What should be in the chancellor's Autumn Statement?


Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement on Wednesday 5 December.

It will be an update on the government's plans for the economy, accompanied by the latest forecasts and analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

As ever, there are loads of pressure groups, analysts and armchair chancellors keen to tell him what he should be doing.

Here is a selection of some of the views being expressed.

David Orr, chief executive, National Housing Federation

Start Quote

David Orr

We... oppose any further cuts to housing benefits, such as those suggested for the under-25s”

End Quote David Orr National Housing Federation

To fix our housing crisis we want the rapid release of small parcels of publicly owned brownfield land, to get building quickly.

This could provide up to 37,500 homes, create 55,000 construction jobs and get the economy moving.

To give housing associations the confidence to invest in new homes after 2015, government should continue to support affordable housing and confirm future rental income streams.

Raising the amount councils can borrow would encourage them to work more closely with housing associations to invest more in housing, boost supply and pump money back into local economies.

We also believe benefits should keep pace with rising living costs, and oppose any further cuts to housing benefits, such as those suggested for the under-25s.

Ros Altmann, director general, Saga

Start Quote

Ros Altmann

The coalition government has done nothing to help savers”

End Quote Ros Altmann Saga

We would like this Autumn Statement to show that savers are valued. This is what every economy needs.

People with savings have often struggled to put that money aside and denied themselves things so that they can have financial independence.

It is important that we encourage people to save for their future, but if we continue to punish those who have done so, especially as they reach retirement, younger people will decide it is simply not worth it.

Young people saving to buy their first home are also suffering in the current economic climate.

The coalition government has done nothing to help savers.

There has been no recognition from the chancellor of people who have done the right thing, put money aside, wanted to look after themselves and be independent.

The government either doesn't recognise the damage that does, or doesn't care.

Tony Dolphin, chief economist, Institute for Public Policy Research

Start Quote

Tony Dolphin

When growth is weak, spending cuts should be scaled back; when it is strong, they should be speeded up”

End Quote Tony Dolphin IPPR

George Osborne should abandon his two fiscal rules.

The first is no constraint at all, because it only requires him to forecast that the deficit will be eliminated in five years time, not to ever actually eliminate it.

The second - that debt should be falling by 2015-16 - can only be achieved by more tax increases or spending cuts, which would be a foolish move given the economy is so weak.

A new rule should specify that the scale of spending cuts will vary according to the strength of the economy.

When growth is weak, spending cuts should be scaled back; when it is strong, they should be speeded up.

This would increase the credibility of fiscal policy and allow the chancellor to announce a boost to infrastructure spending in 2013-14.

Ian Brinkley, director, The Work Foundation

Start Quote

Ian Brinkley

There is no need for the government to pursue wasteful measures ”

End Quote Ian Brinkley The Work Foundation

The government can spend some money on stimulating the economy, but there are legitimate concerns about how this will be taken by the markets.

As a result, the money would be better spent on investment in infrastructure than in short-term tax cuts.

The money should be used to support the science, design and technology base and strengthen institutions focused on innovation.

As wages are low and employers are hiring in large numbers, there is no need for the government to pursue wasteful measures aimed at making the labour force less expensive or more flexible, such as national insurance holidays or further deregulation.

Such measures will do nothing to spur demand in the economy.

Eamonn Butler, director, Adam Smith Institute

Start Quote

Eamonn Butler, director, Adam Smith Institute

The government should slash its spending on marginal things and focus on doing what is really important”

End Quote Eamonn Butler Adam Smith Institute

The chancellor must stick to his deficit-reduction plan, but raising taxes isn't the way.

Instead, he needs to boost growth.

If every small business hired one extra person we would be booming.

They don't, because our huge tax and regulatory burden is now an obstacle to risk-taking, enterprise and job-creation.

The chancellor should commit to a 15% corporation tax, which would stimulate investment and jobs.

And the 45% top tax should go - it is simply driving high earners abroad.

Meanwhile, our complex employment regulations discourage hiring and must be radically simplified.

On spending, we have had no austerity. Current spending is still rising.

The government should slash its spending on marginal things and focus on doing what is really important.

John Cridland, director general, CBI

Start Quote

John Cridland

We also want bold action from the government to deliver big-ticket infrastructure projects that are pivotal to future growth”

End Quote John Cridland CBI

Businesses support the government's deficit-reduction plan because it's critical for the UK to keep confidence in international markets and interest rates low.

But the chancellor does have extra resources available.

The government under-spent by £7.8bn last year and will receive a windfall of up to £4bn from the 4G spectrum auction next year.

We believe that around £1.5bn of this should be invested into short-term growth measures, including a new capital allowance incentive for infrastructure investment, capped business rates at 2% in 2013, and local government spending on road maintenance.

We also want bold action from the government to deliver big-ticket infrastructure projects that are pivotal to future growth.

This "industrial Olympics" would mean fast-tracking key projects like upgrading the A303 and A14, the Northern Hub rail scheme and the Thames Tideway.

John Walker, chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

Start Quote

John Walker

We want to see a clear plan of action from the chancellor, which he can take forward to Budget 2013”

End Quote John Walker Federation of Small Businesses

This is a pivotal point for the chancellor at the half-way point of the Parliament.

We are calling for three main things - more details on the business bank and how this will improve competition in the banking sector, reform of the labour market including an extension to the National Insurance contributions holiday scheme, a more simplified tax system, and for the 3p fuel duty rise to be scrapped.

Small business policymaking has been subject to a range of confusing patchwork approaches that have often had minimal impact on the ground.

We want to see a clear plan of action from the chancellor, which he can take forward to Budget 2013, which will detail the long-term support small firms need.

Key to this is going to be the small business bank and eventually how it can become the Small Business Administration, supporting small businesses over the long-term.

Joanne Segars, chief executive, National Association of Pension Funds

Start Quote

Joanne Segars

Quantitative easing has made it much more expensive for businesses to run final-salary pension scheme”

End Quote Joanne Segars NAPF

The chancellor must not restrict the amount of tax relief that people who are saving into a pension can get.

The system has already been through many changes in recent years.

These have been costly for businesses and pension funds, and have damaged public confidence in pensions as a way to save.

The government might say it is going after the rich, but many middle managers and more modest earners would get caught up in the net.

We need to be encouraging people to save for their old age, not putting them off.

Quantitative easing [QE] has made it much more expensive for businesses to run final-salary pension scheme.

The chancellor needs to acknowledge this by recognising that QE is distorting the books, and cutting pension funds some slack.

This could free up more cash for businesses to spend on investment and jobs.


More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Sue Doughcoup (see editors picks) are you a tory stooge employed by tory central office to make these fanciful and totally ridiculous online statements. Noone I repeat nobody that I know, work with, communicate with, reside with thinks like this. Its tory joke politics you are spouting. Worthless anti everything claptrap. Keep it to yourself and don't bore the rest of us with your narcissism...

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    Politicians never learn. Raising taxes usually results in less revenue collected as high earners utilise complex avoidance measures - because it's worth it.

    If the tax system was simplified and higher rates cut - more tax would actually be collected, because it wouldn't be worth avoiding it.

    It's simple - the more you leave people to spend: the more tax you collect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    So the Part time chancellor surfaced on the Andrew Marr Show

    Out if His own mouth we find the "Tory version of Fairness" is to equate a reduction of the tax relief for those very wealthy able to pay £50,000 a year (Twice the UK average wage) into their pension pot as equivalent to cutting benefits for the poor forcing them to choose between heating and eating this winter.

    All in it together

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    His RESIGNATION so we could get someone in who might have a clue that cutting spending, cuts jobs therfore cuts money going pack to the taxman but does increase the spending budget on benefits. Not clever considdering his education background.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Until I was boss, I knew exactly what the boss should do.
    Couldn't understand why he didn't do it. It was so obvious.
    Then I became boss, and it all got more complicated.
    Good luck, Mr. Osborne.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    57 bootrap. Yes I have,but I worked doing any job that would pay bills, to support husband only had benefits for one child which was the rule then. Lived on pots & baked beans mainly. With two & half million empty properties available it is lunacy to keep building "jerry made" housing by many cowboy builders. Empty council property should be used, not sold, this would bring in value to tax payers

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    At the top right of the page is a photo of Chancellor George Osborne accompanied by the words: Deficit 'cut could take longer'.
    Doing what politicians and public servants appear to do best in this country, change a few words here and there to put a different slant on things!
    What about, for example: I'll grin, you'll all have to bear it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    What will be in and what should be in are two different things. The Tories do not have an economic plan they have a political plan: use the recession as an excuse to reduce wages, reduce employment rights, replace the NHS with private health insurance, and replace the welfare state with charity. There will be no change because a long recession justifies more cuts to services, wages, and pensions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    I would like him to say that he is going to stop using a chauffer driven Jaguar for the 400m journey between No 11 Downing st and parliament.
    That would be a start at saving.

    These people spend more for a night out with their wife,s than some working people have to live on for a week. so I hope the less well off like myself are not looking forward to help, it just ain't going to happen

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    A freeze on Foreign aid, a cut in petrol duty, those who avoid tax to be hit with a massive cash grab and a tax on greedy utility companies. Dont expect any of that so get ready for the ordinary worker to be squeezed again and no help for millions of struggling families. Its like Osbourne and Cameron dont want a 2nd term the way they treat us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    No more expenses for MPs & lords other than travel & over night accomodation when needed in B&B.

    Pay for their own food etc like the rest of us.

    Max 5 weeks holidays per year.

    Close the tax loopholes for big business.

    One last word for George INFRASTRUCTURE

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.


    Employ additional 500/600 HMRC collectors on 2 year contracts
    Recover the missing billions, very good ROI

    Implement public oversight/audit on Gov IT & PFI projects
    Many unemployed professionals out of work

    Utilise unemployed on "Genuine" social projects for 10 Hrs/week
    Like ~ Adopt a Senior ~ ~ Clean My Neighbourhood ~

    More action, less procrastination

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    New infrastructure like HS2 will provide a tax-free gift to landowners as infrastructure increases land value. And yet, land is a free gift of nature - we require no labour nor capital to create land. The location value of land, that landowners charge us all, should not be a windfall to landowners but should be remitted to the Chancellor to cut taxes. The Chancellor needs an Annual Land Value Tax.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.


    udging by the way he’s babbling on the Marr show

    A calculator might be a good Christmas present

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    he should say "sorry that i havent stopped sneering when i have targeted the most needy in the country instead of the multi nationals paying almost zero tax" and for that i resign...simples

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    GO is utterly clueless & I would not trust him to run a kids sweet shop.
    His incompetence is only matched by Dave's indecisive vacillating modus operandi which between the pair of them amounts to a disaster waiting to happen. The thing is that I can see no alternative from the other 2 main parties. Both are staffed by nincompoops who would have trouble finding their own backside with both hands.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Apart form, "I resign" nothing else he says would boost the economy.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    He should announce that he has finally recognised he really does not really know what he is doing, step aside and bring in someone who does.

    Someone with a decent ecomonics background would help

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    I think he'll say "The Rich, The Bankers, The politicians and The Royals have not suffered. So it has been for a thousand years and so i will continue to protect them. Whilst these groups tried to bankrupt the country the teachers/nurses etc did not, so these peasants, they will have even more taken from their pensions !"


Page 40 of 44


More Business stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.