Autumn Statement

George Osborne has delivering his latest assessment of the state of the economy in the Autumn Statement, announcing that growth forecasts for the upcoming years are "significantly up".

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Full Report: The Scottish Governement's reaction to the Autumn Statement

The coalition Government in Westminster says the Autumn Statement hands Scotland an extra £308 million in the next two years. But the Nationalist Scottish Government says that doesn't make up for £3.1 billion of previous cuts.

SNP ministers are under opposition pressure to spend the extra cash on their flagship policy of extra childcare.

Our Political Editor Peter MacMahon got this reaction at Holyrood today:

Full Report: How will the Autumn Statement affect you?

Chancellor George Osbourne's had good news about our economy in his Autumn Statement today but said the job is not finished yet - and the decisions he announced will affect us all.

The state pension is to rise by £2.95 from next April. But younger people will work for longer. The pension age is increasing to 68 and then 69 sooner than planned - and there will be no rise in fuel duty in September 2014.

Our reporter Matthew Taylor has been speaking to families and businesses to find out how they think the Chancellor's statement affects their lives:


Scottish Government crunch Autumn Statement numbers

Scotland's Finance Secretary says Scotland has already suffered £3.1bn in cuts as a result of the George Osborne's Autumn Statement

John Swinney claims there will be £4bn more of cuts if Scotland votes against independence.

But, Osborne said there would be more money for Scotland.

Mr Swinney disagrees:

"It is ludicrous for Westminster to claim increased funding for Scotland when today's announcement does not make up for the ground lost by cuts announced earlier this year."

– John Swinney, Scottish Finance Secretary

Mr Swinney also attacked the rise in the pension age proposed by the Chancellor.

The Finance Secretary said that if Scotland becomes independent the Scottish Government will review the proposed pension age increase to 67.

"The SNP aims to make sure the pension age in Scotland is fit for Scotland's people rather than the Westminster Treasury."

– John Swinney, Scottish Finance Secretary

And while the SNP was crunching the numbers, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats at Holyrood stepped up the pressure on them to use the new money for childcare.

For more news on the Autumn Statement you can read the blog by our Political Editor Peter MacMahon.

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Autumn Statement headline announcements

  • Growth forecasts are "significantly up" in the largest improvement at any Budget or Autumn Statement for 14 years, with UK growing faster than any other major economy.
  • The state pension will rise by £2.95 a week from next April. People now in their 40s will receive a state pension at 68. Those in their 30s will be 69.
  • Financial resources will be provided to fund expansion of free school meals to all school children in reception, year one and year two.
  • The fuel duty rise for next year has been cancelled.
  • Plans to increase train fares by 1% above inflation has been cancelled.


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Statement a 'sobering reminder' about deficit

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement won the support from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Today's Autumn Statement represents steady progress, with a range of announcements that address members' concerns in the cost of doing business, with action on business rates and confirmation that next year's fuel duty rise will be cancelled.

The statement is a sobering reminder about the scale of the deficit the country faces and the tough choices which need to be made.

We therefore welcome the use of what spare resources the Chancellor could find to focus tax cuts on encouraging firms to take on younger workers, which must be an overriding priority.

– John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
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