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FMB: House building 'stalling' over skills shortage

The chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders has said that George Osborne needs a "new generation of 'real' builders to make his vision for housing a reality".

We're already seeing housing developments starting to stall because the cost of hiring skilled tradespeople is threatening to make some sites simply unviable.

Unless we see a massive uplift in apprenticeship training in our industry, there won't be enough pairs of hands to deliver more housing on this scale.

– Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders

Police chiefs 'delighted' budgets won't be cut

The National Police Chiefs' Council, which represents the UK's chief police officers, says it is 'delighted' following the Chancellor's announcement ruling out any cuts in police budgets in England and Wales.


Shadow Chancellor: Britons will feel 'betrayed' by Chancellor's Spending Review

Britons will feel "betrayed" as George Osborne failed on promises made five years ago, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said in response to the chancellor's Autumn Statement and Spending Review in the Commons.

"We were promised that by today the deficit would be eliminated and debts would be under control and falling dramatically. "People put their trust in that commitment." He added: "After five years the deficit has not been eliminated and this year it's predicted to be over £70 billion. "Instead of taking five years, it's going to take 10."

– shadow chancellor John McDonnell

'No compensating hit' for tax credit U-turn, sources say

Sources at the Department for Work and Pensions have told ITV News that despite George Osborne's U-turn on his controversial tax credit plan, there will be no "compensating hit" elsewhere in its budget.

The Chancellor is instead simply "forgoing the savings", they added.

Poll: Chancellor scraps plans to cut tax credits

Chancellor George Osborne heads to Parliament. Credit: PA Wire

The Chancellor has announced that controversial plans to cut tax credits are to be scrapped altogether.

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No cuts to police budget 'at all', Osborne says

There will be no cuts to police budget 'at all', George Osborne announced.

Now is not the time for further police cuts.

Now is the time to back our police and give them the tools do the job.

I am today announcing there will be no cuts in the police budget at all.

There will be real terms protection for police funding. The police protect us, and we’re going to protect the police.

– George Osborne

London Help to Buy launched as Right to Buy extended

Tenants of five housing associations will be able to start applying to buy their own home as part of a pilot scheme extending Right to Buy from midnight, George Osborne announced.

A new scheme called London Help to Buy will also be launched, meaning Londoners with a five per cent deposit will be able to get an interest-free loan worth up to 40 per cent of the value of a newly-built home.

Public land suitable for 160,000 homes will be released, he added, to help stimulate the building industry as well as tackling the housing crisis.

Meanwhile, a three per cent higher Stamp Duty will be imposed on those buying second homes or buy-to-let properties from April next year.

That will raise almost a billion pounds by 2021, helping to fund some of the other changes, he said.

Old prison sell-off to fund nine new prisons

A sell-off of "old, Victorian" prisons will help fund the construction of nine new prisons, George Osborne has announced.

Old Victorian prisons in our cities that are not suitable for rehabilitating prisoners will be sold.

This will also bring long term savings and means we can spend over a billion pounds in this Parliament building nine new modern prisons.

Today, the transformation gets underway with the announcement the Justice Secretary has just made.

I can tell the House that Holloway Prison – the biggest women’s jail in Western Europe – will close.

In the future, women prisoners will serve their sentences in more humane conditions better designed to keep them away from crime.

– George Osborne
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