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Wednesday's agenda - Budget 2014: CBI calls on Chancellor to support investment

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Chancellor George Osborne and his famous red briefcase make their annual appearance in Wednesday’s Budget.

The government has already unveiled plans to increase the childcare subsidy to up to £2,000 per child from September next year in a bid to win the family vote.

That's an improvement from last year's proposals, which were worth £1,200 a year. 

Other moves ahead of the announcement, which have trickled out include the construction of Britain's first garden city since Welwyn and an extension to the Help to Buy scheme.

It will have a very different feel to last year’s Budget when the economy was still very much on the rocks. 

That is likely to mean fewer changes this time round. Some commentators expect it to be a relatively quiet affair with Osborne keeping his powder dry till the next 2015 budget - ahead of the May General Election.

Business lobby group CBI called on the Chancellor to boost investment and exports to build on the recovery and rebalance the economy.

Among the CBI’s proposals are an energy package encouraging investment in generation to help households manage energy costs, an extension of the Annual Investment Allowance beyond 2015, and tax breaks for retail investors to boost equity investment.

CBI Director-General John Cridland said: “We need the Chancellor to use his budget to support business investment and encourage firms to get on planes to sell their wares around the globe by getting behind our exporters. This Budget really is make or break.

“Extending the Annual Investment Allowance will encourage businesses to invest in plant and machinery, while boosting equity finance will help smaller firms grow.”

Last year’s Budget saw favourable tax breaks for companies on the hunt for shale gas in the UK to encourage investment in Britain’s energy sector.

That has helped the share prices of such companies as IGas Energy (LON:IGAS) and Egdon Resources (LON:EDR).

Significant announcements expected (excluding Budget):

Companies: Interims: Monitise (LON:MONI), Galliford Try (LON:GFRD). Trading statements: Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES), Tertiary Minerals (LON:TYM)

The following widely held stocks are trading in ex-dividend form on Wednesday: Rank Group. PZ Cussons, AstraZeneca, Carnival, GlaxoSmithKline 

Economic: UK: Average Earnings, BoE MPC Minutes, Unemployment, US: Reserve Interest Rate Decision.

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