Autumn Statement: A difficult day for George Osborne

 

Tomorrow's a day the chancellor isn't looking forward to. It's the day he'll be unveiling official forecasts showing borrowing and debt both going up. The day he'll announce deeper cuts and more tax rises.

So on the morning before the bad news to come the prime minister and his deputy went to school to unveil what they hoped would be viewed as some better news - an increase in investment spending paid for by deeper cuts to day to day departmental budgets.

The Cabinet only learnt the news this morning. Thus, there is, as yet, no detail of who and what will suffer the pain and who enjoy the gains.

This £5bn switch from current to capital spending is a repeat of what George Osborne did a year ago. So too is his expected announcement that the government is off course to meet its own targets.

When he became prime minister, David Cameron promised that "in five years' time, we will have balanced the books."

Tomorrow George Osborne will be forced to confirm that there is now no chance of that.

Today's announcement is not a plan B. It is an attempt to find more savings from the current budget to get closer to one of his targets and, at the same time, to increase infrastructure spending in the hope it boosts Britain's anaemic growth.

 
Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 91.

    Events change Nick and you're showing your prejudices. The EU and US have all gone adrift and all the markets have gone to hell and back If circumstances change you have to cut your cloth don't you ? Neither Tories nor Labour can control the whole world and believe it or not we are affected by what happens elsewhere. Be more realistic in assessments please it isn't just this govt up the creek

  • rate this
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    Comment number 90.

    Shame, GeorgiePorgie had to backtrack on a self enriching fuel duty rise again. How will he afford his lavish lifestyle now?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 89.

    #87 Up2snuff I don't think that 3 years of 1% annual increases in benefits can ever seem 'incredibly generous.
    1% of very little always results in very little.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 88.

    83#

    With respect Keith, you dont know what you're talking about. Small businesses make up a significant percentage of employers. If you charge them less corporation tax, you give them more to reinvest by hiring more people. You attract other overseas business investment inwards, means more people hired, even if they are immigrants.

    You just dont get it do you? Its quite OK for you to admit it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 87.

    I'm wondering what is going to happen with inflation - one of the key stats for the Tories at the next Election.

    Does the 1% frozen increase in 'working' Benefits mean that inflation is going to be consistently around 3.5-5.5% for three years?

    Or does GO somehow know that commodity prices are going through the floor next year and three 1% annual increases will seem incredibly generous?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 86.

    Halfway through Government's term and NOT a SINGLE TARGET outlined in Osborne’s first Autumn Statement even close to being met. How much in denial do you have to be? Conservatives have even broken economic promises in their Manifesto? Other policies such as decimating Armed Services and reducing NHS spending were not in the Manifesto. Britain will lose AAA rating in New Year - certain!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 85.

    Lawdy, that was painful. Dunno if Alex Bellardinelli wrote that Im a Celeb gag that Balls closed with, but if he did, I wouldnt say he has much of a future in comedy. Made Osborne look statesmanlike, which is no small achievement.

    I'm off down the bookies to stick a fiver on Chuka Ummuna to be Shadow Chancellor by Xmas.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 84.

    Another day for the rich to get richer & the poor to start dying quicker!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 83.

    Another cut in corporation tax, shows where Osborne's priorities really lie.

    And meanwhile the true wealth creators - hardworking middle and working class folk - get no help at all.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 82.

    Dear oh dear, Blinky Balls having an absolute nightmare. Bring back Alan Johnson. This is almost painfully embarrassing to watch.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 81.

    Like many more, I can only assume that this clueless buffoon Osbourne must have some seriously damaging info concerning Cameron's past to be able to remain in his position as chancellor! If that's not the case then Cameron must just be completely stupid to keep him there!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 80.

    In representation we trust.

    And if we must let Folly forth, to further our mis-rule,
    Then to its midwives the costs, to share if not bear.

    But otherwise, for sport, hopes now and to come,
    Losses affordable for the Quislings of Mammon.

    Worse still the identities of victims and enactors,
    Our very own children, our very own selves.

    For are we not Free?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 79.

    GO has just said (again) that we are all in it together. I see, so ....... he is scared to put his heating on in the cold is he? He only eats hot food 5 times a week does he? All in it together my fat backside.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 78.

    If there were any GENUINE politicians in the current government they would resign out of shame & by not doing so are simply proving themselves to be absolute cowards on nothing more than a personal gravy train busy grabbing what they can for themselves while they can!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 77.

    #75 GS83, you may do well to check the meaning of the stats and you'll see that the measure of people out of work regularly changes. If you check the same stats you will find that throughout this recession, the wealthy are actually getting wealthier.
    And who is the financial terrorist? The in-work family dependent on housing benefit, or the landlord constantly increasing that family's rent?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 76.

    GO is currently crowing from the rooftops that 1.2 m jobs have been created in the private sector - thus far, he has avoided saying how many jobs have been llost in the public sector. Oh and he's blaming Labour like there is no tomorrow.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 75.

    Go check national stats, the amount of people out of work has pretty much stayed the same over decades. The spin by the media and politians is pretty obscene with the so called boom and bust. The other fact is this government spending has gone up ten fold since 2010, this hasnt been reported. MHO is that financial terrorism is at play here and we as tax payers are the victims. Wealth redistrubted!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 74.

    I don't see why it shoul be a difficult day for GO - all he has to do is what he and his sidekick always resort to: "it's all Labours fault", throw in a few "our Country's" and a few more “Benefit scrounging riff raff’s” and they are laughing. All they'd need then is Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander to skip out of the Commons singing "Bring me sunshine" and PMQ's might be interesting.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 73.

    72.nautonier
    "UK at IMF with Labour begging bowel "
    ===

    Gosh, that really does sound nasty.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 72.

    Osborne needs to play the Labour trick & not try to hard on austerity - can't wait to see Labour debt monsters in govt start spending & borrowing again with big govt etc. Labour will crash the UK economy for sure next time - will be terrible - immigrants going home as no jobs & NHS finally crashes under weight of demand - UK at IMF with Labour begging bowel as we fight ex-bankers over food parcels

 

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