A BUDGET FOR GROWTH | WHAT MEASURES COULD THE CHANCELLOR INTRODUCE THIS WEEK?

● National insurance to be merged with income tax
The chancellor is expected to signal his intention to allow employers to pay national insurance and income tax in a single combined payment.

● Apprenticeships
In a bid to tackle the high number of young “NEETS” (not in employment, education or training) 50,000 apprenticeships could be funded by the state.

● Freeze on fuel duty
In response to escalating fuel prices, still facing upward pressure from instability in the Middle East, the planned increase of 1p on a litre on petrol may be put on hold.

● Air passenger duty frozen
The chancellor is also expected to freeze air passenger duty, although he could apply it to corporate and private jets.

● Personal allowance increase
The tax free allowance could get an incremental rise to around £8,000.

● Non-domiciles to be targeted
The government may turn to higher taxes on so called “non-doms”.

­● Planning regulations relaxed
The construction industry could get a boost from a cut in planning restrictions, designed to encourage business growth.

● Public sector reform
Private companies could be allowed a greater role in the running of some
government sector services, in an attempt to stimulate enterprise and efficiency.

● Foreign-earned profits left alone
Large corporations may be tempted back to these shores by a pledge to tax less from overseas profits.

● Cigarettes and alcohol
Smokers and drinkers are likely, yet again, to face even higher taxes. However, the ailing pub industry could be helped by lower taxes on weak beer.