Live updates

  1. National

Benefits to be stopped for people out of the country long-term

Housing benefit and pension credit payments will be stopped to people who have left the country for more than a month, George Osborne has announced.

In addition, he said, the rate of housing benefit in the social sector will be capped at the relevant local housing allowance – in other words, the same rate paid to those in the private rented sector who receive the same benefit.

This will apply to new tenancies only.

  1. National

Tax credit changes to be scrapped

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that planned changes to tax credits will be scrapped.

I’ve had representations that these changes to tax credits should be phased in. I’ve listened to the concerns. I hear and understand them.

And because I’ve been able to announce today an improvement in the public finances, the simplest thing to do is not to phase these changes in, but to avoid them altogether.

Tax credits are being phased out anyway as we introduce universal credit. What that means is that the tax credit taper rate and thresholds remain unchanged.

– George Osborne



Closure of town's last bank prompts Alston public meeting

Barclays Credit: PA

A public meeting is being held in Alston this evening to discuss the closure of the town's last remaining bank.

Barclays is due to shut its branch on the 4th of December, although it may leave an ATM in the town.

It will mean that no banks will remain, but the Post Office will be able to provide banking and loan services.

The nearest banks will all be around half an hour's drive away, at Penrith, Brampton or Haltwhistle.

Many rural branches across Cumbria have closed in recent years as people use traditional bank buildings less and do more online banking.

Workington Railway Exhibition attracts hundreds

Hundreds of model train enthusiasts are expected to attend the annual Workington Railway Exhibition this weekend.

Aimed at everyone young to old, from Thomas the Tank Engine lovers to those who build replica railways. There is something for everyone at the event at the Energus building in Lilyhall.

On Sunday live steam train rides on a specially laid track outside the venue will be available for everybody.

Hundreds attend the annual Workington Railway Exhibition Credit: ITV Border
The Workington Railway Exhibition attracted all ages Credit: ITV Border

Northern Powerhouse can 'unlock significant growth' in Cumbria

The Northern Powerhouse minister James Wharton has been speaking to businesses in Carlisle.

He is responsible for attracting more investment to northern cities, and he's been explaining how Cumbrian businesses could benefit over the coming years:

I think devolution has the potential to unlock significant economic growth in places like Cumbria.

It's already doing a lot of exciting things with the nuclear and pharmaceutical industry, and tourism.

There's real potential in Cumbria to go further and devolution can give local people what they need to control that process and deliver on that potential."

– James Wharton MP, Northern Powerhouse Minister

'Northern powerhouse' project leader visits Carlisle

Carlisle Credit: ITV Border

The minister responsible for attracting more investment and business to northern cities, is speaking to local companies in Carlisle today.

James Wharton is leading the Government's so-called 'Northern Powerhouse' project.

He'll be explaining how Cumbrian businesses stand to benefit over the coming years.

Load more updates