The CBI has been crying out for real action on infrastructure, investment and exports. £5 billion on near-term infrastructure, like the tube to Battersea, half a billion a year tax relief for small firms, and £1.5 billion extra export support should boost investment and create jobs.
– CBI STATEMENT
The Government now has everything to prove by delivering. Businesses need to see the Chancellor's words translated into building sites on the ground. It is no surprise that after a difficult year the economic realities dictate that austerity and debt reduction will take longer.
The Chancellor has stuck to his guns on deficit reduction - avoiding deeper cuts or more borrowing in order to retain international credibility.
- The Office for Budget Responsibility says unemployment will be higher in 2013 and 2014 than it is now - peaking at 8.3%
- It also says inflation should fall gradually over the next couple of years, but higher than the OBR had previously forecast.
- The OBR says the deficit should be down to £8 billion by 2017/18 - but could they be too optimistic?
By 2017/18 there will be 1.1m fewer public sector jobs. But the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts 2.4m additional private sector jobs.
A key point today - borrowing is down, which includes counting the proceeds of the 4G auction that hasn't yet happened. Take out the £3.5bn and it's gone up.
The Government will take twice as much from this tax hit on pensions as it will from the increase in the bank levy. That cannot be fair, and will only undermine confidence in pension saving.
The Chancellor is wrong to say that the changes will only affect those at the top of the wage tree. Osborne claims he is taking a carrot away from the rich, but he is also beating many middle class savers with a stick. Middle managers in the public and private sectors will get caught in the net.
– National Association of Pension Funds
People in a final salary pension who have worked loyally for the same employer for years and then get a pay rise, or a promotion, could end up with a tax bill of several thousand pounds. This is a charge just for saving into a pension. The self-employed and those nearing retirement desperately trying to catch up by boosting their pension are also at risk.
The Chancellor managed a smile as he left the Treasury this morning, but there wouldn't be much to joke about in the message he was about to deliver to the country.
George Osborne had the unenviable task of adding a positive sheen to the announcement that there would be more austerity.
Romilly Weeks reports.
The Army is handing back £650m it does not need to spend in Afghanistan.
The Government needs to pass legislation to set the one percent rise in benefits over three years (rather than have it set annually by the Work and Pensions Secretary) as it would otherwise be subject to judicial review.
The Uprating Bill will be introduced by Christmas. There will be a second reading in the New Year.
This means there will be a vote - Labour will have to decide whether or not to support it.
The Treasury has produced a map which shows how some of the measures in the Autumn Statement will affect each area of the country. See the map in full here.
The 4G sale will bag £3.5bn for Government coffers, the Treasury table shows