Chancellor confirms second statement
George Osborne to focus on output in Summer Budget
Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that he will deliver a summer Budget that will focus on tackling the deficit and raising productivity.
It will aim to deliver on promises made to “working people” and look at tackling the cost of living.
The Chancellor held a summer Budget in 2010 following the formation of the coalition, though it was regarded as an emergency budget in the circumstances of the post-financial crash.
His first budget was held on 18 March and plan for a second budget this year was predicted in Daily Business on 11 May. It will take place on 8 July.
Speaking outside 11 Downing Street, the chancellor said: “I don’t want to wait to deliver on the commitments we have made to working people,” he said.
“It will continue with the balanced plan we have to deal with our debts, invest in our health service and reform welfare to make work pay.
“But there will also be a laser-like focus on making our economy more productive so we raise living standards across our country.
“We’re going to put Britain into good shape for the long term.”
Mr Osborne, writing today in The Sun, admitted it was “unusual” to have two Budgets in the same year, but he wanted to turn “promises made in the election into a reality”.
Again, Mr Osborne did not specifically outline how the Conservatives plan to fulfil a pledge to cut £12bn in welfare spending but said he wants to make the welfare system “fair for the people who pay for it”.
He said: “We will protect the NHS and give it more funding each and every year, while making savings across Whitehall.
“We’ll crack down hard on tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning by the rich – because everyone should pay their fair share.
“We will always protect the most vulnerable, but we also need a welfare system that’s fair to the people who pay for it. If you can work you should be working, so we’ll take the next steps in our benefit reforms to make sure that happens.
“Second, we’ve got to go on helping businesses create jobs in Britain, so we move towards full employment. That means facing a hard truth: in Britain we produce about a quarter less for every hour we work than countries like America or Germany. Fixing that long-running productivity weakness is the big challenge for the next five years.
“So in the Budget we’ll spend less on welfare, and instead invest to create three million more apprenticeships, so that young people can learn a trade, get better jobs and earn more.”