Autumn Statement: The Sunday papers

Sunday papers

Should we feel sorry for Chancellor Philip Hammond? Is he being leant on? Will he tax employee workplace perks?

Those questions are all being raised in the Sunday papers before his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

He is unlikely to have much money for giveaways, as the economy is expected to slow down which will depress tax income.

So the chancellor may choose to borrow money and spend it on big projects to boost the economy.

Here's a quick look at what the Sunday newspapers think might be in store.

Sunday Telegraph - 'Raid on tax perks'

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On its front page the Sunday Telegraph says there will be a "tax raid on middle-class salary perks". It says that benefits including health checks, gym memberships and mobile phone contracts will be targeted.

According to the Telegraph the Treasury thinks that such perks are costing too much in lost income tax and national insurance contributions.

Mail on Sunday - Osborne's policies to be 'junked'

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In his column in the Mail on Sunday, Dan Hodges says we will see the Prime Minister and the Chancellor "embark on one of the most remarkable fiscal U-turns in British political history".

The policies of the previous chancellor, George Osborne, will be "junked" he writes.

"On Wednesday, Hammond will being opening up the spending taps," his article says.

The Sun on Sunday - Infrastructure boost

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The Sun on Sunday carries a piece written by the man himself.

Chancellor Philip Hammond writes: "For years we have not invested enough in our national infrastructure and that's held this country back. Our roads, rail and housing need an injection of cash to boost growth."

He calls for more investment in technology, science and innovation.

While he doesn't specifically mention the buzzword JAMs (just-about-managing people), he acknowledges that "many families are struggling to get by".

Sunday Times - Chancellor 'being leant on'

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David Smith, the Economics Correspondent at the Sunday Times, says "it is hard not to feel sorry for Philip Hammond".

He argues that the public finances are likely to get worse, but at the same time he is "being leant on" by the Prime Minister to announce some populist measures.

That might include a continued freeze on fuel duty, extra money for the NHS, and delivering a promised raise in the threshold for paying income tax.

Observer - 'Tackle the housing crisis'

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The Observer calls for the chancellor to tackle, what it describes as "the most pressing crisis of the age" - housing.

It quotes one study which estimates house prices have risen 151% since 1996, while real earnings have only risen by "only a quarter as much".

It says that recent efforts have been "a waste of taxpayers' money".

The Observer argues that with the cost of borrowing so low, now is the time to pump serious amounts of money into house building.

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