Login Register
 °

Autumn Statement 2013: “Britain's moving again; let's keep going”, declares Chancellor George Osborn

By amerrell  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

Comments (0)

Chancellor George Osborne seized on the improving economicoutlook to declare help for young people seeking work.

Promising a recovery for all, but warning hard won gainscould be easily lost, he announced a freeze on fuel duty next year and a cap onbusiness rates at two per cent from April 2004 and an additional £100m of bankfines to go to military and emergency services charities.

And as expected he gave married couples a boost by bringing in a £1,000tax allowance transfer.

Significantly for the working population there was the newsthat we will all have the reality of  working for longer sooner that we thought.

Government sources disclosed that people now in their 40s willnot get a state pension until they are 68. Those in their 30s will have to waituntil they are 69.

But he made a point of focusing on getting the economymoving by helping small business and young people.

Employers' national insurance contributions would be scrapped for theunder 21s, said Mr Osborne, calling it a "jobs tax" for 1.5 million workersunder 21.

"We're not going to leave young people behind as the economy grows.We are going to have a responsible recovery for all."

This was, of course, countered by the changes to the retirement age. Heconfirmed that the state pension age would rise to 68 in the mid 2030s and 69in the late 2040s.

According to the Treasury the delayed retirement dates willhelp save around £400 billion from the national pensions' bill over the next 50years.

Even before the Autumn Statement the leaked announcement drew criticismfrom unions claiming that Britons were being expected to work "until theydrop".

Stressing that there was little room for manoeuvre he declared "Britain'seconomic plan is working" but warned the "job is not yet done",adding that "more difficult decisions" would need to be taken.

The economic crash, he acknowled, was still affecting family budgets andstill a very real factor.

Underlining the impact of the recession he said GDP had fallen as aresult by 7.2 per cent rather than 6.3 per cent - the equivalent of £3,000 perhousehold and one of the sharpest falls globally.

"The hard work of the British people is paying off and we will notsquander their efforts", he said.

UK plc was, said the Chancellor, now growing faster than any otheradvanced economy.

Mr Osborne said the improving economic outlook meant borrowing would be£111 billion this year - £9 billion less than predicted at the time of theBudget in March.

Overall the Office for Budget Responsibility is now forecasting thatborrowing over the next five years would be £73 billion less than previouslythought with a "small cash surplus" by 2018/2019.

The Chancellor said the economy was expected to bounce back stronglywith the OBR forecasting growth this year of 1.4 per cent - more than doublethe forecast at the time of the Budget in March.

The improving economic outlook, he said, meant borrowing would be £111billion this year - £9 billion less than predicted at the time of the Budget inMarch.

Overall the Office for Budget Responsibility is now forecasting thatborrowing over the next five years would be £73 billion less than previouslythought with a "small cash surplus" by 2018/2019.

The Chancellor said the economy was expected to bounce back stronglywith the OBR forecasting growth this year of 1.4 per cent - more than doublethe forecast at the time of the Budget in March.

Mr Osborne announced a new cap from next year on welfare spending butsaid that state pensions would be excluded.

He promised a further £3 billion in savings in the public sector butsaid the NHS would be excluded and confirmed that funding would be made available for a programmeto upgrade school kitchens.

Those looking for work an aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English would berequired to undertake training in these skills or lose benefits, tostart a traineeship or take up work experience or community work after six months or facethe same sanction.

He announced an additional 30,000 student places next year, with the capon student numbers abolished altogether in 2015.

Mr Osborne said the improving economic outlook meant borrowing would be£111 billion this year - £9 billion less than predicted at the time of theBudget in March.

Overall the Office for Budget Responsibility is now forecasting thatborrowing over the next five years would be £73 billion less than previouslythought with a "small cash surplus" by 2018/2019.

The Chancellor said the economy was expected to bounce back stronglywith the OBR forecasting growth this year of 1.4 per cent - more than doublethe forecast at the time of the Budget in March.

"Britain's moving again; let's keep going," he declared, as he took his seat again shortly after noon.

Read more from Gloucester Citizen

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION