Today’s Budget speech will limit stamp duty for first time buyers to purchases over a quarter of a million pounds, the BBC believes.
The final Budget statement before the election, which starts at 12.30pm, is also thought to include a phased rise in fuel duty.
The Budget is unlikely to contain any big giveaways, given the parlous state of the country’s deficit and Darling’s need to do something about it.
Other predictions for the Budget include moves to force state-owned banks to increase lending by more than £80bn, a crackdown on tax evasion by wealthy investors and a green investment fund to finance projects such as wind farms and renewable energy.
There has also been speculation that Darling might choose to provide extra help for young unemployed people.