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Autumn Statement and Spending Review

Chanceller George Osborne

The Chancellor will present his Autumn Statement and Spending Review to the House of Commons later today.

George Osborne is expected to outline plans to build 400,000 new homes in England as well as billions of pounds of cuts .

A wide range of issues will be covered in the mini-budget, including pensions, housing and defence. And a key part of Mr Osborne's speech will be how he intends to push on with plans to reform tax credits.

Thomas Cook reveals profits for first time in five years

Making a profit

Beleaguered holiday firm Thomas Cook - heavily criticised following the deaths of two children from Wakefield on a holiday in Corfu - has posted its first annual bottom line profit for five years.

This is despite a £130 million sales hit from the Tunisian beach and hotel terrorist attacks in June.

The group said it had been a year of "considerable challenges" after coming under fire for its handling of the deaths of Bobby and Christ Shepherd. They died after being overcome from fumes from a faulty boiler at their holiday home on Corfu.

Christi and Bobby Shepherd

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said the group had "confronted its mistakes" following the deaths of the children.

Thomas Cook posted profits after tax of £19 million - its first positive profit after tax since 2010 - while underlying earnings rose 11% to £310 million. But it said the suspension of holidays to Tunisia cost the group £130 million in sales, with underlying earnings impacted by around £22 million.

The group said the new financial year had got off to a good start despite cancelling its flights to Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt after the downing of a Russian passenger plane last month, while Tunisia holidays also remain suspended for most markets.


Union: Tax credit cuts could cost region over £300m

The economy in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire could lose £332m a year if planned tax credit cuts go ahead, according to the trade union Unison.

A plan to scrap tax credits was blocked in the House of Lords Credit: PA

More than a quarter of a million working families in the region receive tax credits from the government.

Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce his autumn spending review later today.

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