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  1. UK growth forecast raised for this year to 3.0%
  2. Stamp duty cut for most home buyers
  3. New tax to stop big companies shifting profits offshore
  4. Borrowing forecast for this year raised to £91.3bn

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber, Ben Morris, Amber Dawson and Paul Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    Well that's it. We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the Autumn Statement 2014. There's bound to be more fallout tomorrow, so check in with the Business Live page from 06:00 on Thursday.

  2. The pundits

    The newspaper columnists are in agreement, the Chancellor has managed to present terrible news as a triumph. Ann Treneman of the Times, Fraser Nelson of the Spectator and Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror are agreed. "The numbers are terrible," says Mr Nelson.

  3. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "How robust is government's claim that still on course to eliminate deficit thanks to lower interest & cut inflation?"

  4. Stamp duty

    BBC Radio 4

    BBC Radio 4's Money Box presenter, Paul Lewis, tells the PM programme: "Anyone buying home for less than £937,500 (and £1m-£1.125m) will pay less or same tax as now. Maybe saving £2000-4000 on average. At the top end you'll pay a huge amount more."

  5. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Abi tweets: Finally a policy I like. Loans for postgrad study! #victoryforstudents #AutumnStatement

  6. Via Blog

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "It is altogether plausible that wages could rise faster than the OBR expects, as could inflation and interest rates. In which case all its fiscal forecasts would be for the birds."

  7. Deficit

    BBC Radio 4

    The head of the OBR is now on the PM programme. Eddie Mair asks Robert Chote, has the deficit halved? "We would tend to look at these things as a share of GDP and it has moved from 10% of GDP in 2009-10 and that has now roughly halved." So there you have it.

  8. Via Twitter

    Anthony Reuben

    Head of Statistics, BBC News

    "OBR warns public spending heading to 80-year low"

  9. Further austerity

    BBC News Channel

    We are "halfway through a ten year fiscal repair job," says Robert Chote, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility on the BBC News Channel. The next parliament will see a "very sharp squeeze" on spending, he predicts. He adds that we have seen 40% of the necessary cuts in this parliament and the next 60% would come under the next parliament.

  10. Send your reaction

    John Alcock from Weston Super Mare emails: How exactly are the government calling the stamp duty a cut for 98% of people? They've DOUBLED the stamp duty cost for the AVERAGE home!! They haven't changed any of the thresholds either? I'm currently looking to buy a house for £175,000, now my stamp duty cost has gone from £1750 to £3500!! Thanks for that CUT in stamp duty!!

  11. Labour reaction

    BBC Radio 4

    Mr Umunna goes on to tell the PM programme: "People are £1,600 a year worse off than they were in 2010. The reason the chancellor hasn't met his target for the deficit is because people haven't had a pay rise and that's meant lower tax receipts. You've got to do something about people's wages."

  12. Labour reaction

    BBC Radio 4

    Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, tells the PM programme Labour backs the stamp duty changes, they're studying the air passenger duty change that exempts under-12s from the tax when flying abroad, but it looks like a welcome measure and he thinks the 25% tax being introduced on offshore profits is a good idea.

  13. Send your views


    Chris Smith emails: "I'm livid! Two weeks ago I purchased my first house house for £265k and paid £8k tax. If I had completed two weeks later I would have paid over £4k less. Do I get a refund?!!! Probably not."

  14. Future austerity

    BBC News Channel

    On the BBC News channel, Huw Edwards asks where big cuts to government spending are going to come from. Neither guest is specific. Treasury City Minister Andrea Leadsom says the government has "credible plans" and growth and existing measures will help reduce the deficit. Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, says Labour would eradicate the deficit by the end of the next Parliament and review all spending.

  15. Stamp duty

    BBC Radio 4

    Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, tells the PM programme: "I strongly support the stamp duty reforms. It's been Liberal Democrat policy for years. It will mean less financial pressure on people buying homes. People buying an average home would pay £4,000 less under this system. But we still want to bring in a mansion tax."

  16. Get involved


    Geoff Hendry emails: "What about people buying on shared ownership. My daughter has recently bought a 50% share for £200,000 and paid Stamp Duty at 1%. Under the old system if/when she buys the remainder she would have to pay Stamp Duty on the remaining value of the property at that time thus at current prices. Under the new system, buying the property would cost 2% x £125,000 + 5% x £150,000 = £10,000 thus £2000 cheaper but since she has already paid at the earlier (higher) rate which would apply in future?"

  17. Via Blog

    Louise Cooper

    CooperCity blog

    Sterling notes

    "The reason why Osborne is predicting a budget surplus in 2018/19 - a year earlier than the city had expected - is because he is assuming borrowing costs will be lower. What he is doing is cutting his forecasts for gilt yields - market determined interest rates. But no one knows what the UK government will have to pay to borrow in five years time. No one!!!!! It is at best a guess and yet it is only thanks to this guess that borrowing is looking better than had been feared."

  18. Get involved

    Bob Holloway emails: Does Ed Balls think that people in this country do not have a memory. Very hypocritical comments about the "Balancing of the books is in tatters". Oh yes, it's Labour who forget this country was in a hell of a mess five years ago.

  19. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    David Rigby tweets: How many times have we heard govt claiming it has closed stamp duty loopholes? #AutumnStatement #ukhousing

  20. Get involved


    Marc Gourley emails: Terrible news!! I've just completed on my first house and to find out that if I had waited until tomorrow, Stamp duty would have been £5,899 instead of what I paid.... £12,598!!! Is there any form of sensible rebate???

  21. Send your views

    Alex Williams emails: I exchanged on a flat last Friday, I'll complete in a week. George Osborne just saved me £4200 in stamp duty, he has my vote!

  22. Stamp duty

    Is getting everyone talking. Stand by for a flurry of views...

  23. Technology tax

    Law firm Eversheds says this about the new tax designed to stop firms diverting profits offshore to avoid tax: "The new diverted profit tax is a bit surprising: the UK is clearly taking a lead here and putting its marker down: effectively jumping ahead of the OECD BEPS initiative. Quite how it will operate will remain to be seen. Sceptics may think it is just a headline grabber."

  24. UKIP Autumn Statement reaction

    UKIP economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn MEP accused George Osborne of resorting to "smoke and mirror politics" to pretend the UK's budget deficit was under control. Mr O'Flynn said the coalition "lacked the appetite to restrain pending" and described the bill for foreign aid and investment in alternative energy as "huge and unaffordable".

  25. Via Twitter

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: ."@ScotTories attack gap between new Stamp Duty + Scots Transaction Tax. For £350k home: England £7500, Scotland £12,300. #AutumnStatement" Big difference indeed.

  26. Stamp duty warning

    Houses in Brighton

    Capital Economics emails saying the stamp duty changes could inflate a section of the housing market: "Reforming stamp duty land tax from a slab to a graduated system is certainly an improvement, and should give a short-term boost to housing transactions. But it will also give another boost to overvalued house prices (at least those beneath £1m), and offer no lasting benefit to first-time buyers."

  27. Get involved


    Katie Fox emails: How is this any good for the housing market? It just makes the rich richer. I am a manager of an estate agents where most of our properties are between £200-550k. At the moment the dreaded leap between from 1% to 3% causes a problem for those unfortunate sellers in that bracket. How will making it now either 2% or 5% help move that market? It will simply encourage less people to buy (or sell).

  28. SNP reaction

    Stewart Hosie

    SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie argued the statement showed "why the SNP are right to call for more powers for Scotland", saying what the chancellor had outlined was "merely a continuation of a failed austerity programme".

    "Tory policy has strangled the recovery and with £75bn of cuts to come we are on track for a decade of austerity," he added.

  29. Get involved


    Andrew Smith in London emails: Rich Hinchliffe (14.25) has probably misunderstood the new stamp duty rates. To end up with a 66% increase in stamp duty, he would have to buy a property for well in excess of £10m.

  30. Tax system

    Professor Philip Booth, programme director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "Almost every measure in the Autumn Statement made the tax system more complex, or involved spending promises motivated by interest groups at the expense of the long-term economic interest of the country."

    He also described the proposed sovereign wealth fund for the north of England as "completely misguided" and called for any shale gas revenues to be used to reduce taxes or government debt.

  31. Via Twitter

    Anthony Reuben

    Head of Statistics, BBC News

    "OBR: 60% of cuts in spending on public services to come in next Parliament, taking it to lowest for 80 years by 2020."

  32. Stamp duty

    Am I better off under these new, stepped stamp duty rates? Find out here. Quick as a whippet, is HMRC.

  33. Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton


    The Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton tweets: Great to hear £2bn more for NHS confirmed in Autumn Statement. £1.2billion funded by bankers' penalties to upgrade GP surgeries.

  34. Bankers

    Anthony Browne

    Rules allowing banks to offset losses made in the financial crisis against future profits will be tightened and banks could pay some £4bn extra in tax. But the industry body the BBA is putting on a serene face. Chief executive, Anthony Browne, says stoically: "Banks contribute more than £25bn each year to the nation's public finances - enough to pay the salaries of around half a million nurses. It is absolutely right that this important industry pays its fair share of tax, but it is important to note that where banks have offset losses they have done so legally, just as all other businesses can."

  35. Earnings

    "We have been disappointed by earnings growth but there are tentative signs that that is turning around," Mr Chote said earlier. But he added the OBR doesn't expect earnings to hit pre-crisis levels until nearly 2019.

  36. How does this affect me?

    Balance sheet paper

    Find out here. Personal finance's golden boy, Kevin Peachey, answers your main questions.

  37. Business rates

    "Councils have been urging government to overhaul business rates and remove the obstacles which prevent us from supporting high street shops, small firms and new start-ups as much as we would like to. It is encouraging news for business that the chancellor has listened," said Councillor Claire Kober, chair of the Local Government Association's Resources Board, in response to the announcement of a business rates review.

  38. Stamp duty

    In the Commons, MPs were getting a bit grumpy that the legislation underpinning changes to stamp duty has been introduced so quickly. William Hague, who's in charge of the parliamentary timetable, stressed that MPs will get a chance to debate the measures in more depth on Thursday.

  39. Technology tax

    Are you worried about the detail given by the government on technology tax? Asks our Emma Simpson at the conference. "We have certified they are reasonable estimates. This time we have given as assessment of the level of uncertainty, says Mr Chote. "They are uncertain as they depend on how the companies respond. It depends on if they find a way around these taxes."

  40. John Leech, Liberal Democrat MP for Manchester-Withington


    The Liberal Democrat MP for Manchester-Withington tweets: Good that Youth unemployment is down. In big part due to the @LibDems policy of Apprenticeships #AutumnStatement

  41. Newsnight analysis

    You don't have to wait until this evening to hear what BBC Newsnight's team made of the chancellor's announcements - analysis from Duncan Weldon, Allegra Stratton and Chris Cook, chaired by Evan Davis, is online now. .

  42. Stamp duty reaction

    The accountancy body the ACCA is delighted: "We have been asking for this for years - making this tax progressive is important. Abolishing the single slab rate is a welcome move to end the significant distortions of this burdensome tax."

  43. Borrowing

    Growth in self employment has been skewed to relatively low earners, Mr Chote says, while North Sea oil revenues have also been lower because of the fall in oil prices since the summer. Reforms to Stamp Duty will cost Treasury £400m, he adds. This along with lower income tax revenues means the government will borrow a bit more than £91bn this year. That still looks optimistic given the government has already borrowed £64bn.

  44. Inflation forecast

    The OBR expects inflation to fall to a low of 0.9% next year ,says Mr Chote, partly that's a mix of a falling oil price, continuing instability in the eurozone and wages. "Perhaps the biggest risk is we have to wait even longer for an increase in productivity," he adds.

  45. Potential

    Robert Chote: "We now believe the output gap - difference between potential economic performance and actual - smaller than we expected.

  46. Your views


    Ian, Northumberland, emails: When discussing the increase in GDP it would be interesting to quote any rise in GDP per capita. Population is increasing rapidly and, of course, GDP will rise - but the rise is shared by many more people - hence the rise in GDP whilst the purchasing power of most individuals has not increased.

  47. Facebook Q&A

    Political Correspondent Chris Mason is doing an Autumn Statement Q&A on Facebook at 15:00 GMT. You can join in here.

  48. Economy

    "CPI inflation came in at 1.5% compared with our March forecast of 1.8%, and unemployment lower than we thought," says Mr Chote.

  49. Public finances

    Robert Chote is now talking about public finances: "Public spending will be the lowest as a percentage of GDP in 80 years.

  50. OBR

    Robert Chote, the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is now holding its media conference: "The key uncertainty is productivity growth. Earnings growth continues to surprise on the downside."

  51. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "Tax revenues forecast by OBR £20bn less in three years than thought in budget #AutumnStatement, says IFS"

  52. Kubla Khan

    The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) employs some cultured fellows. We're waiting for the OBR press conference on the Autumn Statement and the man testing the equipment recited "in Xanadu did Kubla Khan... (etc) down to a sunless sea". From memory. And then exited the microphone with a cheeky grin.

  53. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion and former Leader of the Green Party

    @Caroline Lucas

    The Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion and former Leader of the Green Party tweets: "restraining" public sector pay an insult to teachers, nurses, firefighters and so many others - fair pay does not = instability #AS2014

  54. CBI reaction

    But the CBI is less happy about this: "The targeted focus on enterprise is right, but business innovators would have liked to see more on research and development (R&D) to boost UK investment."

  55. CBI reaction

    The CBI's director general John Cridland, CBI Director-General, has plenty to say about the Autumn Statement: "These major changes on stamp duty and business rates will be a shot in the arm for families and growing firms as they look towards 2015." So far, so good, for Mr Osborne. But there's more...

  56. Small businesses

    The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is very pleased with the Autumn Statement. "The FSB is delighted to see the double small business rate relief remain for another year and a full review of the outdated business rates system, something we've long argued for," says its chairman John Allan.

  57. Infrastructure

    Bombardier train factory

    Noel Travers managing director of Bombardier UK in Derby says he was "delighted to hear about continuing investment in infrastructure projects and I hope we can build the new trains needed in this factory". Naturally.

  58. Ed Miliband, Labour leader


    The leader of Labour Party Ed Miliband tweets: David Cameron and George Osborne have now failed every test and broken every promise they made on the economy. #AutumnStatement

  59. That £825 claim

    BBC News Channel

    How was the chancellor able to claim in his speech that raising the personal allowance by £100 would put £825 in people's pockets? Danny Alexander clarified on the News Channel that the £825 was the accumulated benefit of all the increases that the coalition has made in the personal allowance since 2010.

  60. Pat Glass, Labour MP for North West Durham


    The Labour MP for North West Durham and member of the Education Select Committee tweets: Am I hearing right? This govt increased the debt in 5 yrs more than Labour did in 13 & govt borrowing is going to increase this year again!!

  61. Get involved


    Rich Hinchliffle emails: I have worked hard to get a good job after 10 years of military service only to be faced with a 66% hike in my stamp duty. I now have to sell my car to pay the extra tax. I could cry.

  62. Post update

    BBC News Channel

    Andrew Neil (BBC presenter) gives Danny Alexander (chief secretary to the Treasury) a hard time on the News Channel, arguing that the government's claim to have halved the Budget deficit is bogus if you look at the cut in terms of cash and not as a percentage of GDP.

  63. Via Twitter

    Andy Verity

    Business reporter

    "@bbcnews Tax receipts this financial year now forecast to be £7bn lower than previously (OBR report - p.115). Both income tax and VAT lower ... OBR says the fall in tax receipts - down 0.5% this year as a proportion of GDP - is half down to weak wage growth and half to tax cuts"

  64. Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield


    The Labour MP for Wakefield and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development tweets: Borrowing up by £5 billion this year and up by £7 billion next year. Tories have failed on deficit reduction. Debt rises next year to 81.1%

  65. Business impact

    BBC News Channel

    Kamal Ahmed, BBC business editor, describes the autumn statement as "very political" and highlights two big changes in the Autumn Statement. The first is the 25% tax on multinational technology firms (like Google and Amazon) who have been accused of avoiding UK corporation tax by shifting their taxable profits abroad. And secondly the big cut in the ability of banks to offset their huge past losses against future taxable profits.

  66. Get involved

    Text 61124

    Neil from Belfast texts: I am delighted with the autumn statement. The chancellor has just saved us £1,100 in stamp duty. The measures announced today are all designed with growth in mind.

  67. Tax system

    Conservative chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, says "just doing a bit better than the Eurozone is not enough" and "we need a globally competitive tax system".

    Mr Osborne replies "we are climbing up the ranks" of competitive tax regimes.

  68. Stamp duty

    Andrew Montlake, of London-based mortgage brokers Coreco, says: "Moving to a more sensible system that works in much the same way as income tax means that many buyers will from midnight tonight, suddenly have some more cash in their pocket. For example someone purchasing at £550,000 will now pay £17,500 rather than £22,000."

  69. Government borrowing

    Government borrowing chart

    Here's a chart showing government borrowing past and present. We learnt from the Autumn Statement today that the government expects to borrow more than £91bn this year, more than forecast in March's budget. A surplus is forecast for 2018-19, but a lot could happen before then.

  70. Stamp duty

    In the middle of buying or selling a home? If you have exchanged contracts, but not completed the deal by midnight tonight, the chancellor said: "you will be able to choose whether to pay under the old system or the new, so no one in the middle of moving house will lose out."

  71. Via Email

    Samuel Tombs

    senior UK economist, Capital Economics

    "The early indications from the UK Autumn Statement are that the Chancellor has resisted the temptation to hand households any significant tax cuts before next May's general election. The tax and spending measures - the most significant of which is the reform of the stamp duty - ... amount to only a small net giveaway of just £1bn in 2015/16 and a small tightening beyond. "

  72. Get involved


    Jon Bish emails: There are some positives, but I can't help it but see it's just a repeat of old excuses when it comes to the deficit and national debt. "We didn't quite meet out targets but... If we keep cutting then in 2-3 years things will start looking better". Just how much more can be cut from public spending before you start having a serious effect on the quality of life?

  73. Stamp duty - Labour response

    Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

    On stamp duty, Mr Balls says he's glad the chancellor has "now accepted high-value properties are being under-taxed" but wants to know why he won't match Labour's commitment to an annual charge on the most valuable houses.

  74. Via Email

    Richard Westcott

    BBC transport correspondent

    Easyjet will give you an APD refund if you've already bought a ticket (for travel after April 2015).

  75. Stamp duty

    Mr Osborne said of his reform of stamp duty: "It increases the taxes on the most expensive 2% of homes." Note though. The new stamp duty will still be paid by the buyer of a property, not the seller who may of course be enjoying a huge windfall profit driven by past house price inflation.

  76. Biggest costs and gains

    The biggest cost in the Autumn Statement is the change to stamp duty which will cost the Treasury (in lost tax) £730m next year, according to OBR figures. That is offest by the changes to the way banks can benefit from previous losses via the tax system, which is expected to earn an extra £695m next year.

  77. Get involved


    Kevin Yates from Lymm emails: We want a northern powerhouse in Manchester, just not a Northern Boris to embarrass us all.

  78. Opposition response

    Now it's shadow chancellor Ed Balls' turn, and he starts by focusing on slow wage growth, claiming: "For working people, there is a cost of living crisis."

  79. Stamp duty rates

    Mr Osborne spelled out the new stamp duty rates.

    • No tax on the first £125,000 paid
    • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
    • 5% up to £925,000
    • 10% up to £1.5 million
    • 12% on everything above that.

    He said:"As a result stamp duty will be cut for the 98% of homebuyers who pay it."

  80. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "Big rise in stamp duty on expensive houses. 12% rate for most expensive houses - tho Chancellor says 98% of buyers see cut #AutumnStatement"

  81. Stamp duty

    The property tax known as stamp duty will be completely reformed says the chancellor. And from midnight tonight. Each tax rate (and there are new ones) will apply only to the particular slice of the selling price to which they apply, not the whole value of the property (as at the moment).

  82. Income tax

    The tax-free Personal Allowance, which was set to rise to £10,500, will rise instead to £10,600. The Treasury says that's a total wage boost for working people of £825 a year.

  83. Mayors

    The chancellor stops short of announcing new city mayors over, above the one in Greater Manchester we already knew about, but says his "door is open" to other councils who want to do the same.

  84. Sovereign wealth fund

    This is interesting. As part of the government's grand plan to establish a "northern powerhouse", a so-called Sovereign Wealth Fund for the North of England will be set up, obtaining its funds from shale gas proceeds.

  85. Via Twitter

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    "Election coming - Chancellor misses deficit targets but cutting tax on flights & rules out tax rise on petrol even tho' prices falling"

  86. Transport taxes

    The chancellor confirms, as many expected, the cut in fuel duty will remain. From May 2015, Air Passenger Duty (APD) for children under 12 will be abolished and in the following year, APD for children under 16 altogether will be scrapped.

  87. Post-graduate student loans

    Post-graduate students will now be able to apply for student loans. They will be able to borrow up to £10,000 to fund their post-graduate studies.

  88. Business rates

    As we expected, more help for small business. Business rates relief doubled for a further year, and inflation-linked increase in business rates capped at 2%.

    There will be a full review of the structure of business rates, and increase in rates discount to help our high street shops, pubs and cafes by 50% to £1,500 next year.

  89. Non-doms

    The people known as non-doms will have to pay more for the privilege. Those who have been here for 12 of the past 14 years will now have to pay £60,000 to preserve their non-dom tax status. "And I am introducing a new £90,000 charge for those resident in this country for 17 of the past 20 years," says Mr Osborne.

  90. Get involved

    Tweet @bbc_haveyoursay

    Daniel Jenks tweets: #AutumnStatement Yes the deficit is falling but the problems are still there.

  91. Bank tax

    New announcement: the amount of profit in established banks that can be offset by losses carried forward will be limited to 50%, and relief on bad debts delayed. That means banks should contribute almost £4 billion more in tax over the next five years.

    Mr Osborne adds he will also put in place "internationally recognised measures on hybrids and reporting of tax by country".

  92. New tax on multinational firms

    This is big news. Big multinational businesses will "pay their fair share." To stop legal tax dodging, a new 25% tax on profits generated by multinationals - but from their activity in the UK - will be introduced if they would otherwise move the money out of the country to avoid UK tax.

  93. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "25% "Google" tax on profits for multinationals that shift profits offshore - called diverted profit tax. #AutumnStatement"

  94. Welfare spending

    Total welfare spending is set to be £1bn a year lower than forecast at the Budget. Universal Credit work allowances will be frozen for a further year, cutting tax credits when overpayments are certain, and unemployment benefits will stop for migrants with no prospect of work.

  95. Via Twitter

    Emma Simpson

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    "#autumn statement Osborne says £1.2bn of fines on banks re foreign exchange trading scandal will go to GP practices."

  96. That surplus

    How has the chancellor managed to pull of the trick of forecasting a continuous fall his annual Budget deficit when tax receipts have been disappointing? Well, the interest on the national debt has been falling he says: "the interest we pay on our national debt is £16bn lower."

  97. Spending cuts

    Mr Osborne says there will be "substantial savings in public spending" if the Conservatives continue in government.

  98. Get involved


    Jamie Foxx emails: As much as I want to dislike George Osborne the Autumn statement has been actually quite impressive so far. I know politicians have to be good at persuading people into their points of view but it genuinely seems like our country isn't quite as hopeless as everyone quite seems. People seem to forget the global financial crisis as we are deemed to be 'out of the woods'.

  99. Via Twitter

    Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor

    "Deficit worse over next two years but then falls faster #as2014"

  100. Back in surplus?

    Apparently the government's annual spending and taxation plans will move out of the red and into surplus of £4 billion by 2018-19.

  101. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "As share of GDP or national income, deficit 5% - higher than France and Italy #AutumnStatement"

  102. Government borrowing

    Government borrowing is forecast is £91.3bn this year, then £75.9 billion next year. In March the forecast for this year was for borrowing of almost £87bn.

  103. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "OBR expects above-inflation rises in wages for next five years #AutumnStatement"

  104. UK growth

    Mr Osborne says growth forecast for this year revised up to 3%. Growth in the UK next year is forecast higher - at 2.4%. Then 2.2% in 2016, 2.4% the year after, then 2.3% in 2018 and 2019. Those figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

  105. Tightening finances

    Chancellor says he will tighten the public finances with this Autumn Statement.

  106. Post update

    Chancellor George Osborne

    George Osborne kicks off by talking about the government's achievements including "a deficit half what we inherited".

  107. PMQs

    Why are they dragging on? Don't they know there is an important speech coming?

  108. Via Twitter

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: "Oil + gas sector expects big change on tax, with smaller, costly fields, costs up, price down. Blog: #autumnstatement"

  109. Via Twitter

    Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor

    tweets: "George Osborne reading and re-hearsing lines from his #autumnstatement speech during #pmqs"

  110. Debt question

    Labour's Dennis Skinner asks if Mr Cameron is proud of what he's added to the national debt, adding he "can't blame Labour for that".

    The prime minister replies: "Oh yes I can."

  111. Via Twitter

    Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor

    tweets: "PM accuses Ed Balls of "maso - sadism" ???? Er.....verbal mangler moment. #pmqs"

  112. Autumn Statement countdown

    House of Commons

    The Autumn Statement kicks off in around 5 minutes. Watch out for, among other things, an upward revision for government borrowing, possible changes to stamp duty and more about reforms for pensions. We'll bring you all the highlights here on the Autumn Statement live page.

  113. Northern-led recovery?

    The Autumn Statement is dominating prime minister's questions. There could be a new catchphrase in the making as Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, refers to "the northern-led recovery", before Salisbury Conservative John Glen calls for speed in proceeding with the tunnel under Stonehenge.

    However, Mr Cameron faces criticism from the SNP's Angus Robertson on devolution of corporation tax and Labour's Rushanara Ali on wages.

  114. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: "Big hint by @David_Cameron that deficit forecast miss this year could be balanced by improved forecasts for coming years. #AutumnStatement"

  115. Via Twitter

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    tweets: "Could soon be cheaper to buy a cheaper house & more expensive to buy a pricier one as @George_Osborne looks set to reform stamp duty ... You pay £2500 stamp duty if you buy a £250k home BUT £7500 if buy one worth £1 more. @George_Osborne to follow Scotland in reforming the tax"

  116. 'Everything is on the table'

    Kwasi Kwarteng and Stella Creasy

    Speaking to Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith, Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng stresses "everything is on the table" when it comes to cutting government spending. He suggests Ed Miliband's acknowledgement that he forgot to mention the deficit in his conference speech indicates Labour isn't serious about balancing the books.

    Labour's Stella Creasy argues her party will be a better guardian of the NHS' finances - she claims that Conservatives need to be "honest" that they won't protect the National Health Service or overseas aid.

  117. Rail investment

    BBC News Channel

    Bombardier, Derby

    From Derby. Noel Travers, the managing director of the train making company Bombardier says: "We want the government to confirm investment in rail infrastructure." By the way, did you know that average (median) wages and salaries in Derby are some of the highest in the UK?

  118. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: "Big focus on this year's deficit, which will be bit worse than March forecast. But forecast for next few years v important #AutumnStatement"

  119. War bonds

    How many people or professional investors own those 1932 war bonds that the government will redeem next March? At least 120,000 it seems. 97,000 of the investors own less than £1,000 worth of the bonds (at face value). And of those nearly 38,000 holders own less than £100 worth. Since the original debt was issued in 1917, the government has paid out £5.5bn in interest to the bond holders.

  120. 'Google tax'

    BBC News Channel

    BBC Business Editor, Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business Editor, Kamal Ahmed says the chancellor might announce a reform to the way technology firms are taxed - what has been termed a Google tax. Kamal also says that as revenue from North Sea oil has been falling, there might be tax cuts for that sector.

  121. Growth and the deficit

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    The Conservatives' strategist Lynton Crosby likes to tell the party: "A day not talking about the economy is a day wasted."

    The chancellor will be seeking to hammer home the good news - growth revised upwards, and earnings at last beginning to rise. But he is unlikely to have as much to shout about when it comes to cutting the deficit - the Office for Budget Responsibility March forecast for borrowing in 2014-15 was £86.6bn, but George Osborne is expected to announce it's higher than this.

  122. Via Twitter

    Simon Gompertz

    Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "2 banking things you might hear about in #AutumnStatement: faster current account switching and new-look basic bank accounts #AS2014"

  123. 'Incomprehensible' strike

    A pilot of German airline Lufthansa taking part in a demonstration during strike action at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt April 2, 2014

    In some non-Autumn statement news, Lufthansa is unhappy about yesterday's decision by their pilots to go on strike again - for the tenth time this year - on Thursday this week. "That the pilots have already announced the next strike while one is still ongoing is completely incomprehensible," said a company spokesman. The dispute is about the airline's plans to change its pension scheme and expand its "low cost" services.

  124. Labour preview

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has released a taster of Labour's line on the Autumn Statement, saying that if he were at the dispatch box he'd be setting out a plan "to deliver a recovery that works for the many and not just a few".

    Expect to hear more along those lines from him later, along with plenty on Labour's plans to:

    • Raise the minimum wage
    • Invest in house-building
    • Expand free childcare
  125. Business rates

    BBC News Channel

    John Longworth, BCC (left) Mike Cherry (FSB) right

    The News Channel speaks to John Longworth (director general of the British Chambers of Commerce). He says he "appreciates" that the chancellor might not be able to cut business rates as he is constrained by the budget deficit. Mike Cherry from the Federation of Small Businesses warns that some of his members are facing a "cliff edge" next March when transitional relief on business rates is due to end.

  126. UK service industry


    This graph shows how employment in the services sector has recovered since the financial crisis. It has recently been reaching new heights.

  127. Euro weakness


    The euro has fallen further against the dollar today, down 0.35%, which means one euro buys you just $1.23. Back in May, a euro bought almost $1.40. The European Central Bank holds its policy meeting on Thursday. The euro has also dropped 0.44% against the pound, with a euro buying just 78p.

  128. AIB sale


    The state-owned Allied Irish Bank, which was bailed out following the financial crisis out by Ireland's government (with money from the IMF and the EU), could be sold back to the private sector as early as the end of next year, according to the Irish finance minister.

  129. Driver shortage

    BBC News Channel

    Bombardier train industry

    The BBC's Jo Coburn is at Bombardier's train factory in Derby. She speaks to Simon Nelson who runs a road haulage business (so is he on enemy territory?). He welcomes spending on roads and plans to boost lending for small firms, but he says there is shortage of drivers in the industry and he would like the government to announce some support with training.

  130. UK service industry

    Just to give you some indication of quite how big the services industry is in the UK, it accounts for roughly 78% of overall GDP, and about three-quarters of all jobs. So strong growth in the sector is a pretty big deal.

  131. UK service industry


    Mr Osborne will be rubbing his hands with glee at this announcement. Latest figures show that the services industry in the UK - which accounts for a large part of the economy - grew stronger then expected in November, rising to 58.6 from 56.2 the month before (a reading above 50 indicates growth). Employment in the sector also continued to rise strongly. All that is according to the CIPS/Markit purchasing managers' index survey for November. What a mouthful. Can't they get a shorter name?

  132. Via Twitter

    Berenberg Economics

    tweets: "Big upside UK services #PMI surprise. 58.6 vs consensus of 56.5. Shaking off any eurozone gloom, driven by domestic strength."

  133. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: "Activity in crucial services sector in France, Germany, Spain all pretty weak, according to @MarkitEconomics. No sign of eurozone recovery."

  134. Markets update


    The FTSE 100 is slightly down this morning, by 0.2%, with Royal Mail falling a further 2.8% after regulator Ofcom said yesterday it would not change rules obliging the company to deliver across the UK for one price. The big winner thus far is business software company Sage Group - up more than 4%, after it reported a 70% rise in statutory pre-tax profits for the past year.

  135. Via Blog

    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor

    Our business editor Kamal Ahmed blogs on a possible "Google tax" - "a tax on technology companies that will mean them paying more in the UK rather than diverting profits to other countries with lower tax rates". At the Conservative party conference earlier this year, the Chancellor seemed keen to crack down on large tech firms, so we may just get an announcement on it in the Autumn Statement.

  136. War bonds


    The government is going to pay off more of its old borrowings, first raised to pay for the cost of fighting WW1. Next March it will pay off the holders of £1.9bn of war bonds. They were issued in 1932 in an earlier attempt to refinance the original war borrowings. These latest repayments will be paid for by new government borrowings, but at a lower interest rate, and thus at a lower cost to the Treasury.

  137. Osborne's housing push

    Artist's impression of Northstowe

    Ed Conway, economics editor at Sky News, writes about why George Osborne has approved a project to build 10,000 new homes at a disused RAF base in Northstowe - the first time that central government has got directly involved in homebuilding since 1971. "It is a sign of how concerned the Chancellor is about the inability of the private sector to fulfil housing demand," says Ed.

  138. Uber in Vietnam

    A smartphone displaying the Uber app of the timing and availability of taxis within the area at Raffles place financial district in Singapore

    Vietnam's transport ministry says it will consider legalising Uber, the online car-booking company that competes with traditional cab services, after an earlier ruling deemed the taxi service illegal.

  139. Medicinal marijuana

    A joint.

    Want to invest in medical cannabis? Australia is the place to go. A firm called Phytotech is floating on the Australian stockmarket on 22 December. Investors have already asked for AUS$15m worth of shares, though only $5m worth are being sold. The company plans to sell medicinal marijuana and make a disposable inhaling device. Weren't they called "joints" or "reefers" once upon a time?

  140. Via Twitter

    George Eaton

    Political Editor, New Statesman

    tweets: "Autumn Statement was meant to just be a modest update on the state of the economy. Now a second Budget in all but name."

  141. Via Twitter

    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Legal and General boss Nigel Wilson tells me he intends to invest £15bn in UK - equivalent to 1% of GDP"

  142. Via Twitter

    Graham Beale

    Chief executive, Nationwide

    tweets: "I see @FT thinks @George_Osborne may announce Stamp Duty reforms in the Autumn Statement. Let's hope so. Long overdue"

    Mr Beale
  143. Via Twitter

    Simon Gompertz

    Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "Chancellor to do more re-mortgaging: replacing old war debt with new borrowing at current ultra-low interest rates"

  144. France's triumph - part deux

    Let's remind ourselves of how some people regard the state of the French economy. "Sclerotic, hopeless and downbeat", said Andy Street, the boss of John Lewis, back in October. He subsequently apologised, a bit.

  145. France's triumph?


    France, whose economy is much maligned in some sectors, has confirmed it will cut its deficit (the difference between government income and spending) to 4.1% of overall GDP in 2015. Compare and contrast with the UK, where the deficit is at 5.9% of GDP, according to the latest official figures.

  146. Mirror reflects Sun

    The Mirror is no fan of Mr Osborne either. It says today's Autumn Statement will represent the "final nail in the chancellor's credibility coffin".

  147. Sun predicts gloom

    "Britain's getting gloomier", says The Sun newspaper, which warns that the Tories can no longer count on voters to thank them next May for - in its words - fixing the economy "Labour wrecked". A YouGov poll for the paper suggests public confidence in the chancellor is slipping, with his personal rating dropping by five points since March to -8. The proportion of people who believe the economy will improve fell from 39% to 25% in the same period.

  148. Ladbrokes


    In an unusual move, the betting company Ladbrokes has started looking for a new chief executive, before the current one - Richard Glynn - steps down. In a stock exchange announcement to shareholders, Ladbrokes says Mr Glynn will stay in his job "into 2015", but will then hand over to whoever is appointed as his successor.

  149. Via Twitter

    Adam Parsons

    Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Richard Glynn to continue as Ladbrokes CEO 'into 2015', while board decide on successor"

  150. Stamp duty

    Here is another thing that some people think (or have been told on the quiet) may be in the Autumn Statement. The Financial Times says the system of stamp duty, which is levied on house sales, may be changed. It seems the tax may be made a bit more progressive.

  151. Business rates

    George Osborne is expected to unveil plans to spend nearly £1bn to support small businesses, along with a review of business rates. That is what the Telegraph is claiming this morning. Some business groups say the current structure penalises small High Street firms with large premises, but unfairly benefits online retailers.

  152. Honesty

    BBC Radio 4

    It's not often that the word "honesty" is deemed to be the prime quality in economic decision making. But Mike Amey, of the huge bond investment company Pimco, tells listeners to Today that this is what he wants from the Chancellor today: "The main thing the markets are looking for is honesty, that we will miss this year's forecast deficit, and a recognition that that's largely for reasons outside their control, and that it will take longer for the deficit to come down," he says.

  153. The debt

    Radio 5 live

    Co-presenter Adam Parsons has a further reminder, this time on debt. "We're borrowing that much - it works out at almost £3000 per second - that our overall debt pile is getting bigger every year - heading towards £1.5tn overall".

  154. The deficit

    Radio 5 live

    On Wake Up to Money, Mickey Clarke reminds us of some crucial figures on the deficit. "In 2013-14, after strenuous efforts by the chancellor, we borrowed £97.5bn," he says. "In March this year, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that the figure would drop to £86.6bn for the current financial year. But it looks like that isn't going to be met".

  155. What is the Autumn Statement?

    A little on what the Autumn Statement actually is. The government has to officially publish how the country is getting on twice a year. Today is one of the two opportunities for that. The Autumn Statement has been a regular feature since 1976, but was called the Pre-Budget Report for a while. For more information, head to the Parliament website.

  156. Singapore


    Singapore's stock exchange started trading three hours late on Wednesday. The authorities said they needed the downtime to correct the after-effects of a software glitch from two days ago.

  157. Timings

    How remiss of us. We forgot to remind you of when the Chancellor will actually deliver his pièce de résistance. Mr Osborne will get up at 12:30 GMT, and will probably be on his feet for about an hour.

  158. Clarke on Osborne

    Ken Clarke

    Last night, on the BBC's Newsnight programme, senior Conservative MP and former chancellor, Ken Clarke, said the UK would now be in a "bad way" if the coalition had pushed ahead with his colleague George Osborne's original plan to eradicate the deficit by the general election. Mr Clarke also told the programme that the Tories shouldn't "shut out" the prospect of tax rises.

  159. UK lending

    The government's Funding for Lending scheme (FLS) is being extended for another year, to the end of January 2016, it was announced last night. FLS was launched in the middle of 2012 with the aim of providing cheap funds for banks, in the hope that this would boost their own lending to businesses and people. The main effect was to stoke up mortgage lending and the property market, though the scheme has since been refocused on business lending. It will now be only for lending to small and medium sized enterprises (that's what SMEs are).

  160. Post update

    Ian Pollock

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning from me too. If you want to share your thoughts with us we may even publish some of them. Get in contact at or by tweeting @bbcbusiness.

  161. Post update

    Joe Miller

    Business Reporter

    Good morning, and welcome to our Autumn Statement special. We'll be here until 18:00 GMT, bringing you live coverage, analysis and expert comment on the Chancellor's final set piece before the general election. The consensus seems to be that the kitty is empty, but nonetheless, we are expecting a raft of new measures from Mr Osborne.