In Quotes: Reaction to the Autumn Statement

George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement on the state of the economy while the Office for Budget Responsibility has downgraded its forecasts for growth in 2011 and 2012.

CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE

People know that promises of quick fixes and more spending this country can't afford, at times like this, are like the promises of a quack doctor selling a miracle cure.

We do not offer that today. What we offer is a government that has a plan to deal with our nation's debts to keep rates low; a government determined to support businesses and support jobs; a government committed to take Britain safely through the storm.

Leadership for tough times - that's what we offer.

SHADOW CHANCELLOR ED BALLS

If after eighteen months his plan is leading to falling growth, rising unemployment and £158bn more in borrowing, the country either needs a new chancellor or it needs a new plan.

A balanced and credible plan on jobs, growth and the deficit. Protecting our economy, businesses, jobs and family finances is more important than trying to protect a failed plan.

For his sake, for his party's sake and in the national interest, the chancellor needs to change course and he needs to do so now.

DANNY ALEXANDER, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY

You are right to say it (the 0.7% growth estimate for 2012) is a much lower figure than was reported previously.

It reflects, as the OBR themselves say, the much tougher conditions facing the country, the much tougher conditions in the eurozone but is also very much in line with growth forecasts for France, Germany, Italy, the eurozone and other countries around the world.

ROBERT CHOTE, OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY

The economy has grown much less strongly this year than we expected at the time of the March budget, largely because higher than expected inflation has squeezed household income and consumer spending.

We expect the underlying momentum of the economy to weaken further during the final quarter of 2011 but then to pick up gradually through next year, assuming the euro area struggles through its current difficulties.

Even so, we forecast little increase in headline gross domestic product until the second half of next year

BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON

It is certainly the case that we face the need for stimulus and confidence. I think there would be a case to be made for doing these things at any time. But the case is particularly strong now when they have such potential to drive jobs and growth.

JONATHAN EDWARDS, PLAID CYMRU TREASURY SPOKESMAN

The OBR's growth figures provide evidence of a stagnating economy, with forecasts for 2011 and 2012 slashed.

This is the result of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition making the wrong economic call and arguing that debt and deficit were more important than growth and jobs.

The coalition's austerity cuts have led to little growth but higher unemployment.

STEWART HOSIE, SNP TREASURY SPOKESMAN

The chancellor's statement falls well short of what is required with growth forecasts dramatically cut for 2012.

It is clear that Scotland needs the same financial and economic powers as other nations have, so that we can grow our economy and revenues as the only alternative to a decade or more of Westminster-dictated cuts.

We have used the powers we have wisely - we now need the same powers as other countries have in order to sort this mess out.

CAROLINE LUCAS, GREEN PARTY LEADER

Can the chancellor explain why he is taking £250m from hard-pressed families and giving it to some of the country's biggest polluters especially since green economies employ far more people than energy intensive industries?

JOHN CRIDLAND, CBI DIRECTOR GENERAL

The government's dogged commitment to budget deficit reduction remains the only way to maintain the UK's triple A credit rating and low interest rates on international money markets.

We particularly welcome the new emphasis on capital spending, and the measures to leverage private sector investment on infrastructure for roads and energy.

BRENDAN BARBER, TUC GENERAL SECRETARY

The chancellor's stubborn determination to stick to his plan A despite the evidence that it is not working and won't work in the future means that we are locked into permanent austerity.

Of course there were some welcome moves in the statement as the chancellor tries to reinvent infrastructure spending, youth employment and regional assistance programmes.

But the catch is that they are being paid for by freezing tax credits, holding back public sector pay and increasing public sector job losses to 710,000 by 2017.

QUENTIN WILSON, FAIR FUEL UK

This is a victory for Fair Fuel UK but only a stay of execution.

We've saved the UK 9p since March in proposed fuel duty rises and we are now the gatekeepers of fuel sanity for this country. We're going to carry on pressurising this government to keep duty down and reduce it significantly. If we don't they'll hike it up again the first chance they get.

MARK LITTLEWOOD, INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

George Osborne is operating in difficult economic circumstances, but this is still a disappointing response. He has effectively ditched plan A and embraced plan A minus.

He is not sticking to his deficit reduction policy. He is sticking to his spending policy. There's a world of difference

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