Autumn Statement 2012: Who said what?


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We thought we would round up opinion and reaction to the Autumn Statement. From the Chancellor himself to the leader of the opposition, business leaders to the trade unions, who said what?

We’d also love to hear what you think about the Autumn Statement, why not leave your comment at the end of this article?


George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequor, “It is a hard road but we are getting there and Britain is on the right track. It’s taking time but the British economy is healing.”
Ed Milliband, Labour Leader, “As a result of this Autumn Statement alone, a typical higher rate taxpayer currently receiving a personal allowance will be £47 better off in real terms in 2013-14, and in total no worse off by 2014-15.”
Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor, “The chancellor’s fiscal strategy has been completely derailed.” “We can see the true scale of this government’s failure.”
Nick Robinson, BBC Political EditorVia Twitter “Bad news” – deeper spending cuts, benefits squeeze even for those in work, tax free pension contributions cut.”Good news” – petrol tax rise scrapped, personal tax allowance up, investment increased.
Robert Peston, BBC,Via Twitter : Danny Alexander tells me that keeping AAA credit rating is not be all and all. Sounds as though he’s written it off #bbceconomicsVia Twitter : Biggest story of autumn statement seems to me to be 3 years of 1% rise in benefits & tax credits. Saves billions & strong political message.
Laura Kuenssberg, ITVVia Twitter : Key point – borrowing is down including counting the proceeds of 4G auction which hasn’t yet happened – take out that 3.5bn and its up.Via Twitter : By percentage of net income, bottom twenty percent of people get hit hardest by tax + benefit changes…in cash terms the wealthiest take the biggest hit.
Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice, Chief Executive,“They will not just hit people who are out of work. It will also hurt working families in low paid jobs who have already been hit by wage freezes and cuts in working hours,”
Lionel Barber, FT Editor, “The Chancellor is in a hole, but the good news is that he’s stopped digging. The FT supports the government’s fiscal stance, but is there more to be done on monetary policy to boost growth? That’s the question.”
Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC,When you are self-harming you should stop, not look for better sticking plasters. With the economy still scraping along the bottom, unemployment set to rise and the Chancellor missing his own debt target, we need a fundamental change in direction, not more muddling through.Cuts, austerity and squeezed living standards stretch seemingly without end into the future. What is missing today is any vision of a future economy that can deliver decent jobs and living standards – it’s pain without purpose.
John Longworth – Director General – British Chambers of Commerce, “Three words need to be on every minister’s lips – urgency, scale, and delivery. The chancellor has taken a number of very positive steps, despite being constrained by politics, budgets, and Whitehall inertia.”
Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union General Secretary, Serwotka says the plans are “miles off course”. “Two years ago we said austerity wouldn’t work and we were right. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
John Cridland – CBI Director General,The CBI, the employer’s organisation, urged the government to stick to its guns on deficit reduction to retain international credibility, saying it was no surprise that austerity would last longer than expected.John Cridland, director-general, welcomed investment in infrastructure and support for exports, but said the proof was in the delivery. He said: “Businesses need to see the Chancellor’s words translated into building sites on the ground.”
Ros Altmann, Director-General of the Saga Group, pensions and investment expert, economist and policy adviser, Via Twitter @rosaltmann Fantastic news that Gov has listened on income drawdown. Increasing back to 120% of GAD is a good start, many will be happy
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of the Children’s Society, said the announcement of a below-inflation rise for benefits paid to poor working families, on top of the freeze on child benefit and working tax credit and cuts to housing support, would “directly punish children”.
Mark Boleat, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London,“The direction of travel on corporation tax is welcome and sends a clear message that the UK is open for business. This will help to deliver jobs and growth needed across the country.”“The banking sector has been working hard to improve balance sheets while mobilising capital and stands ready to pay its fair share to support the economic recovery. What the banks, like all businesses, require though is stability and predictably in the tax system so that they can confidently plan for the future. In this context, a fifth increase in the bank levy is unhelpful.”
Andrew Smith, Chief Economist at KPMG,“The government’s strategy is to combine deficit reduction with economic recovery, but at the moment we are not getting much of either. Output is undershooting and government borrowing overshooting even the March Budget’s modest expectations. Growth forecasts have been downgraded, the austerity programme extended to 2018 and the debt rule rolled on a year.”“After no growth this year, the OBR has reduced its short-term forecasts and, worse, does not expect output lost now to be made up further out. This output pessimism risks becoming self fulfilling as the corollary is even more growth-dampening austerity measures”“In fact, the problem rather is deficient demand. Over-indebted consumers are saving rather than spending, apprehensive businesses are sitting on cash rather than investing and recession-bound overseas markets are limiting exports. On top of this private sector retrenchment, public sector cutbacks are further depressing growth.”