The chancellor delivers his 10th Budget tomorrow and employers are expecting no surprises.
Given Gordon Brown’s ambitions to become prime minister, the Budget could be his last as chancellor, and he is expected to play it safe.
Unlike previous years, there is no big policy to be addressed. The next comprehensive spending review was to have been the major issue, but has been postponed until next year.
But employers are hoping for some concessions.
The CBI wants to see the rise in public sector wages pegged back to private sector levels (from 4.4% to 3.3%), which it estimates will save the taxpayer 4.25bn a year. It is also demanding a drop in business taxes and for the government to implement the Gershon efficiency review in full.
The Institute of Directors wants a 2% cut in corporation tax, while the British Chambers of Commerce is demanding a limit on the tax burden facing business.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation is urging the chancellor to incentivise good recruitment practices, especially where diversity compliance can be demonstrated.