to wages that Brits could see.

        Experts have predicted that the minimum wage rate will increase even further by the time the next general election rolls around to £10 an hour.

      • Louis Allwood

        Who is the man behind the budget?

        RISHI Sunak has been a shining light for many during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to his reforms as Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. 

        MP for Richmond in Yorkshire since 2015, Rishi Sunak, is the son of Yashvir, an NHS GP, and Usha, a pharmacist, who moved to the UK from Punjab, India, in the 1960s.

        Born in 1980 in Southampton, Hampshire, he attended the prestigious Winchester College before going on to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University.

        He also earned an MBA from Stanford University in the US, becoming a Fulbright scholar.

        In 2009, he married Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, who co-founded business consulting firm Infosys.

      • Louis Allwood

        Pint price (Continued…)

        Pub landlords have had a hard time as it is after being closed for the majority of the year.

        City Pub Group chairman Clive Watson said landlords can't soak up extra overheads as the industry is "coming off life support" after Covid.

        He said: "We cannot absorb all these increased costs whether it is the energy costs whether it is food inflation, whether it is labour costs.

        "So the only way forward for us is to put the price of beer and food up in our pubs.

        "No-one wants to do that but I reckon the price of beer would probably have to go up 25p-30p a pint to take account of all these increased costs."

      • Louis Allwood

        Beer worries for Brits?

        Brits face paying 30p more for a pint after Rishi Sunak hikes wages for the lowest paid in his budget, business chiefs have warned.

        Landlords say they'll have to put up prices because they're struggling with spiralling overheads that will be compounded by the salary hike.

        The chancellor is poised to announce that the national living wage is going up by 6.6% from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour.

        He says the move will add on average around £1,000 before tax to the annual pay of a full-time worker.

        Mr Sunak is also set to end the public sector pay freeze and hand millions of workers a raise.

      • Louis Allwood

        Budget to take place after PM's Questions

        The next Budget will be delivered in the House of Commons and scheduled to take place after Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).

        PMQs usually lasts around half an hour so the Budget typically starts just after 12.30pm.

        It may be later if PMQs overruns and time is often given to allow MPs to enter the House of Commons chambers.

      • Louis Allwood

        What can we expect today?

        It is expected that online shoppers could be hit with a 2% sales tax.

        Other rumours are that a VAT cut on energy bills is being mooted, but commentators say this could be too expensive for the Treasury to do.

        Meanwhile, Uswitch has called on the government to increase the Warm Home Discount. It says the current £140 allowance barely offsets the recent energy price cap increase.

        The move would aim to level the playing field between online and high street retailers but could end up costing families hundreds of pounds.

      • Louis Allwood

        Today is the day we will find out what is included in the budget

        CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will unveil his second budget of the year later today, with economic plans that will take us through the winter.

        Two key factors that Brits can expect will be no increase in fuel duty as well as £1,000 a year boost to wages.

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