Rishi Sunak is set to deliver the government's second Budget of 2021 next week.

On Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer will reveal Treasury spending plans for the year ahead to MPs in the House of Commons.

He will be outlining how much tax-payers will be contributing in the next financial year, and how that money will be spent by the government.

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Alongside the normal Budget, Mr Sunak will also outline a three-year Spending Review, setting out each departments’ budgets right up to Spring 2025.

A number of investments have already been announced by the government - including an overhaul of public transport in eight regions outside of London, a financial boost for museums and other cultural sites across the country and a new veterans fund to invest in innovative surgeries.

Other key issues affecting people's finances, such as cuts to VAT rates on household bills, changes to the way alcohol is taxed and a reported rise in the minimum wage, are yet to be confirmed.

Here, we look at what to expect from Mr Sunak's autumn budget - and how the plans may affect you.

Minimum wage rise

An increase in the minimum wage from April 2022 is expected to be announced by the chancellor on Wednesday.

The National Living Wage is currently £8.91 an hour for people over the age of 23, and the government wants to increase it to £10.50 by 2024.

Reports suggest the chancellor will confirm a rise of 5.7 per cent to £9.42 per hour for next year.

To someone working 35 hours per week, the increase would be worth an extra £928 a year before tax.

The Living Wage Foundation recommends a minimum wage of £9.50 an hour.

Alcohol prices

The chancellor could be announcing major changes to the way that alcohol is taxed in the UK.

One change could be to reduce the premium on sparkling wine to the same level as still wine, which could reduce the price of a bottle of Prosecco by 83p.

But Mr Sunak is also facing pressure from members of his own party to back pubs by cutting beer duty for draught pints.

It comes after reports that more than eight in 10 pubs have raised prices or plan to do so because of rising costs.

A pint of lager beer being pulled at a bar
Mr Sunak is being urged to support pubs

Drinks wholesalers Matthew Clark and Bibendum are hiking prices by between 3.5 and 5 per cent next month, according to reports in The Times.

A campaign orchestrated by Conservative MP Richard Holden calls for the chancellor not to increase alcohol duties and to cut the tax on draught sales to help pubs compete with supermarkets and off licences.

Household bills

VAT on energy bills could be slashed in an attempt to help struggling families through the winter.

A global rise in gas prices has seen energy costs soar over the past year.

The chancellor is reportedly considering cutting the five per cent rate of value added tax on household energy bills, which would keep costs down for consumers.

However, Treasury officials have played down the likelihood of Mr Sunak announcing a cut amid concerns it would look bad ahead of the COP26 climate summit, the Mirror reports.

Transport overhaul

Billions of pounds will be pumped into transport, giving metro mayors the power to improve key links.

The Treasury said nearly £7 billion would be given to areas such as Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire for projects ranging from tram improvements to introducing London-style improvements in infrastructure, fares and services.

Andy Burnham has had his wish granted

The investment will be seen as a win for Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, who has been heavily lobbying the government to hand over the cash for his region to launch a London-style transport system.

Greater Manchester will be given £1.07 billion in next week’s Budget and spending review.

Elsewhere, there will be £830 million given to West Yorkshire, £570 million in South Yorkshire, £1.05 billion in the West Midlands, £310 million in Tees Valley, £540 million in the West of England and £710 million for the Liverpool City Region.

The Treasury said £1.2 billion will go towards transforming bus services to deliver London-style journey times, fares and number of services.

Mr Sunak said: “Great cities need great transport and that is why we’re investing billions to improve connections in our city regions as we level up opportunities across the country.

“There is no reason why somebody working in the North and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train to arrive in the morning compared to a commuter in the capital.

“This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance as we modernise our local transport networks so they are fit for our great cities and those people who live and work in them.”

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also receive additional funding through the Barnett formula.

Long-haul flights

Reports suggest the chancellor is looking to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD), which could result in more expensive long-haul flights.

The rise could see plane tickets to destinations such as Australia, South Africa and Japan become more expensive.

The cost of long-haul flights could rise

Currently APD is charged in two bands - journeys under 2,000 miles and journeys over 2,000 miles.

But a new third band could cover distances over 6,000 miles.

The Treasury revealed earlier this year it was considering raising taxes on flights to far-off destinations in a bid to 'make the polluter pay’, according to the Daily Mail.

Family hubs

Extra support for families will come in the form of a £500 million package from the government.

The chancellor is expected to announce a range of investments aimed at giving children the “best possible start in life”.

The funding includes around £80 million to create another 75 family hubs in local authorities across England. They are support centres for families to access services in one place.

A further £100 million will go towards supporting the mental health of expectant parents, while £120 million will be invested in other comprehensive family support programmes.

International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated today (Monday 11 October).
Funding aims to give children 'the best possible start in life', the government said

However, concerns have already been raised that the investment will not be enough.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said critical support is needed for nurseries, childminders and pre-schools, where there have been thousands of recent closures, and it is “frustrating” that they are not part of the proposals.

Meanwhile Labour called the package a “smokescreen” for the Conservatives’ “failure” to support families in the past.

Kate Green, shadow education secretary, said: “Family hubs are a sticking plaster for a fractured childcare and children services landscape.

“This supposed commitment rings hollow after 11 years of Conservative cuts have forced the closure of over 1,000 children’s centres, cutting off the early learning that sets children up for life."

Cultural sites

Museums and galleries in England will receive a boost of £850 million over three years to 'breathe life' back into cultural hotspots, the government has said.

The money will be used to restore and upgrade institutions such as London’s V&A museum, Tate Liverpool, the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, York’s National Railway Museum and the British Library site at Boston Spa in Yorkshire.

A total of £125 million will go towards helping build a new state of the art scientific research centre in Oxfordshire, which will be part of the Natural History Museum and will house 27 million specimens.

General view of Tate Liverpool's art exhibition of Liverpool NHS worker portraits, by New York artist Aliza Nisenbaum. The show features portraits and two large scale murals painted of key workers from NHS Merseyside.
Tate Liverpool is one of the venues set to benefit from the funding

Over £75 million will be spent to help 110 regional museums and libraries improve their buildings and level-up their digital facilities, the Treasury said.

Funding will also be given to the flagship High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme to help continue its mission to revive town centres across England.

A total of 67 highstreets are set to benefit – with local authorities using the money to regenerate and repair old buildings, transforming them into new homes, shops, work-places and community centres.

Veterans fund

Mr Sunak is expected to announce that £5 million will be put towards a new Veterans’ Health Innovation Fund.

Innovative surgery which allows artificial limbs to be permanently fixed to bones could be available for veterans through research grants handed out by the new fund.

The fund would be able to award research grants to develop new surgery techniques and treatment options for amputees and blast victims.

The Treasury said that between 2001 and March 2021 there were more than 300 UK service personnel whose injuries included a traumatic or surgical amputation as a result of sustained injuries in Afghanistan.

One in 10 serving military personnel was also seen by medics for a mental health-related reason last year, while the number of veterans entering psychological therapies on the NHS increased by around 45 per cent between 2014 and 2020.

It is hoped the new cash could fund research into new surgery techniques such as direct skeletal fixation, which enables artificial limbs to be permanently fixed to bones, removing the need to use traditional socket-based technology.

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