JEREMY Hunt is odds-on to spare drivers the planned 12p rise in fuel duty in the Budget today.

The Chancellor could also hand billions in childcare support to work- ing mums and dads.

Families struggling with their heating bills will have three more months of average bills capped at £2,500.

And wealthy workers will be allowed to keep more of their pension contributions tax-free.

Hopes are growing that The Sun’s 12-year-long Keep It Down campaign to freeze petrol and diesel taxes will achieve another major victory.

Mr Hunt is poised to defy Treasury officials and wonks by keeping last year’s 5p cut in duty in place — as well as abandoning the automatic fuel duty escalator inflation rise.

It would be a £6billion boost to Britain’s truckers, drivers and commuters who are already facing record prices at the pump.

However, Mr Hunt has resisted calls to reverse plans to raise corporation tax and will not touch personal taxes as he vows not to rock the boat in a steady-as-we-go Budget.

And there will be a big blow for smokers who face a hefty rise in the price of tobacco, tagged to inflation.

Mr Hunt wants to get millions of people off their sofas and into jobs.

Benefits reform and pensions allowances will be key planks of his update on the national finances.

Last night, there was speculation he could unleash up to £4billion for up to 30 hours of free childcare for one and two-year-olds to try get parents back to work quicker.

Mr Hunt is determined to boost workforce participation, targeting the over-50s, the long-term sick and disabled, as well as benefits claimants.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics yesterday showed the number of people off work due to long-term sickness has hit a record level, with 2.52million people at home.

Meanwhile, the amount people can add to their pension without being taxed is set to rise from £1.07million to closer to £1.8million.

In particular, Mr Hunt hopes it will persuade doctors not to retire early as they can save more into their retirement pots tax-free.

He will be delivering his first Budget since becoming Chancellor in October, branding his announcements a “Budget for growth”.

And he will add: “Not just growth from emerging out of a downturn.

But 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.”