As George Osborne promises a ‘recovery for all’, what do you think of the government’s Autumn Statement?

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement to MPs in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA Wire Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement to MPs in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Thursday, December 5, 2013
12:53 PM

Chancellor George Osborne promised a “recovery for all” as he announced a boost for jobless youngsters seeking work.

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls reacts as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne responds to the opposition statement following the delivery of the Autumn Statement by George Osborne in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA WireShadow Chancellor Ed Balls reacts as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne responds to the opposition statement following the delivery of the Autumn Statement by George Osborne in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Delivering his annual Autumn Statement, he seized on the improving economic outlook to declare that he was scrapping employers’ national insurance contributions for the under 21s.

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

He said the national insurance “jobs tax” for 1.5 million workers under 21 would be scrapped.

But he also warned that those same young people would have to work longer as he confirmed that the state pension age would rise to 68 in the mid 2030s and 69 in the late 2040s.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne responds to the opposition statement following the delivery of the Autumn Statement by George Osborne in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA WireChancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne responds to the opposition statement following the delivery of the Autumn Statement by George Osborne in the House of Commons, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 5, 2013. See PA story BUDGET Statement. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

The announcement has already drawn criticism with unions claiming that Britons were being expected to work “until they drop”.

The Chancellor declared that “Britain’s economic plan is working” but as he outlined plans to extend the retirement age for millions, he warned that the “job is not yet done”.

He spoke of “more difficult decisions” and acknowledged that the effects of the economic crash on family budgets were still being felt.

But he pledged: “The hard work of the British people is paying off and we will not squander their efforts.”

Reaction from Labour party

Chancellor George Osborne is being forced to borrow more money than Labour did to pay for his economic failure, Ed Balls said today.

Mr Balls said the Government had borrowed more in the last three years than Labour did during the 13 years the last administration was in power.

Turning to Mr Osborne in the House of Commons, the shadow chancellor said: “As for your promise to balance the books by 2015, didn’t you confirm today that in 2015 you are not balancing the books, you are borrowing £79 billion?

“For all your smoke and mirrors, you are borrowing £198 billion more than you planned in 2010. More borrowing to pay for three years of economic failure, more borrowing in just three years under this Chancellor than under the last government in 13 years.”

He revealed that the recession had been even deeper than feared - with GDP down by 7.2% rather than 6.3% - the equivalent of £3,000 per household and one of the sharpest falls globally.

But he said that UK plc was now growing faster than any other advanced economy.

He sat down to Tory cheers declaring: “Britain’s moving again; let’s keep going.”

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Mr Osborne of being in “complete denial”. He said living standards for families were falling “year on year on year”.

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

Overall the Office for Budget Responsibility is now forecasting that borrowing over the next five years would be £73 billion less than previously thought with a “small cash surplus” by 2018/2019.

The Chancellor said the economy was expected to bounce back strongly with the OBR forecasting growth this year of 1.4% - more than double the forecast at the time of the Budget in March.

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

He also promised a further £3 billion in savings in the public sector but said the NHS would be excluded.

He announced £1 billion in loans to unblock housing developments in Manchester, Leeds and elsewhere.

He also confirmed that funding would be made available for a programme to upgrade school kitchens.

He confirmed that job seekers aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English would be required to undertake training in these skills or lose their benefits, and to start a traineeship, work experience or community work after six months or face the same sanction.

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

The Chancellor confirmed the widely-trailed cap in increases in business rates at 2% from April 2014.

He also said £1,000 would be knocked off the bill for small businesses in the UK’s High Streets.

He said fuel duty would be frozen again next year and claimed that the Government had knocked £11 off a tank full of fuel through its restrictions on the levy, which was designed to increase every year.

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

For a special on what the Autumn Statement means for you and the region see tomorrow’s paper.

15 comments

  • How can it work when the tax take nowhere meets the outgoings? Let's get real, this recession is set to last for decades. There is probably likely to be somewhat of a boom at some point, that is followed by an almighty bust again. Things just don't add up, yes we are well and truly up the swannee without a paddle and no one has a Scobie, what to do about it.

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    John L Norton

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • Ed Balls can say what he likes - he's no more qualified to run the economy than anyone else. The country's finances are in a mess after 13 years of spend-spend-spend. Now's the time to pay the price, so whoever got in power in 2010 was going to get a kicking as they tried to get the economy back on track. The recession is a fact of life for the next decade, and measures have to be taken to reduce the amount the government spends. If your household bills are more than your income, do you go out and spend more or do you find ways to save? You cannot spend your way out of debt.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • The people of this country are seen as merely the slaves of the rich, nothing more nothing less. Everything that has been built up with our money like the utilities and so has been sold off at rock bottom prices to the money people. Then when they get into trouble, like the banks, they take our money to bail them out, now we have nothing left they want us to work until we drop. Some of us spend to bulk of our lives to buy a piece of land just big enough to string a washing line out, yet despite paying taxes all our life they nick it and sell it to pay for our care, it stinks it really does.

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    John L Norton

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • Osborne should stick to what he is qualified to speak about. History, for that he has a degree. A recovery for all? Does that include all the disabled that were persecuted by a private company,taxpayer funded, trying to remove their benefits. Or our armed forces fired and made jobless and homeless. Or those forced to pay empty bedroom tax. The recovery seems to sit well with the large builders having great chunks of green belt land given to them and taxpayer funded deposits for their customers. Does the new housing bubble created by Osborne also fall under the " recovery " title. No Osborne you are a failure .

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • well his statement was far better than the reply from balls. what muppet

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • He failed the tests he set out when he came to power and has the audacity to smirk as people face rising costs and struggle to find work.

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    Jono

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • A load of sh*t

    Report this comment

    Kat1985

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • Nothing like enough removed from onshore wind subsidy, other than that is was great to see Balls looking such a Pr*tt!

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • The only recovery coming to mind was the giveaway to millionares. Inequality is rising, regardless of what party is in power, no difference between any of them. Another fuel gimmick for electioneering purpose, as if the moneis received weren't enough anyway.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • He has not stopped giving millions to India. Oh yes, and many people will die without reaching pension age when it is 69. I didn't think much of it at all.

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    JEN

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • It is all so painfully obvious that Osborne's measures are not working and will not work. The only thing is full flow is the deceit which we is now the norm from these pathetic career politicians.

    Report this comment

    Old Long Balls

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • Indeed Sweet Heeks, but It wasn't lovely, ever so slightly greasy George that got up Ed's nose. No, it was that five one thumping by Liverpool that made Ed look like a beetroot

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Osborne needs to go. Pension age up to 68 for people who work and will never get a pension as they will be dead. I am ashamed to be in this country they are quick to give our money to other countries without asking the people who they take the money from what a disgrace we should all stop paying see where that ends up.

    Report this comment

    job

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • There trying to sweeten us all up for the general election there really don't care about us never have, never will. Clegg has quietly given 12 million of our taxes to his wife's book charity all details have quietly been removed if you do a search under the freedom of info act there's nothing there. This country is wealthy there to busy giving our money away to others because they don't care.

    Report this comment

    Kathyanne

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

  • Very bad news for graduates with student debt as Osborne agrees to privatise the student loan book.Interest rates on student debt bound to rise so even more to pay back.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Thursday, December 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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