Anyone hoping that yesterday’s Autumn Statement from George Osborne would signal a change of strategy from ‘Plan A’ is likely to be bitterly disappointed, as the Chancellor pressed ahead with proposals for radical cuts to departmental budgets to find an additional £5billion to kick-start the economy.
This aggressive approach will mean that departments are expected to slash 1 per cent off their running costs in 2013-14 and save 2 per cent the following year. The Government's economic strategy will continue to focus on reducing the deficit, restoring stability and rebalancing our economy.
Osborne's central message was that Britain was on the right track, pledging:
- investing £5.5billion (gained by cutting Whitehall spending & benefit bills) into schools, roads and science
- a 2 year increase in the Annual Investment Allowance from £25,000 to £250,000 to support SMES
- corporation tax cut to 21p (the lowest rate in the G7 and the fourth in the G20)
- cancelling January's 3p fuel rise
- increase in personal allowance to £9,440, by a further £235 resulting in a further 24 million people getting a tax cut
- increasing state pension by 2.5% so that it will be £110.15 a week
This was a good day for Osborne and the Conservative backbenchers cheered loudly when he explained that 1.2 million new jobs had been created in the private sector since the Coalition Government came to power.
To read Osborne's Autumn Statement in full please click here