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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 11:04 GMT
Brown presents Budget on 21 March
Gordon Brown
It will be Mr Brown's 11th Budget as chancellor
Chancellor Gordon Brown will present the government's Budget for 2007/8 on Wednesday, 21 March.

It could be Mr Brown's last Budget statement, as he hopes to succeed Prime Minister Tony Blair later this year.

While his room for tax cuts will be limited, a strong economy and healthy tax receipts have done much to reduce the budget shortfall some predicted.

The chancellor is expected to confirm new rules for ISAs and could give more details for planned green taxes.

Mr Brown could also make some surprise spending announcements ahead of his comprehensive spending review, details of which are expected to be announced before October.

The Home Office has already been told that it will get no more cash in real terms, despite the prisons crisis.

The Ministry of Defence is concerned that a similar freeze could cramp British efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as plans to renew Britain's nuclear deterrent.

The chancellor may also be under pressure to provide more money for pensioners, after Wednesday's surprise High Court judgement amounting to a rebuke for the government for its failure to compensate victims of collapsed company pension schemes.

And he may want to set out his plans for tackling child poverty and council housing deprivation, following influential reports.

Mr Brown's projections for the public finances have already made it clear that the era of rapid expansion is coming to an end, and that hard choices about spending and taxes will have to be made in the future.

Experts will also be watching to see if the Chancellor makes any further revisions of his fiscal stability rules.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the government could be in danger of breaching its "sustainable investment" rule that the national debt should not exceed 40% of GDP in the next five years.

The government has already revised its other rule, that the current budget deficit should be zero over the whole of the economic cycle, several times.

It will be the 11th budget of Mr Brown's career, making him by far the longest serving chancellor of modern times.




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