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IFS: 'Unsurprising' Britain worse off after recession

IFS: Govt's books improved more by cuts than tax rises

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has presented its analysis of Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

ITV News economics editor Richard Edgar reports:

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Osborne defends raising state pension age

Chancellor George Osborne Credit: PA

Britain's state pension system faced collapse if action had not been taken to raise the age at which people will be able to retire, George Osborne has claimed.

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced the state pension age would be raised to 68 in the mid-2030s and 69 in the late-2040s.

"The reason we do this is because our country is getting older and we want to go on being able to afford really good pensions for people. There is not a bottomless pit of money," he told BBC1's Breakfast.

Osborne 'does not accept' voters are £1,600 worse off

The Chancellor has rejected Labour's accusation that voters were £1,600 worse off a year under the Coalition, insisting the austerity programme had kept interest rates down and allowed him to freeze petrol duty and to increase the personal tax allowance.

"Ultimately, the folk who are just about to go out to work, they understand that having a job and having low interest rates are incredibly important to them and their families," George Osborne told Daybreak.

The Coalition was able to "take further action" to keep the lost of living down by freezing fuel duty, increase the personal tax free allowance and take young people out of jobs tax.

How the Autumn Statement affects voters

ITV News met a group of voters to find out how the Autumn Statement will affect them:

Stay-at-home father Joshua Lovelee and 17-month-old Evie

Josh says a fuel duty cut won't help them much but any help with energy bills is really appreciated though. He's pleased with the introduction of flexible maternity/paternity leave and would like help for flexible childcare when he goes back to work.

Stay-at-home father Joshua Lovelee and 17-month-old Evie. Credit: ITV News

Jordan Withy, 19, works in Crucial BMX

Jordan will have to work for the next 51 years to draw a state pension.

Jordan Withy, 19, works in Crucial BMX. Credit: ITV News

Don Cameron of Cameron Balloons

They export 85% of their business and he said the changes are just "tinkering" and he would like to see favourable exchange rates to help businesses.

Don Cameron of Cameron Balloons. Credit: ITV News

Youth unemployment 'crisis must be tackled'

A trade union warned that "effective and immediate action is needed to tackle the youth unemployment crisis". Credit: PA Wire

Effective and immediate action is needed to "tackle the youth unemployment crisis", a trade union warned after George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Almost a million young people are currently looking for work and will have been hoping for much more than the Chancellor offered them today.

“While it’s good news that employers are to be encouraged to provide more apprenticeships and that they won’t have to pay national insurance contributions for some young people in the future, effective and immediate action is needed to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

“Unfortunately all the government has to offer is new measures to make young people work for free, when what is really needed is a job guarantee."

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Tackling deficit and driving growth 'is working'

We have always advocated the dual approach of tackling the deficit and driving growth – the OBR forecasts confirm it is working. Let’s stick with what works.

The pressure on the high street has been recognised; the 2% cap on business rates and discount for very small businesses are positive, as is the reoccupation relief.

Abolishing a jobs tax on employing young people under 21 will make a real difference and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.

But it was a missed opportunity not to support our hard-pressed energy intensive businesses which are also struggling with rising costs, and the package on housing supply could have been more ambitious.

– John Cridland, Confederation of British Industry Director-General
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