● EXTENSION OF FREE CHILDCARE
The chancellor is expected to announce £380m a year by 2014-15 to increase the number of two-year-olds eligible for free childcare. Currently, 130,000 two-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, but this will increase to 260,000 within four years, equivalent to 60 per cent of two-year-olds from the poorest families.
● SEED ENTERPRISE SCHEME
The chancellor will also announce a scheme to encourage individuals to invest in small-and medium sized start-ups. Those who invest in firms with fewer than 25 employees and less than £200,000 of gross assets will receive income tax relief of 50 per cent. The amount any individual can invest will be capped at £100,000, while firms will be able to accept up to £150,000 from one or more investors. Those investors who re-invest their gains in the business in 2012-13 will pay no capital gains tax.
● PUBLIC SECTOR PAY RISE CAP
Any rise in public sector pay – which was frozen for two years in 2010 – will be capped at around one per cent in 2012-13.
● BUSINESS ANGEL FUND
The government will invest £50m of public money in small high-growth companies, alongside private co-investors.
● EXTENSION OF SME RATES HOLIDAY
Osborne will extend the existing rate relief schemes for small businesses for a further six months until April 2013, helping half a million firms. Businesses with a rateable value of less than £6,000 will pay no business rates, while those with a value of £12,000 or less will get some help.
● PROMPT PAYMENT
Government contractors, who currently have to wait for 100 days before being paid, will receive payments more quickly.
● EMISSIONS TRADING RELIEF
The government will spend £110m compensating energy-intensive firms losing out due to the emissions trading scheme.
● CARBON PRICE FLOOR RELIEF
Energy intensive firms will receive £100m in compensation to offset the impact of the carbon price floor.
● CLIMATE CHANGE LEVY RELIEF
Green firms will receive £40m of compensation to offset the climate change levy.