Autumn Statement: Millions to work longer but fuel duty rise axed

South Wales Argus: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander leave the Treasury in central London for the House of Commons where Osborne will deliver his autumn financial statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander leave the Treasury in central London for the House of Commons where Osborne will deliver his autumn financial statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date:

THE chancellor yesterday claimed that Britain’s economic plan is working but said he had to keep on making tough decisions as he announced yesterday’s mini budget.

In his Autumn Statement George Osborne set out plans to raise the state pension age, for spending on welfare to be capped and for a further freeze on fuel duty.

Mr Osborne told MPs: “The hard work of the British people is paying off and we will not squander their efforts.”

He said growth forecasts were up, airing predictions that there would be 400,000 new jobs in 2013 and that the government would see a surplus rather than a deficit by 2018/19.

The state pension will rise by £2.95 a week, Mr Osborne announced, with pensioners offered the chance to make voluntary contributions.

But the new principle that people should spend one third of their adult life in retirement means the state pension age will increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and 69 in the late 2040s.

Next year’s planned fuel duty rise will be scrapped, while some £100 million of fines on banks will go to military charities.

Welfare spending will be capped, but will not include the state pension or most cyclical job seeker benefits.

Meanwhile job seekers aged 18 to 21 without basic Maths or English will be required to undertake training or lose their benefits.

In response Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Mr Osborne of being in “complete denial”, and said living standards for families were falling “year on year”.

Overall the Wales Office said the Welsh Government would get an extra £100 million over two years.

But Jane Hutt, Welsh Government finance minister, said the Autumn Statement “has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales.”

Yesterday’s confirmation of free school meals to all school children in reception and years one and two did not apply to Wales.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats called for the Welsh Government to use an extra £54 million to implement a similar scheme here.

Comments (1)

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7:57pm Fri 6 Dec 13

bettysenior says...

The UK will not move forward in any meaningful way until government understands that it is the major part of what is wrong with the current system.

Indeed the great problem is that government never learns because Whitehall does not allow it to do so. The steady-state is all that matters and why rock the boat when at the end of it if you do nothing you get very well looked after. There is no incentive therefore for government to learn because they are looked after from political and bureaucratic birth to grave. Not until Whitehall gets a culture of risk and creative indulgence will Britain move forward. Therefore the great stumbling block to future economic dynamism is government itself. It is time that it looked itself in the mirror and asked deep and searching questions about itself.

With regard to the UK's overall debt the chief economist at PwC on far better economic projections than today in 2009 after Labour left office calculated that by 2015 the nation's total debt would be £10.2 Trillion but where they stated that the range of our debt could be as high as £11.5 Trillion - http://pwc.blogs.com
/press_room/2010/11/
pwc-projects-total-u
k-public-and...

It was made up as follows,
Households Debt - £1.9 Trillion
General Government Debt - £1.4 Trillion
Non Financial Company Debt - £2.2 Trillion
Financial sector Debt - £4.5 Trillion

The UK's actual total debt is therefore far more than what most people really think.

Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation
The UK will not move forward in any meaningful way until government understands that it is the major part of what is wrong with the current system. Indeed the great problem is that government never learns because Whitehall does not allow it to do so. The steady-state is all that matters and why rock the boat when at the end of it if you do nothing you get very well looked after. There is no incentive therefore for government to learn because they are looked after from political and bureaucratic birth to grave. Not until Whitehall gets a culture of risk and creative indulgence will Britain move forward. Therefore the great stumbling block to future economic dynamism is government itself. It is time that it looked itself in the mirror and asked deep and searching questions about itself. With regard to the UK's overall debt the chief economist at PwC on far better economic projections than today in 2009 after Labour left office calculated that by 2015 the nation's total debt would be £10.2 Trillion but where they stated that the range of our debt could be as high as £11.5 Trillion - http://pwc.blogs.com /press_room/2010/11/ pwc-projects-total-u k-public-and... It was made up as follows, Households Debt - £1.9 Trillion General Government Debt - £1.4 Trillion Non Financial Company Debt - £2.2 Trillion Financial sector Debt - £4.5 Trillion The UK's actual total debt is therefore far more than what most people really think. Dr David Hill World Innovation Foundation bettysenior

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