Chancellor George Osborne to deliver the 2014 Budget this afternoon

06:00 19 March 2014

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Chancellor George Osborne will outline his Budget for the year later today with a number of key areas expected to be mentioned.

The economy appears to be in better shape than the previous two years, with house prices rocketing and wage growth looking to potentially outstrip inflation by Christmas.

But those hoping for a loosening on austerity are likely to be disappointed, the message from Downing Street being that it would be foolish to risk recovery with any drastic spending increases.

The Chancellor is expected to grant the Liberal Democrats their wish of raising the tax-free allowance by £500 to £10,500 - something billed by Nick Clegg as a “workers bonus”.

Beer drinkers are expected to be left alone but duty on wine and spirits is set to rise.

Smokers could also be hit with rumours circulating of 28p rises for packs of 20 cigarettes and 25gs of roll-up tobacco.

The Chancellor has already confirmed that the government’s Help to Buy scheme will be extended to 2020 for people buying new-build homes, at a cost of about £6 billion.

The stamp duty threshold could also be doubled from £125,000 to £250,000.

Some reports have suggested Mr Osborne could slash 1p off the basic rate of income tax reducing it to 19p - a move that would be worth £160 to those on average salaries of £26,500.

Of course until the budget is officially announced at 12.30pm tomorrow, everything is purely speculation.

Email your views as the day unfolds to


Latest News Stories

Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Yesterday, 17:00
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Yesterday, 11:00
Bridget Cherry pictured at Hornsey Tower

Bridget Cherry's book, Ivy-Mantled Tower A History of the Church and Churchyard of St Mary Hornsey has been published by The Hornsey Historical Soc. Picture: Nigel Sutton

In telling the story of a long-vanished parish church, architectural historian Bridget Cherry has delved into the heart of what was once Hornsey village.

Yesterday, 10:00
Paul Young, 18, who won the Personal Journey award and was named Inspirational Young Person of the Year at the Camden Youth Awards. Picture: Dieter Perry

Paul Young struggled to cope after suffering mental health problems, being bullied at school, and having to care for his unwell mother.

Fri, 17:29
Crouch End Festival Chorus at St John's Smith Square. Photo: Emily Soppet

The Crouch End Festival Chorus is taking a deep breath and running a 12-hour sponsored singing marathon this Saturday to raise funds for a major recording project.

Fri, 16:48
Flowers on Parkland Walk

Police are investigating after live ammunition was discovered in Parkland Walk.

Squatters at West End Lane

Squatters are currently believed to have barricaded themselves into a former council building in West Hampstead after an eviction order was served.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder