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  1. Government borrowing to be £122bn higher: OBR
  2. Growth forecasts cut for 2017 and 2018
  3. Employee perks targeted; fuel duty frozen; letting-fees ban
  4. £23bn infrastructure fund announced
  5. McDonnell: Chancellor's spending plans 'offer no hope'

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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That's all for another Livepage. We'll be here bright and early at 6.00am tomorrow with all the breaking news in business and the reverberations from Wednesday's Autumn Statement. 

Sense and Sensibility

What a delightful opening to the Financial Times' leader on the Autumn Statement. Enjoy.  


US stocks reach new peaks

Elsewhere in the world - away from the Autumn Statement - US stocks maintained their momentum to close at a new high.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day 59.31 points up at 19,083.18.

The S&P 500 edged to a new peak of 2,204.72  

However, that rush of positivity, buoyed by US president-elect Donald Trump's plans for infrastructure and lighter regulation, failed to spread to America's other main index, the Nasdaq which finished down 5.67 points at 5,380.68.

A macro Autumn Statement

BBC economics editor, Kamal Ahmed, digs into Philip Hammond's first - and last - Autumn Statement.

BBC experts analyse the Autumn Statement.

End to big upfront letting fees

To Let sign

The chancellor pledged to ban "as soon as possible" the fees charged to tenants when they rent a property, which in some cases have "spiralled to hundreds of pounds".

The move's designed to help those squeezed by the rental market, and has sent shares in estate agents down. 

Miles Gibson, a property expert, tells the BBC that some landlords may end up putting the fee into the rent instead.

But he adds: "That's still a benefit because you don't have those big upfront fees and that's what people are really complaining about."

Number of the day

The Financial Times' economics editor, Chris Giles, has his own favorite figure from the Autumn Statement.

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UK tech needs money and talent

Silicon Roundabout
Getty Images

Transferwise, the currency site, is delighted Philip Hammond is investing in Britain's technology sector but believes there are more pressing issues.

Chief executive and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, says: "...the biggest barrier to growth isn’t access to funding: it’s access to talent.

"We need to attract the best in the world if we’re to build world-class businesses here in the UK. We need clarity on the government’s approach to immigration and reassurance that the best people will not just be able to come here but will be welcome too.”

OBR's productivity gap

Thomson Reuters Datastream/Fathom Consulting

The Office for Budget Responsibility was criticised on Wednesday for being too gloomy after cutting its economic forecast for the UK.

But actually, the OBR is perenniallyoptimistic when it comes to productivity. 

Unfortunately, it just keeps getting it wrong as this graphic shows.

Autumn Statement: winners and losers

Petrol pump
Getty Images

So who were the winners and who were the losers in today's Autumn Statement? Here's a selection: 


Motorists have been saved from a fuel duty rise for the seventh year in a row. This equals a £130 annual saving for car drivers and £350 for vans.

Savers, burned from Britain's record low interest rate, will be offered a new three-year bond with a rate of 2.2% from Spring next year. People can save up to £3,000. 

Generation rent will get a break after the government promised a ban on up-front letting agent fees in England. However, there is not much in the way of detail on when it will come into force.


Homeowners, drivers and pet lovers will have to shell out more on insurance after the Chancellor said the insurance premium tax rate will increase from 10% to 12% from June 2017. The insurance industry is not happy.   

NHS charities and health experts have criticised Philip Hammond for failing to pledge more cash for the NHS or social care.

Headteachers claim Mr Hammond did not address funding pressures faced by schools and colleges and warned that a rise in national insurance employer contributions would add to their financial woes. 

Brexiteers blast 'gloomy' forecasts

Getty Images

The Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts were way too gloomy for some Brexiteers. 

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: "It seems to me that there are two problems with those assumptions. One is that they assume that we will apply tariffs on the same basis inside the European Union, which the Chancellor will know he will be able to remove. 

"And secondly, they're particularly gloomy on the prospects for financial services."

Fellow Tory MP, John Redwood, said: "The OBR are probably still quite wrong about 2017 - their forecast is too low, their borrowing forecast is too high, and we will get good access to the single market once we are out of the EU."

The Autumn Statement in six minutes

Andrew Neil picks out some of the key announcements and figures from the chancellor Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement.  

Key points from the chancellor's first Autumn Statement

Housing help

House builders
Getty Images

One of the key policies announced by the chancellor was new spending on housing projects, totalling £3.7bn in England.

Philip Hammond said the money would support the building of up to 100,000 new homes, and amounted to a "step-change" in help for the industry.

Housing Associations - which provide low-cost properties, often to people on low incomes - were delighted with the move.

But Business Live readers haven't been so convinced. 

Steve Tymms had this point about how the re-sale of Housing Association homes is exacerbating the housing shortage.

Better times ahead?

Crystal ball

Does Capital Economics know something we don't?

It expects the budget to return to balance in 2019/20, rather than remain in deficit throughout the forecast as the OBR anticipates. 

It also predicts that Philip Hammond may provide rabbit-out-of-a-hat surprises in future fiscal statements.

"This [Autumn] Statement will have disappointed many people who were hoping for radical tax measures,  or at least a vision of radical measures yet to come. But time, as well as money, has been short. We may yet see more radical measures in the spring Budget."

How big is the UK's debt?

A lot of big numbers have flown around today, including the estimate that the UK will have £2trn of debt in five years' time.

To help get our heads round it, Radio 5 live has produced this explainer:

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Dow Jones scales new heights

New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

Stepping away from the Autumn Statement for a moment, trading on Wall Street has so far been mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average maintained its new heights, with trading up 44 points at 19,068.

The index surpassed 19,000 on Tuesday, helped by industrial firms and banks which are expected to benefit from lighter regulation and infrastructure spending under US president-elect Donald Trump.   

Caterpillar Inc, the construction machinery and equipment company, led the risers, up 2.3%. 

The technology-heavy Nasdaq, however, fell by 17 points to 5,369 and the S&P 500 was flat at 2,201.

NHS could still buckle under pressure - TUC

NHS hospital

In the end, the Chancellor only mentioned the word "NHS" twice, despite calls in the run-up for extra money for the health service.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC, says it'll be hard to explain to staff "why the NHS is still going to buckle under the pressure".

It's not an Autumn Statement for "working people", she says, with nurses due to get a real-terms pay cut next year.

Philip Hammond said the NHS would receive an extra £10bn by 2020-21, but that figure had already been announced and has been questioned by some MPs.

Autumn Statement for 16 to 25-year-olds

BBC Newsbeat

Three young people talk to Newsbeat about how the statement is likely to affect them

Why the Autumn Statement matters to you if you're aged between 16 and 25.

Three young people talk to Newsbeat about how the statement is likely to affect them

Autumn Statement for 16 to 25-year-olds

Why the Autumn Statement matters to you if you're aged between 16 and 25.

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Whitehall 'unacceptably negative' on Brexit


Whitehall is "still unacceptably negative" about the UK leaving the EU, according to a pro-Brexit economist.

Patrick Minford, who is part of the Economists for Brexit group, said the OBR and Treasury continue to under-estimate the positive effects from the UK leaving the bloc in their forecasts. 

The OBR predicts that growth will slow down in 2017 and 2018 before returning to 2.1% growth in 2020.   

"It's still unacceptably negative. What is lacking here is any justification from these bodies of what they said," Prof Minford told the BBC. 

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has "embraced the Treasury's negativity" and his Autumn Statement "came over as unrelentingly negative", he said. 

Economists for Brexit forecast growth of 3% in 2020, helped by the boost to trade and less regulation after leaving the EU.  

Pound gains

Personal finance correspondent Simon Gompertz tweets:

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Hammond paints bruising backdrop

Laura Kuenssberg

BBC political editor

Philip Hammond

There was no secret that the picture today's Autumn Statement would paint would not be pretty. But more than £100bn of extra borrowing, roughly equivalent to the entire NHS budget - nearly £60bn of that the costs of Brexit - make a brutal backdrop for Theresa May's government as it only just gets going.

Remember all the figures ought to be taken with a giant pinch of salt. Forecasts like these have so often been wrong. And no one is forecasting a recession.

But what the chancellor said today and the Office for Budget Responsibility has calculated have big implications.

Read more from Laura here.

Those big numbers in full

Anthony Reuben

BBC Reality Check

Let's run through a couple of the really big numbers you may have seen linked to today's Autumn Statement.

We'll start with the £122bn. That's what you get if you add up the extra amount the government is expected to have to borrow each year until 2020-21, on top of the amount of borrowing that was expected in March.

About half of that is due to the vote to leave the European Union.

The other big figure is £220bn - the amount by which total government debt is forecast to increase before the end of this Parliament in 2019/20. The total goes up from £1.73 trillion to £1.95 trillion.

The difference between the figures is due to the amount of money the Bank of England is borrowing to support the economy via its asset purchase facility (APF). 

It counts as part of national debt, but not as part of the net borrowing figure.

If you're really interested there are more details in the OBR table below.

Table breaking down net debt

Hammond's Marmite policy

In one of the few surprises in today's Autumn Statement, Philip Hammond pledged £7.6m to help repair Wentworth Woodhouse,  the stately home that inspired Jane Austen's Pemberley in Pride & Prejudice.

Seems like people either really love or really hate the plan.

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FTSE finishes flat

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 has pared its losses following the Chancellor's speech.

The index closed at 6,817points - pretty much where it started the day.    

On the currency markets, the pound has gained 0.7% against the euro to €1.177 and is flat against the dollar at $1.243. 

Social care charities concerned

Several have taken to social media to express concern that additional funding for social care was not addressed in this afternoon's statement:

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Not quite enough?

Business editor Simon Jack tweets:

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Osborne commends Hammond

It was warm and fuzzies all round today when Philip Hammond paid tribute to his predecessor George Osborne at the beginning of the Autumn Statement. And the former Chancellor responded in kind:

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A reader asks...

Properties to rent
Getty Images

Chris Ames, a lettings centre manager, has emailed in to ask when the ban on letting agent fees starts.

Unfortunately, the Treasury is very light on detail.

Here's what the Autumn Statement says: "The government will ban letting agents’ fees to tenants, to improve competition in the private rental market and give renters greater clarity and control over what they will pay. The Department for Communities and Local Government will consult ahead of bringing forward legislation."

'Tarmac, trucks and telecoms'

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry
Getty Images

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, comments on Philip Hammond's attempts to boost UK productivity in today's Autumn Statement.

She says: "His emphasis on R&D, housing and local infrastructure will help businesses in all corners of the UK to invest with greater confidence for the long-term, during turbulent times.  This will be warmly welcomed."

However, she emphasises these plans must be put into action. "That means Tarmac, tracks and telecoms being laid, and clear, deliverable timetables for major projects – only then will they act as a catalyst for investment, jobs and growth."

The only way is up...

Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, sums up the impact of Brexit on the public finances.

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BreakingNissan response

A Department for Business spokesperson says in response to the OBR's comments on Nissan:

No 'new contingent liabilities have been created in respect of Government assurances provided to Nissan' and therefore no department will be reporting any additional incurrence of contingent liabilities to Parliament as a result of Nissan’s decision to base the production of two new lines at their Sunderland plant."

Early election on the cards?

Duncan Weldon, head of research at Resolution Group (which is different to the Resolution Foundation, by the way), tweets:

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No Nissan answers

Getty Images

A wry response from Robert Chote on the government's deal with Nissan, which has promised to build its new Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV in Sunderland following "support and assurances" from the UK.

Asked if he thought the government should have given details on the agreement, he says: "We thought it was important to ask for it and we thought it was important to tell everyone they haven't answered the question."


Gilts selloff

Investors sold off more UK government bonds in the aftermath of the Autumn Statement, sending yields higher. 

They're pricing in the prospect of higher inflation after the Chancellor announced another £122bn of spending over the next five years and pushed back plans to balance the books, says Michael Hewson of CMC Markets. 

The yield on UK gilts jumped 10 basis points after Philip Hammond's speech.   

The Autumn Statement in six minutes

Watch a summary of the key points from Philip Hammond's first (and last) Autumn Statement

Earnings hit

Another chart from the Resolution Foundation - not good news for the hip pocket in the years to come.

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Brexit and beyond

The OBR has set out what path it expects Britain to take after Article 50 is triggered, tweets the BBC's Ben Wright.

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Readers react to letting fees ban

  • Rosie Shaw, Cambridge: One good side effect of the ban on agents charging fees to tenants is that letting agents will now want to keep the same tenants in a property for as long as possible; it's no longer in their interest to change tenants regularly in order to get more fees. Next thing I want is long-term tenancies.
  • Justin Waldron, Hampshire: When we moved in to our two-bed flat we had to pay a month's rent in advance and the same amount as a deposit. We then had to pay an extra £650 for fees, so that took our total to £2,000 to move in. So these agents saying that it costs £100 to £200 - and they make no money - it's a load of rubbish and just a massive rip off. 
  • George Brounos, Southend-on-Sea: There is no evidence that banning letting fees resulted in rent increases in Scotland and to be frank if rent prices increase any more people will be forced onto the street. Finally some long overdue good news for those stuck in the private rental bubble.

A thankless task

Does OBR boss Robert Chote have the hardest job in Britain? 

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Economy to take £26bn hit

Resolution Foundation chief economist Matthew Whittaker tweets:

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