Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Budget 2013 next month, on Wednesday 20 March 2013.
So what might be included in the Budget 2013?
Budget 2013: Osborne’s dilemma
“[I]n the Budget [2013, Osborne] will face the dilemma of whether to tighten policy further in the face of fresh fiscal slippage despite weak growth,” says the Guardian’s Larry Elliott.
With the UK economy contracting once more, and triple-dip recession a distinct possibility, pressure is growing on the Chancellor to reconsider economic austerity and instead focus on promoting growth in his Budget 2013 statement.
‘We need to junk the rhetoric of austerity,’ says Boris Johnson
Some of the voices bringing pressure to bear on Osborne to change course include the following:
- Osborne’s Budget 2013 must target growth if the UK is to retain its AAA credit rating, says David Riley of ratings agency Fitch.
- “We need to junk the rhetoric of austerity and be confident,” says Boris Johnson.
- Osborne should consider a different approach, says the IMF’s Olivier Blanchard: “We think this would be a good time to take stock. [...] We said that if things look bad at the beginning of 2013 – which they do – then there should be a reassessment of fiscal policy” in the Budget 2013.
Yet Osborne would not appear to be for turning on austerity. In his speech to the World Economic Forum at Davos last month, Osborne said:
We do have to carry on with the cuts. We’re not about to bring that programme to an end… [It] will go on until 2017. We are walking a difficult road but we are going in the right direction.
Budget 2013 will be ‘focused on growth,’ says Government source
However, growth nonetheless looks set to be on the agenda for the Budget 2013.
The BBC reports that “a senior government source” has said that “this Budget obviously, with all that has happened in recent weeks and months, will be very much focused on growth in the economy”.
- XpertHR economic commentary February 2013: No easy way out
The economic picture is a complex one and the route back to growth will be challenging, XpertHR’s economic commentary for February 2013 finds.
- Budget Day will be in March, George Osborne announces
The BBC reports the date on which George Osborne will delive the Budget 2013: Wednesday 20 March 2013.