George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne is due to give his 2012 budget statement (Reuters)

Ahead of chancellor George Osborne's Budget statement, the UK's political, economic, and business commentators are lining up to put their two pence in to the debate.

Here's what some of them have to say...

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group which owns British Airways, wrote in the Telegraph that Britain is not open for business:

As our competitors move rapidly, what are we doing about growth? The government has endless policy reviews and consultation frameworks: there is the Strategy for Sustainable Growth; the Path to Strong Sustainable and Balanced Growth; and the Plan for Growth. It seems we are extremely good at growing plans, but not growth. Today's Budget needs to change that.

I was in China last week, and business leaders laughed when I told them the UK Government was pursuing a "balanced agenda for growth". They see a country that makes it almost impossible to do business. It is difficult and expensive to get visas; there are very few air links; and taxes are too high. They told me we would be better pursuing unbalanced growth over a balanced recession.

The Guardian's Polly Toynbee says Osborne should avoid one of the coalition government's favourite pieces of rhetoric:

Will he dare? When George Osborne stands at the dispatch box on Wednesday, will he have the nerve to say "We're all in this together"? If he cuts the top 50p rate, with unemployment rising towards 3 million, surely even he can't speak the words.

If he calls it a budget for "jobs and growth", that's no nearer the truth, but at least that is something he wants, even while refusing to will the means. But let's hear no "one nation" talk from a government that seems indifferent to how unfairly it distributes pain. Most measures will widen the gaps that make Britain one of the most unequal countries in the OECD.

Businesses are drowning in employment law and this is something that Osborne must address, argues the Daily Mail's James Slack:

After the blizzard of employment laws forced upon small and medium-sized firms under Labour, which are suffocating chances of economic growth, the Coalition promised to help Britain's small businesses.

David Cameron vowed to create a 'new economic dynamism' and decreed a 'forensic, relentless focus on growth'.

But with the Chancellor's third Budget today, the Government's rhetoric has yet to be matched by its actions.

An audit by the Mail reveals that ministers have supinely agreed to implement new regulations demanded by bureaucrats in Brussels, such as handing equal holiday and sick pay rights to agency workers - at a crippling cost to struggling firms of more than £1.5 billion.

Worse, they have also piled on new red-tape of their own, such as extra paternity rights, in a bid by Nick Clegg and David Cameron - both of whom went on paternity leave themselves after taking over the Government - to appear more 'family friendly'.

A populist voice of the masses, The Sun has used its leader column to call on Osborne to scrap the planned August hike of 3p on fuel duty:

Motorists are being priced off the roads as the Treasury takes an eye-watering 60p in every pound spent at the pumps.

The very least Mr Osborne can do is scrap the August tax hike.

What the British public really NEEDS is a duty CUT.

Privileged aristocrats like the ones that populate this government don't understand the difficulties faced by ordinary people. They don't have to worry about fuel or energy bills.

They know nothing about budgeting to put food on the table and struggling through to pay day.

These men drink bottles of wine that cost more than the average family's weekly shop.

The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire is calling Osborne a desperate failure:

The most over-inflated minister in a malfunctioning coalition, laughingly hailed by George's Gang as a financial genius and - this an even bigger rib-tickler - a political genius, is failing.

Failing not the challenges issued by Labour but failing the tests he set himself.

Osborne's failed his debt test, borrowing tens of billions of pounds more than Alistair Darling intended.

The Chancellor's failed to hit his austerity target, with deficit reduction cuts poised to continue to 2017 instead of ceasing in three years.

And he's failed to get the economy moving, to create his promised "March of the Makers". Osborne failed to "put fuel into the tank of Britain" when soaring fuel prices mean motorists struggle to fill up a family car, and the national economy stalls when it's not in reverse.

The strokes pulled today by the Tory golden boy with the wooden touch are the desperate acts of a desperate Chancellor.