While we all wait for George Osborne to tell us what he's actually going to do, it seems that with a variety of leaks and sure-fire predictions, there are unlikely to be many surprises. Here's a quick summary of what's come our way so far this morning:
Alistair Bingle, managing director of Bishop’s Move comments on the fuel duty price freeze: “The past 12 months has brought good news to businesses that rely on the roads on which to operate. By announcing that there is a firm commitment to the fuel duty freeze up until the next election then this gives industries, such as haulage, the breathing space in which to plan and grow over the next 18 months and thus, create more job opportunities. This news is welcomed by our industry and, as the housing market picks up, we can now simply focus on getting Britain moving once more.”
Peter Burgess of Retail Human Resources comments: “There are various reasons why the rise in personal allowance has happened; firstly the next election will be fought on the cost of living - Labour’s trump card. By lifting the working poor out of tax the Tories are supporting the lower paid bracket yet at the same time will seem appealing to middle class families. Secondly, I am confident this is welcomed by the Liberal Democrats and Mr Osborne may have even see this an opportunity to steal their thunder."
Julio Vildosola, CEO of Liquid Finance, predicts: "It is likely that the Government will pledge to help small businesses which will continue to strengthen confidence in a previously hard pressed, but critically important sector of the UK economy. Recently we've seen an increase in demand for funding to assist with investment in small and independent businesses, which indicates that there is pick-up across this huge sector. This is good news for both individuals making a living out of these small and micro-businesses, as well as the suppliers to them and their employees."
Meanwhile, it seems likely that the state pension is moving further off for under 49-year-olds who will have to work until they're at least 68. The under-7s fare better with a predicted free school meal scheme being brought in.
For small businesses there might be good news if the Chancellor removes Employer National Insurance Contributions, saving businesses money and offering an incentive to employ more staff.This one is being much talked about, but with less confidence. We'll have to see if this is just wishful thinking or if small businesses will have something to celebrate in time for Christmas.
Have a look at our round-up of the Chancellor's Statement to see how close our fortune-tellers were.