Seven Spring Budget 2023 predictions from fuel duty to price of booze and cigarettes – and what it means for you | The Sun

JEREMY Hunt will finally reveal the government's Spring Budget TOMORROW.

At 12.30pm in the Commons chamber, the Chancellor will announce how much the price of booze and cigarettes will change.

And he'll let Brits know of any new benefits, bill support packages and tax hikes.

The Treasury keeps a tight lid on policies included in the highly-anticipated budget.

Revealing too many details in advance can move markets.

And changes can still be made right up until the last minute.

But government sources have given The Sun a flavour of measures to expect – and what they will mean for your waller.

Unfortunately, there won't be any major changes to income tax or national insurance.

Rishi Sunak believes inflation needs to be tackled before cuts can go ahead.

But other policies to help with the cost of living squeeze are expected to be announced.

Here's what to look out for.

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Energy bill help

Mr Hunt is poised to extend the current Energy Price Guarantee until July.

Gas and electricity bills were due to soar from £2,500 to £3,000 next month.

But lower than expected borrowing has left room for the cap on gas and electricity costs to be extended.

Thankfully from July, when the price guarantee ends, it's expected bills will fall to £2,000.

Cigarette prices

Smokers face the biggest ever price hike in fags next month as Mr Hunt prepares to raise tobacco duty – with a pack of 20 going up by £1.15. 

Industry insiders are bracing for taxes on cigarettes to increase with inflation.

Hiking fag levies with 12.7 per cent RPI – plus an extra minimum 2 per cent bump applied to tobacco products – means a pack would jump by more than 15 per cent. 

It would see a 30g pack of hand rolling tobacco rise by £2 thanks to higher rates.


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Booze duty

Booze duty will be frozen until August in a major win for pubs and brewers.

Hated alcohol levies were due to be hiked on February 1, but the Chancellor will delay that move for an extra six months until August 1.

Childcare benefits for Universal Credit claimants

Mr Hunt will announce childcare costs for those on Universal Credit will be paid up front.

The maximum amount of cash parents can claim for childcare will also be increased by hundreds of pounds.

The maximum cap for claims per month has remained unchanged for 18 years at £646 for one child and £1,108 for two.

This is now expected to increase to £950 for a single child and £1,680 for two.

Struggling mums and dads will be better off in a year under the plans, making it easier for them to go back to work.

It's a major win for The Sun’s Make Universal Credit Work ­campaign, which has been calling for childcare support to be paid upfront and remove the barrier stopping parents from getting back to work since December 2018. 

Currently, parents on Universal Credit can claim back 85% of their childcare costs – but they have to pay upfront first.

The new government plans have been welcomed by charities who had previously warned of parents falling into debt due to the childcare system.

Dan Paskins of Save the Children said: "The UK Government has made the right decision in deciding to pay childcare fees for those on Universal Credit upfront rather than in arrears.

"This system was stopping people getting into work and putting people into debt.

"This is good for families, good for our economy and most of all, good news for children."

Pensions lifetime allowance

Millions of middle-class workers are set to receive a pensions boost in next week's Budget as the lifetime allowance cap is raised.

Mr Hunt is expected to lift the £1million allowance on tax-free pension savings in an effort to keep Brits in the office.

The £40,000 lid on annual tax-free pension contributions is also set for a boost.

The move is specifically targeted at doctors who leave the NHS early to avoid being trapped by taxes on their savings.

But the boost will apply to everyone.

The lifetime cap was slashed from £1.8m in 2011 to £1m today.

In 2020 the government announced it would be frozen until 2026.

Next week that's expected to be reversed.

The Treasury is concerned the cap is dragging middle earning professionals away from work rather than hitting its target of the ultra-rich.

When the freeze was first announced the British Medical Association warned it would "push doctors out of the NHS".

Disability benefits

Disability benefits claimants will continue receiving payments after they return to employment under new Budget plans to get people back into the workforce.

The Work Capability Assessment used to judge eligibility for the sickness benefits will be scrapped.

Under the current system disabled people need to have the assessment and be found unable to work to receive additional support.

Ministers have described the measure as a "perverse incentive to prove how sick you are".

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Fuel duty

The Treasury is under huge pressure to keep the popular 12-year fuel duty freeze.

And the Chancellor is being lobbied hard working motorists to keep the 5p cut too.

He's expected to keep both – but officials in No11 are concerned by the £6bn per year price tag.

Last week ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel piled pressure on MrHunt to CUT fuel duty to help hard-up motorists to boost Britain's economy.

She called on the Chancellor to "go further" where the Government has extra headroom to slash eye-watering fuel taxes and create growth.

The Sun's Keep it Down campaign has forced ministers to freeze duties for 12 years in a row.

Ms Patel said: "We have to be the Government on the side of hard-pressed motorists, who are really feeling the pinch right now.

"We should be going further – where the Government has the head room, cut fuel duty.

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"We need to put more money back into the purses and wallets of the Great British Motorist and do everything we can to support them.

"You can only grow the economy by putting more money back into people's pockets, not by taking money out of them with higher taxes."

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