Welfare cuts 'will hit millions'

Poor families would lose most from deeper cuts to the welfare budget if the Chancellor announces fresh austerity measures in the Autumn Statement, union leaders have warned.

A new study for the TUC showed that some households, including those where people are in work, could lose up to £2,000 a year.

Low income households could lose £700 a year, eight times more than the richest, the TUC said.

Two years of economic stagnation have left the Chancellor's austerity plan well off-track.

Deep spending cuts have killed off the recovery and risk causing permanent economic damage.

Faced with this bleak economic outlook, it would be completely wrong for the Chancellor to lash out at families by slashing vital benefits even more.

Families are already reeling from reductions in working tax credits and child benefit, and a fresh welfare raid will put an ever greater strain on their finances.

– TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber

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UK credit rating 'at risk'

The credit rating agency Fitch has warned that the Chancellor's confession during the Autumn Statement that he missed its debt target could threaten the UK's AAA rating. But George Osborne has downplayed the impact potential if that happened.