Thursday 22 February 2018

Lower growth, higher debt, fewer jobs are the key points for Osborne

HERE are the key points from Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement:

•The Office for Budget Responsibility downgraded growth to 0.9pc for this year and borrowing is expected to go up by £111bn over the next five years.

•Unemployment is forecast to increase from 8.1pc this year to 8.7pc in 2012 and as many as 710,000 jobs could be lost in the public sector by 2016/17.

•Working age benefits will be uprated by 5.2pc and basic state pensions will rise by £5.30 next year to £107.45.

•The rise in the state pension age to 67 is brought forward from 2034 to 2026.

•Public sector pay rises will be capped at 1pc when the current wage freeze ends.

•A 3p fuel duty increase planned for January 2012 is cancelled. It will go up by 3p in August.

•Train fare rises in the New Year will be pegged back to 6pc, rather than the planned 8pc.

•The structural deficit will not be eliminated until 2016/17, according to the OBR predictions -- two years later than it forecast in March.

•A levy on banks will be increased to 0.088pc to ensure it raises the Treasury's £2.5bn annual target.

•Small businesses will benefit from up to £40bn in state-backed loans in "credit easing" measures aimed at unclogging the flow of credit in the UK.

•Around 260,000 two-year-olds from poorer households will get free nursery education -- this is twice the previous total.

Irish Independent

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