Autumn Statement - Live coverage - The Independent

Autumn Statement

George Osborne outlines his plans for the economy

  • The Chancellor took just over 45 minutes to deliver his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons. See below for our experts' analysis and links.
    * Autumn Statement AT A GLANCE
    * Amol Rajan: Nothing George Osborne said can mask his failure as Chancellor
    * Economy is healing, insists George Osborne
    * Osborne commits extra £1 billion for roads and a Tube line extension
    * Union leaders slam Osborne over 'wildly out of touch' Autumn Statement
    * George Osborne scraps 3p-a-litre fuel duty AGAIN
    * Scientists welcome extra £600m investment
    * Budget watchdog forecasts further public sector job cuts
    12/5/2012 1:21:55 PM
  • George Osborne: High Speed 2 rail link to be extended to North West and West Yorkshire, and Northern Line to be extended to Battersea.
    12/5/2012 1:01:39 PM
  • George Osborne: Funding to assist building of up to 120,000 homes.
    12/5/2012 1:01:49 PM
  • George Obsorne: Investment of £600 million in science, £270 million for further education colleges, and £1 billion for schools.
    12/5/2012 1:03:04 PM
  • Mr Osborne said the period of austerity would be extended by another year to 2017/18 - taking the squeeze on the public finances well into the next parliament.
    12/5/2012 1:03:24 PM
  • Fascinating that in his strongly-worded attack on the welfare budget, the Chancellor went hard at those at the top of the tree who are avoiding tax before going for those at the bottom. He has announced several new tax avoidance initiatives, and it's worth noting his tone closely resembles that of this weather-making column by Peter Oborne last August.
    12/5/2012 1:03:53 PM
  • George Osborne: £2bn a year to be raised from new measures to reduce tax avoidance.
    12/5/2012 1:04:15 PM
  • So Osborne will be going into the 2015 election promising three more years of austerity. Not a great selling point really #as2012
  • George Osborne promises additional spending of £77 million for HM Revenue and Customs to fight tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and multi-nationals.
    12/5/2012 1:06:04 PM
  • George Osborne: No new tax on property.
    12/5/2012 1:06:21 PM
  • George Osborne: Tax free allowance for pensions to be cut from 2014/15 from £1.5 million to £1.25 million over a lifetime. Annual allowance cut from £50,000 to £40,000, saving £1 billion.
    12/5/2012 1:07:09 PM
  • George Osborne: Basic state pension to rise by 2.5% next year to £110.15 a week.
    12/5/2012 1:09:07 PM
  • George Osborne: Overall ISA contribution limit uprated to £11,520 from next April.
    12/5/2012 1:09:31 PM
  • NIGEL MORRIS, Deputy Political Editor:
    George Osborne told MPs he was proud that the budget for international aid would reach the Government’s target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income next year.
    But there was a mild sting in the tale in an attempt to placate right-wing Tories opposed in principle to the spending as he reassured them that it would not rise above 0.7 per cent. (And if economic growth is lower than originally forecast, that will mean the developing world receiving slightly less cash than expected).
    12/5/2012 1:09:56 PM
  • George Osborne: Most working age benefits - including Jobs Seekers' Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support - to be uprated by 1% for the next three years.
    12/5/2012 1:10:30 PM
  • Chancellor announces new measures to save £1 billion over four years from fraud, error and debt in the tax credit system.
    12/5/2012 1:11:07 PM
  • George Osborne: Local housing allowance rates to rise in line with existing policy next April but increases in the following two years capped at 1%.
    12/5/2012 1:11:47 PM
  • George Osborne: Child benefit to rise by 1% for two years from April 2014.
    12/5/2012 1:12:04 PM
  • An update, then, on a key faultline in the Coalition. Vince Cable and Nick Clegg said at the last election that they believed in higher property taxes - not just higher council tax, but a new mansion tax. Today the Chancellor could hardly have been more emphatic: there will be no new property tax. Indeed, he seemed to rule it out for the foreseeable future. Prime Minister David Cameron is known to be strongly against greater property taxes. Osborne's argument is that it would be ineffective and hard to enforce, raising very little dosh. That offers the Lib Dems a strong dividing line going into the next election.
    12/5/2012 1:12:32 PM
  • More details on those taxes for higher earners: The chancellor says tax relief on the largest pensions will be reduced from 2014-15. The lifetime allowance will be reduced from £1.5m to £1.25m and the annual allowance from £50,000 to £40,000 - a move widely predicted. This will save £1bn a year apparently.
    12/5/2012 1:13:14 PM
  • Mr Osborne says the changes to welfare will save £3.7bn by 2015/16
    12/5/2012 1:13:17 PM
  • George Osborne: Threshold for 40% rate of income tax to rise by 1% in 2014 and 2015 from £41,450 to £41,865 and then £42,285.
    12/5/2012 1:13:36 PM
  • OLIVER WRIGHT, Whitehall Editor:
    So far Osborne’s statement is going pretty much as expected. The amount anyone can put into their pension tax free every year will fall from £50,000 to £40,000 while most benefits will only rise by one per cent rather than the rate of inflation. This will go on for three years. It’s all part of his strategy to reclaim the ‘we’re all in this together’ mantra. What is interesting is that he is going to increase the tax threshold by one per cent a year – it still means more people will be drawn in but not as bad as has been when it has hardly moved at all.
    12/5/2012 1:13:57 PM
  • George Osborne: Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount to increase by 1% over the same period, reaching £11,100 and Inheritance Tax nil-band rate to rise from £325,000 now to £329,000 in 2015/16.
    12/5/2012 1:15:32 PM
  • George Osborne: Temporary doubling of the Small Business Rate relief scheme to be extended by a further year to April 2014.
    12/5/2012 1:15:42 PM
  • ANDREW GRICE, Political Editor:
    Key trade off between two Coalition parties is finally revealed. Most working age benefits will rise by only 1 per cent rather than inflation for next three years. Lib Dems beat off George Osborne's plan for a total freeze. In return, pensions tax relief reduced for rich. But Tories have blocked Lib Dem plan for mansion tax or council tax hike for expensive homes. Score draw. Tories 1, Lib Dems 1
    12/5/2012 1:16:42 PM
  • George Osborne: Child benefit to rise by 1% for two years from April 2014.
    12/5/2012 1:16:46 PM
  • Some key numbers so far: £1bn on improving roads, £600mln for research, £1bn for schools. 1% cuts to departmental budgets. And no property tax.
    12/5/2012 1:16:56 PM
  • George Osborne: Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount to increase by 1% over the same period, reaching £11,100 and Inheritance Tax nil-band rate to rise from £325,000 now to £329,000 in 2015/16.
    12/5/2012 1:17:02 PM
  • George Osborne: Gas Strategy includes consultation on incentives for shale gas.
    12/5/2012 1:17:17 PM
  • George Osborne: The main rate of Corporation Tax cut by 1% to 21% in April 2014.
    12/5/2012 1:18:47 PM
  • George Osborne: The Bank Levy Rate will be increased to 0.130% next year.
    12/5/2012 1:19:01 PM
  • George Osborne: The 3p-per-litre planned rise in Fuel Duty cancelled.
    12/5/2012 1:19:58 PM
  • Economy is healing, insists George Osborne
    12/5/2012 1:21:43 PM
  • Ed Balls now responding to the Chancellor's statement.
    12/5/2012 1:23:23 PM
  • MICHAEL McCARTHY, Environment Editor:
    Britain will have a Gas Strategy, Osborne announces, to develop the new “unconventional” fuel of shale gas, recovered by the controversial technology of fracking. Consultation on tax incentives to produce shale gas begins today. Environmentalists won’t like this one bit.
    12/5/2012 1:23:49 PM
  • Shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the Commons today's statement reveals "the true scale of this Government's economic failure'', with the economy contracting and the national deficit rising.
    12/5/2012 1:25:30 PM
  • Osborne's dash for gas is fracking disaster - will bust climate targets and cost far more than offshore wind
  • NIGEL MORRIS, Deputy Political Editor:
    You might not have heard of him, but the backbench Tory MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon, had a strong influence on George Osborne’s autumn statement.
    He has relentlessly campaigned against increases to fuel duties, warning that the cost of petrol topped the concerns of his constituents in the Essex new town.
    When the Chancelllor announced that the planned 3p rise in duty planned for January was being cancelled, it was in no small part to Mr Halfon’s lobbying.
    12/5/2012 1:28:20 PM
  • Ed Balls: "National debt is rising, it is not falling," says ordinary people are being hit hardest.
    12/5/2012 1:28:22 PM
  • ANDREW GRICE, Political Editor:
    What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago, the Treasury told us that the Department of International Development would not be affected by cuts in Whitehall admin budgets. Today George Osborne announced a cut - of £430m by 2014-15 - in planned overseas aid spending so the UK does not exceed the international target of devoting 0.7 per cent of gross national income to it. Trying to have it both ways?
    12/5/2012 1:30:41 PM
  • Ed Balls complains at what he says is a lack of detail in Autumn Statement: "The chancellor failed to give us the cash figures adjusted for borrowing for this year, next year, the year after," he says.
    12/5/2012 1:32:15 PM
  • Ed Balls: Chancellor was expecting 4.6% growth but has achieved only 0.6% growth, says Britain "falling behind in the global race".
    12/5/2012 1:33:05 PM
  • Ed Balls: Chancellor cannot keep blaming high oil prices and the eurozone for Britain's economic woes.
    12/5/2012 1:34:19 PM
  • George Osborne "is not waving, he's drowning", Ed Balls says.
    12/5/2012 1:34:49 PM
  • Ed Balls congratulated Chancellor for 'taking our advice' and stopping the planned fuel duty rise.
    12/5/2012 1:37:18 PM
  • Ed Balls: "He's failed on growth and deficit and what's his answer? More of the same."
    12/5/2012 1:37:45 PM
  • Reaction to Autumn Statement: Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said George Osborne's plans were "miles off course".
    12/5/2012 1:39:10 PM
  • Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "Osborne is in denial that the economy is making progress and that the cuts are hitting people in a fair way."
    12/5/2012 1:39:43 PM
  • Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "Today's statement is more proof that the Chancellor neither knows nor cares about what ordinary working people in this country are going through. "
    12/5/2012 1:40:29 PM
  • Amol Rajan: Nothing George Osborne said in his Autumn Statement today can mask his failure as Chancellor
    12/5/2012 1:41:26 PM
  • Autumn Statement AT A GLANCE
    12/5/2012 1:43:18 PM
  • Ed Balls: It is "the longest double-dip recession since the Second World War now followed by the slowest recovery in the last 100 years".
    12/5/2012 1:43:42 PM
  • Ed Balls on tax credit changes: "They won't just hit those looking for work. The majority of those affected by his changes to tax credits are in work. Millions of families struggling to do the right thing are being hit."
    12/5/2012 1:44:57 PM
  • To recap: Growth forecast for 2012 downgraded to minus 0.1%. Austerity extended by a year to 2017/18. OBR says government is on course to meet its target of balancing budget over five-year period.
    12/5/2012 1:47:50 PM
  • ANDREW GRICE, Political Editor:
    The Treasury admits that an extra 400,000 people will be dragged into the 40p tax rate during the five-year parliament. A further squeeze on the already squeezed middle.
    12/5/2012 1:59:40 PM
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