UK Treasury chief to unveil economic plans ahead of next year's elections

LONDON – Britain’s Treasury chief will be setting out the Conservative-led government’s spending plans ahead of next year’s election, trumpeting encouraging economic numbers in one of the final economic statements before the vote.

George Osborne is likely to play down his failure to eliminate the budget deficit and emphasize growth as he outlines his policies in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday. Experts are predicting that the Office of Budget Responsibility will raise its prediction for U.K. growth this year to over 3 per cent.

Osborne tweeted ahead of the announcement: “I’ll set out how we will secure the economy & stay on course to prosperity.”

The statement is expected to deliver on funding for road projects — including a tunnel under Stonehenge. He is also likely to offer funding to bolster flood defences.