Chancellor outlines his plans for a 'responsible recovery'
Chancellor George Osborne has updated MPs on the UK economy, and future tax and spending plans in the annual Autumn Statement.
The chancellor said "the opposition have been proved comprehensively wrong" in predicting a double-dip recession and that the coalition would "make the difficult decisions that let the country live within its means".
Among the announcements outlined by the chancellor were:
- An Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast of 3.1m new jobs created by businesses by 2019
- An OBR forecast that the underyling deficit will fall to 6.8% of GDP this year and 1.2% in 2017
- The structural deficit is 4.4% of GDP, compared to 8.7% in 2010
- An updated charter for budget responsibility to be published and voted on in Parliament next year
- A new cap on overall welfare spend excluding the state pension
- A reduction in the contingency reserve for government departments and a cut in departmental budgets to save £3bn next year
- State pension to rise by £2.95 a week from next year, with an increase in the state pension age to 68 in late 2030s
- Increase in the rate of the bank levy from next year
- £1bn in loans to unblock large housing developments in places such as Manchester and Leeds and a £300m increase in Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap
- Extension of business rate relief for another year and a cap on the inflation increase for business rates at 2% from next April
- New transferable tax allowance for married couples from April 2015
- A freeze on fuel duty next year
- Train fares to stay flat in real terms in January 2014.
Reaction to the statement from Labour and other parties can be found here.