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George Osborne's Autumn Statement: Live Updates

The chancellor is announcing the final big economic policies of this government. There's an election on the way.

Originally posted on
Updated on

What We Know So Far

  • George Osborne is expected to miss his deficit reduction targets.
  • It's the last major political event of this government.
  • Roadbuilding, flood defences, and other targeted spending measures will be allocated ahead of the general election.

Updates

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Osborne says he will be cutting stamp duty for 98% of people from midnight tonight.

Sales over 937k will be hit with higher taxes, so it may well be a late night for estate agents pushing through deals before the end of the day.

This is being seen as an attempt to tackle Ed Miliband's "mansion tax" policy, and is the big surprise announcement from the Autumn Statement.

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A vague reference to White Van Man as Osborne turns to tax.

He says the basic rate income tax allowance will rise to £10,600 next year. "We on this side do not sneer at people who want to work hard and get on," he says.

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Financial Times reporter @kadhimshubber is providing some interesting analysis of the Autumn Statement.

Going to post pictures of He-Man while everyone's distracted by the Autumn Statement #AS2014

kadhim@kadhimshubberFollow

Going to post pictures of He-Man while everyone's distracted by the Autumn Statement #AS2014

12:39 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Osborne may have fiscal credibility, but does he glow blue? Nice try matey #as2014

kadhim@kadhimshubberFollow

Osborne may have fiscal credibility, but does he glow blue? Nice try matey #as2014

12:53 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Osborne says student loans of up to £10k will be available to "all young people doing postgraduate degrees".

He lists a range of other education and science measures as well, like committing money to the exploration of Mars. He jokes at the expense of Labour: "We've often glanced at the red planet and wondered if there's any intelligent life there."

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An interestingly specific measure has been announced: Osborne says there will be a tax break for orchestras.

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If you're playing an Autumn Statement drinking game, drink up because Osborne just said "we're all in this together".

He says the richest 20% of taxpayers will pay more tax than the remaining 80%.

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The Google tax announcement.

Osborne announced that multinational companies such as Google, Apple, and Amazon who "artificially" transfer profits outside the UK will have a 25% tax placed upon them.

This new tax, called the diverted profits tax, will raise £1 billion over five years, according to the chancellor.

The tax was announced at the Conservative party conference.

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Osborne says he's going to target tax avoidance.

He says at least another £5bn will be brought into the Treasury by a renewed focus on on tax avoidance and evasion.

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The deficit will go down.

The chancellor said that the "long-term economy plan is on course" because although the deficit is still higher than predicted, forecasted figures show that the deficit will continue to fall at a faster rate every year from 2015.

But public sector net borrowing hasn't quite gone down to £40bn, as announced in 2010.

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Feeling confused?

Don't worry, so is the Sky News political editor.

Brilliantly confusing from Osborne dancing through those numbers... Must always wait till we get the actual numbers

Faisal Islam@faisalislamFollow

Brilliantly confusing from Osborne dancing through those numbers... Must always wait till we get the actual numbers

12:47 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Borrowing.

Osborne says borrowing is lower than expected this year, but that's because the OBR has changed its methodology. Borrowing is forecast to be £91.3 billion this year, but was originally forecast to be £97.5 billion.

He adds that by 2019–2020, there will be a surplus of £23 billion.

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Employment.

Osborne claims "1,000 new jobs have been created every day the coalition government has been in power".

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George Osborne has announced that UK's economic growth prediction has been upgraded to 3% in 2014.

ONS

The decision was made by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility and suggests the UK economy has been growing very fast for the last two years.

But the OBR has also revised down its growth estimates for the next two years. It's good news for the present, not such great news for the future.

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Osborne has committed to the creation of a "northern powerhouse", whatever that means...

Wasn't "Northern Powerhouse" one of those 1980s Saturday morning wrestlers? #AutumnStatement

Hugo Rifkind@hugorifkindFollow

Wasn't "Northern Powerhouse" one of those 1980s Saturday morning wrestlers? #AutumnStatement

12:39 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Interesting that the Northern Powerhouse idea gets such early billing. #AutumnStatement

Evan Davis@EvanHDFollow

Interesting that the Northern Powerhouse idea gets such early billing. #AutumnStatement

12:38 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Osborne commits to 'building the northern powerhouse'. More regional powers? #AutumnStatement

Peter Geoghegan@PeterKGeogheganFollow

Osborne commits to 'building the northern powerhouse'. More regional powers? #AutumnStatement

12:40 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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And we're off...

Osborne's tone is positive, saying there is "higher growth, lower unemployment, and a deficit which is half of what we inherited". However, he reminds parliament that "there is much more to do".

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Prime Minister's Questions isn't quite over yet, but the man of the moment is keen to get going.

It's time for the #AutumnStatement

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The main excitement from Prime Minister's Questions came when Cameron mistakenly said "masosadism".

vine.co
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A few hints

David Cameron dropped a couple of hints about the Autumn Statement during Prime Minister's Questions, raising suspicions that it might be more positive for the government than expected. He said that when Ed Miliband hears the statement, he will "will look as awkward as when he ate that bacon sandwich".

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Aside from the detail, it's generally agreed that holding an Autumn Statement in December is just wrong.

I have an Autumn Statement to make. It's December.

Niall McClure@McClureNiallFollow

I have an Autumn Statement to make. It's December.

12:04 PM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It's called 'the Autumn Statement', even though it's in December, because its contents were leaked to the press throughout the autumn.

David Whitley@mrdavidwhitleyFollow

It's called 'the Autumn Statement', even though it's in December, because its contents were leaked to the press throughout the autumn.

11:58 AM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AutumnStatement to begin "To the climate change deniers I say this: Autumn never used to carry on into December"

Jen Yockney@jenyockneyFollow

#AutumnStatement to begin "To the climate change deniers I say this: Autumn never used to carry on into December"

10:31 AM - 03 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite