Budget 2021: Chancellor to insist UK is entering 'age of optimism' as he unveils plans

27 October 2021, 00:44 | Updated: 27 October 2021, 12:06

Rishi Sunak will deliver his Budget and Spending Review in Parliament today.
Rishi Sunak will deliver his Budget and Spending Review in Parliament today. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Rishi Sunak will use his Budget and Spending Review today to insist the UK is entering an "age of optimism", making a raft of promises to pay workers more, increase the National Living Wage and invest in transport and skills.

This afternoon the chancellor is due to announce a number of policies, including new funding to tackle NHS backlogs, nearly £7 billion to overhaul local transport, a new Global Britain Investment Fund and an increase in the National Living Wage.

Speaking about his priorities in his speech to the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is due to say that the Budget will begin work on creating an "economy fit for a new age of optimism".

He is expected to say: “Today’s Budget begins the work of preparing for a new economy post Covid. An economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity.

“Of strong public services, vibrant communities and safer streets."

Read more: Budget 2021: What can we expect from the Chancellor?

The Budget Review comes amid soaring gas prices, supply chain issues, and looming uncertainty about what's next for Covid-19 - meaning it is one of most important budgets a chancellor has ever had to deliver.

A number of Budget announcements have already been released ahead of the chancellor's speech, causing anger from the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

A total of eighteen preview press releases have been handed to journalists in the run-up to Wednesday.

"This House will not be taken for granted," said the Speaker.

"It is not right for everybody to be briefed. It's not more important to go on the news in the morning, it's more important to come here.

"Let's get this message across, these are the elected members that represents this United Kingdom."

Read more: Budget 2021: Millions of public sector workers to benefit as pay freeze set to be axed

Read more: Budget 2021: Business will struggle as living wage rises, trade body warns

What is the chancellor set to announce?

Public sector pay freeze to be axed

The chancellor previously announced a pay freeze for public sector workers - such as teachers, police officers and firefighters - during the pandemic.

This will be lifted in Wednesday's Budget.

Minimum wage to rise

The chancellor is also set to announce an increase in minimum wage.

Currently, the minimum wage for those over the age of 23, known as the national living wage, is £8.91 per hour - that is now set to climb to £9.50.

NHS backlog funding

The NHS will receive almost £6bn to help the clear the backlog of patients as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

This will allow them to deliver around 30 per cent more elective - meaning non-urgent - activity such as checks, scans and procedures.

There has also been speculation about changes to alcohol prices, the student loan threshold and council tax - but none of these have been confirmed.

The Chancellor will outline his plans at Wednesday's Budget - check back at LBC for all the live coverage.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A lawyer who represented 'murdered' Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow, Russian news has reported

Navalny's lawyer 'arrested in Moscow' after helping Russian opposition leader's mother obtain body from authorities

Breaking
Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache

PlayStation is closing its London studio and axing 900 jobs (file image)

PlayStation to axe 900 jobs and close London studio to 'future ready' itself

Zelensky and Mohammed bin Salman

Zelensky meets Saudi crown prince to discuss peace deal and return of POWs

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston has died aged 45

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston dies aged 45

Mr Scully apologised for his comments.

'I'm sorry I chose those words': Tory MP Paul Scully apologises after claiming there were 'no-go areas' in some cities

Michael Holt, 54, from the Wirral, was found dead in the boat 700 miles into the charity challenge off the coast of Cape Verde, west Africa

Fundraiser launched to return home British father found dead on boat four weeks into 3,000-mile Atlantic ocean row

A remote track near Pitilie

Murder probe launched after former groundsman shot dead while walking his dog on Scottish estate

David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling escaped jail despite accidents at their trampoline park

Trampoline park bosses fined after 270 injuries in just two months including 11 broken backs

Henry Staunton (left) was fired as chair of the Post Office last month. He has since engaged in a public row with Business Secretary Kemi Bedenoch (right)

'I am the subject of a smear campaign': Sacked Post Office boss hits out at Kemi Badenoch following public row over exit

Union members protesting in Lagos

Government workers strike over Nigeria’s soaring inflation and economic woes

Prince Andrew led the royals into a memorial service after Prince William was forced to pull out

Smiling Prince Andrew returns to the fold as he leads royals into church after William pulls out

Crowds gathered to look for the money-filled briefcase, which was buried to create publicity for a concert.

'Treasure hunters' spark outrage by digging up protected sand dune to find buried money after influencers promote event

Global is launching a new sports podcast The Sports Agents

Behind the scenes of sport: First trailer for Global's new podcast The Sports Agents

Eco-protesters stormed five offices across London

Eco-zealots storm London's Walkie Talkie building as they march through City over insurance for oil projects

Actors from 'shambolic' Willy Wonka-inspired event left 'humiliated' as children dressed as Oompa Loompas are reduced to tears

Actors from 'shambolic' Willy Wonka-inspired event 'humiliated' as children in Oompa Loompa costumes burst into tears