What the Budget must do above all is to explain how Britain will get back onto a stable financial footing in the medium term – in short, how to reduce the massive Government borrowing to a manageable level by no later than 2015. Let’s hope we do not get another disappointment like the pointless 2.5 per cent VAT cut we had in the Chancellor’s mini-budget in November. I expect they will try to put off the tough decisions until after the General Election.
Conservatives are still calling for more help for businesses and more skills training. Companies need to be able to borrow money responsibly and the Government has still not implemented a proper Business Loan Guarantee Scheme as Conservatives have urged right from the start. Job losses have a direct impact on training for the future, many apprentices now face the sack. We cannot afford to lose these skills for the future. The Government must come up with a package to help young people obtain the skills they will need and to help the apprentices, as Conservatives have pledged. We need to improve job skills during the recession so that our labour force is ready and able to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.