UK Politics

George Osborne plans 'stability' Budget on 8 July

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Media captionGeorge Osborne: "I didn't want to wait to deliver on the commitments we made"

Chancellor George Osborne has said that he will deliver a new Budget on 8 July.

He claimed it would have "a laser-like focus" on raising productivity and living standards.

He said he was making the unusual move of having a second Budget in one year in order to "deliver on the commitments we have made to working people".

Labour said the chancellor would have to set out "who is going to pay" for what it called "uncosted promises" in the election campaign.

Speaking outside 11 Downing Street, the chancellor gave a broad outline of his plans for the forthcoming Budget but refused to be drawn on the details, including the Conservatives' planned £12bn of welfare cuts.

'Deliver commitments'

"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."

The last Budget was held on 18 March and included tax cuts for first-time house buyers.

Writing in the Sun, Mr Osborne 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".

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Image caption The chancellor delivered the final coalition Budget in March

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".

'Tax avoidance'

He writes: "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."

After the Budget in March independent forecaster the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that Mr Osborne needed to spell out exactly how he plans to cut £12bn from welfare spending.

Of those £12bn planned cuts, £2bn were outlined ahead of the general election - all the cuts are supposed to be in place by 2017-18.

Labour's shadow energy and climate change secretary, Caroline Flint, accused the Tories of making "a number of uncosted promises" during the election campaign.

She told the BBC: "It will be interesting to see who is going to pay for those uncosted policies when they bring the Budget in July."

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