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.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 234.

    219mattmatt81

    "QE money has gone into the treasury via the banks..

    And the coalition had no choice but to carry on"

    Yes a Carry On Film comes to mind

    The point is that the QE has had little impact in the real world. YoY consumer spending is flat, public spending cuts are in place, inflation is up. It doesnt matter how much public spending you cut, you need consumers to spend for recovery

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 233.

    He wont bring in a coalition committee of experts across Parties, industry,finance and science to bring in a sensible long term plan. I predict he will continue with the theory that there are not enough really poor people to make the middle rank feel rich yet so we must make them poorer. The super rich must remain as role models who get priveleges and pay for lunch.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 232.

    After reading many of the views expressed, I looked at just how Tony Blair justified mass immigration, he didn't just get it wrong he destroyed the tax payers ability to keep the country out of debt. It certainly was not conservative opposition that crucified us.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 231.

    The UK populace has been robbed by the lending of OUR money to defunct and bankrupt financial institutions. I would have ring fenced cash assets up to 250K and let the rest go to the wall. This would have given the UK a fresh start instead of a zombie nation that won't see one ounce of growth in the next 50 years. Watch also how attentive the BOE will be with inflation - robbery part 2.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 230.

    @213. Rodders AKA Dave
    "The deficit has been growing since the late 1600's, so the UK gov't has been out of money since the late 1600's, and none since have eradicated it..."

    You are thinking of national debt not structural deficit.

    Since 1980 we have been either in balance or surplus for a couple of years, which are 1988 to 1990 and again in 1997 to 2000.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 229.

    That they are going to reclaim the tens of billions in tax owed by capitalists and no longer will workers be expected to bail out these scroungers! Hang on a minute just seen a pig fly!
    Chancellor's Autumn Statement...same old undemocratic repression, thats what!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 228.

    Increase the 40p tax rate to 60p. Go ahead and increase the fuel duty. Increase VAT to 25%. Freeze public transport increases for next 5 years and make tax avoidance illegal to force the big companies to pay their fair share of the tax. If all this happens, deficit reduction will happen a lot quicker.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 227.

    What should be in his speech? hmmm how about the truth, such as " We are not helping the situation" and " we are not all in this together" The austerity cuts don't seem to be working. By taxing us to extinction how are they going to promote growth?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 226.

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

    A late excuse for the dismantling of FSPS' surely. Most co's already decided to close them under Blair due to Browns PF taxes.....

    Such dishonesty.....

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 225.

    I RESIGN.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 224.

    213. Rodders AKA Dave
    ".....Labour have been complicit, just like the conservatives, and every other party that's been in power in that time.
    :::
    Yes, it's what you might call a screw up -and they keep sticking to tried and tested methods (known failures) too!
    .
    Why? Well, not least because Daddy bought their education, but not even Daddy could buy intelligence, common sense & logic.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 223.

    All MPs to move into the Olympic Village - Instant cut in the amount we pay for 2nd home subsidies.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 222.

    The best thing that he could announce is his own iminent resignation and that of the PM.

    We need people of integrity to run this country, not a bunch of hopeless, egocentric, silver-spoon-fed incompitants that we have had for the last 3 decades.

    Not sure where we'd find them, given the UKs political system and its political oligarchies (irrespective of their party). But thats what we need.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 221.

    Q. "What should be in the chancellor's Autumn Statement?"

    A. "I resign"

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 220.

    What should be in the chancellor's Autumn Statement?

    Osborne’s resignation. We need someone competent in the position, not some idiot who was only appointed shadow chancellor to be bestest buddies with Davey in comparison to the then Blair-Brown feuds.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 219.

    198 Arthur daley

    QE money has gone into the treasury via the banks.

    The 10% + dedecits brown ran could not have been funded from the markets . Especialy as he and balls had overseen the collapse of our banks .

    So Brown was printing then spending £100 Bn + each year .
    That's one hell of a stimulus . Just shows how screwed up our economy was .
    And the coalition had no choice but to carry on .

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 218.

    Something for savers – no one wants people depending on benefit – that means they should be encouraged to save for rainy days,

    But with interest rates kept artificially low and inflation rising – savers are losing money by the time they have paid tax.

    Maybe some sort of government bond with an interest rate linked to inflation could be an answer.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 217.

    Help, I do not have a clue what I am doing like my colleagues throughout the world. Whatever I do will be piecemeal and ineffective against the real issues at hand. Britain is a mess and we are just trying to tread water until we can pass the buck and become Lord´s and retire and get the hell out of here. Hows that?

  • Comment number 216.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 215.

    Petrol duty cut of 3p per litre.
    Implement empl'r NI at 1% for up to 100 part time employees, 2% 100-500, 3% 500-1000 and 5% for companies employing over 1000 part-time workers.
    Removal of tax loopholes such as EBT's excl. techy new co's.
    Enforce UK pay to UK accounts-all employees working / resident UK.
    Announce repair work for all of Britains roads,
    building housing expansion.

 

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