With only two weeks to go until George Osborne unveils his Budget and with the Chancellor facing calls for tax reforms to stimulate growth, Mr Osborne’s warning to the EEF that “the days of unfunded giveaways are over – and they’re not coming back in this budget” will come as a disappointment to those who have called for cuts to the Chancellor’s austerity measures.
The Chancellor made it clear during the dinner that although tax changes are likely, he will claw back the lost revenue elsewhere, such as through higher taxes in other areas or via spending cuts.
Mr Osborne told the EEF: “I can tell you: we are not going to put that credibility and stability and low interest rates at risk. Our action is bringing the deficit down - but it is still far too high.
“The days of un-funded giveaways are over - and they're not coming back in this Budget. Everything has to be paid for.”
Whilst the warning that unfunded giveaways are over will have been disappointing to hear, the Chancellor also offered good news to businesses, as he pledged to have a flagship credit-easing scheme to encourage lending to small businesses up and running by March 21.
The National Loan Guarantee Scheme is set to see £20 billion of taxpayers money used to guarantee funding for UK banks, on the condition that the money is lent to small businesses. A detailed announcement is expected next week.
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