Jeremy Hunt is to unveil a “Budget for growth” designed to provide for the health service, pupils and pensioners as he seeks to silence critics in his own party.
The chancellor will say his measures go beyond helping Britain emerge from its brush with recession.
Instead, he will promise “long-term, sustainable, healthy growth that pays for our NHS and schools, finds good jobs for young people, provides a safety net for older people – all whilst making our country one of the most prosperous in the world”.
Mr Hunt is under pressure from supporters of ousted prime minister Liz Truss, who backed her focus on growth to revive the economy. The newly formed Conservative Growth Group, which claims it has 55 Tory MPs, is trying to put pressure on the government from the backbenches.
In his first regular Budget since being appointed, Mr Hunt will pledge to remove obstacles to investment, help get hundreds of thousands of people back to work and harness “British ingenuity” to make the UK a science and tech “superpower”.
Among his announcements are expected to be moves to boost the allowance on tax-free pension savings, blamed for convincing many older workers that they might as well retire.
He is also expected to offer help for millions of households by extending the energy price guarantee, which limits energy bills for a typical household to £2,500, for three months, and to freeze fuel duty at a cost of billions of pounds.
Mr Hunt is also expected to make announcements on benefits reform as part of his “back to work” Budget.
But he is predcited to resist calls from Conservative backbenchers to go further on tax cuts, instead pressing ahead with plans to increase corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from April.
He has been given good news on the public finances in recent weeks, with lower than expected borrowing figures and a recent drop in wholesale energy prices.
But he has emphasised how the government must take “difficult decisions” following the short-lived premiership of Ms Truss and her government’s disastrous mini-Budget, which offered tax cuts to high earners.
Mr Hunt is keen to encourage the over-50s, the long-term sick and disabled, and benefits claimants back into the workplace. He has already announced he is to axe the system used to assess eligibility for sickness benefits.
Wednesday’s Budget is also set to see the so-called “pre-payment premium” outlawed for energy customers from July.
Labour said the Budget is an opportunity to show “real ambition” after years of “managed decline”.
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “It’s a chance for them to recognise the huge promise and potential of Britain and get us growing again.”