As it happened: Autumn Statement

Key points

  • The planned 3p rise in fuel duty in January is cancelled.
  • There will be a 1% cap on public sector pay rises for two years after the end of current freeze next year.
  • Real household income looks set to fall by 2.3% this year - a post-war record, says the Office for Budget Responsibility.
  • Borrowing is £112 billion more over the next four years than previous forecasts, but debt interest payments are £22 billion less than expected.
  • Labour says the Chancellor's "Plan A has failed colossally" and that his economic plans are "in tatters".
  • There will be below-inflation increases in some working tax credits, but other credits will rise in line with inflation.

Live text


  • Victoria King 
  • Julian Joyce 

Last updated 2 December 2012


Good morning and welcome to a big day - politically and economically. Chancellor George Osborne will give his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons at 1230 GMT. Put simply, it's an update on the government's economic plans based on the latest forecasts for growth and borrowing.


You might remember something during the days of the Labour government called the pre-Budget report - well, the Autumn Statement is the coalition equivalent. You can read a bit more about it here.


George Osborne's speech is effectively the government's response to the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. The coalition set up this independent body to give it the true picture of the UK economy - no matter how unpalatable.


In the Budget in March, the OBR cut its growth forecast for the UK economy in 2011 to 1.7% and for 2012 to 2.5%. It is expected to cut both again today to around 1%.


The cabinet is due to meet in the next hour to discuss the chancellor's plans. If we get any snippets from that meeting, you'll read them here.


Ed Miliband has been talking about his hopes for today. The Labour leader says the government "took an enormous gamble with the British economy" - a gamble, he says, that has failed. "It was wrong to take that course, but it would be even more wrong to plough on regardless. They've got to change course."

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"Shocking" - that's the word some of those in the know have apparently used to describe the latest economic forecasts. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson says what's really crucial is whether the public at large feel the same. Until now resistance to the coalition's plans has been less than they feared, but will that still be true at the end of this vital week?


Don't forget too, that tomorrow we're expecting the biggest public sector strike in decades. All round, it's a tough few days for the government.


Wendy Sayer in Gloucestershire

tweets: Raising fuel duty & VAT do not encourage people to get out & buy goods or services other than essentials #bbceconomy.