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So what exactly will Alistair Darling announce this week?

There are many rumours in the market suggesting what may or may not happen this week but the favourites seem to be: -

A three-month grace period for homeowners who are facing repossession.

An additional rebate of £120 for each basic rate taxpayer.

A slackening of the timescale for small businesses to pay corporation tax, VAT and national insurance.

A delay in the introduction of the announced 1% increase in tax on small business profits.

A delay on increasing vehicle exercise duty on older more inefficient cars.

A tax exemption on foreign dividends for larger firms based in the UK - which is an attempt to stop the flow of business head offices out of the UK.

If the newspapers are correct, as they seem privy to private leaks from the Treasury, it seems as though all of the above inducements will be announced this week. Whether these will be enough to grab the attention of the UK consumer and increase activity in the retail market remains to be seen.

Whatever the government announces tomorrow there is a feeling in the background that any giveaways today will be paid back and more over the next few years.

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