Minute-by-minute coverage of the autumn statement
13.38pm: Balls sits down with: “The chancellor needs to change course, and he needs to change course now.”
13.37pm: @sarahr100: £600m free schools money is capital spend - tho is stretched over the course of this parliament…
13.37pm: Balls: “To change course now would be to admit he has got the key call of this parliament absolutely, catastrophically wrong.”
13.35pm: Public sector gross investment figures lower by an ave of c £3bn for each year over the forecast period, unless I’ve missed something
13.34pm: Net bank lending to small businesses has fallen, Balls says.
“New infrastructure fund? - this from the same chancellor that abolished the Building Schools for the Future programme, at the cost of tens of thousands of construction jobs.”
13.33pm: Project Merlin deal has patently failed, Balls says, sounding almost as hoarse as Osborne
13.32pm: Balls: “Unemployment higher for the next two years. We were promised a growth plan - it leads to lower growth and higher unemployment.”
13.30pm: Balls: “How many more times does he have to downgrade his forecasts before this chancellor finally sees sense.”
A “catastrophic” error of judgement
13.31pm: Calls growth measures a “cobbled together package” that don’t address the fundamental problems. “This is the third emergency growth package in a year.”
13.28pm: Balls says low interest rates are a sign of stagnant growth. After another intervention by the speaker, Balls retorts “they don’t like it but it’s the truth Mr Speaker.”
13.28pm: Only Greece, Portugal and Cyprus have grown more slowly than the UK this year
13.26pm: Best quote so far: “We’ve had all of the pain and none of the gain.”
Balls then lists some of Osborne’s excues for lower than expected GDP. “Anyone but himself, ladies and gentlemen.”
13.25pm: Balls claims Osborne will be borrowing more at the end of this parliament, than under the plan inherited from Labour
13.24pm: £158bn more in borrowing than he promised a year ago, Balls alleges
13.24pm: Balls now lambasting the chancellor for cutting too fast. “If you try and cut spending too fast you risk choking off growth. You risk leaving it dangerously exposed to the growing financial storm.”
Growth forecast cut for the fourth time in a row - 2011 now predicted to by 0.7%, compared with 2.3% in his emergency budget.
13.23pm: @UKGBC Just checked the full report - no more detail on Green Deal incentives package. We’ll have to wait to March Budget.
13.21pm: Balls now alleges that Osborne forced into higher borrowing as a result of failed economic policy
13.21pm: “Colossal failure” of the government plan. Ed Balls: “Growth flatlining. £100bn more borrowing than planned a year ago. More borrowing than the chancellor inherited. Economic and fiscal strategy is in tatters. Plan A has failed, and it has failed colossally.”
13.19pm: Ed balls has now risen. MPs getting another ticking off from the speaker for constant interruptions.
13.18pm: Osborne: This takes Britain in the right direction. It cannot transform our economic prospect overnight. People know that the promises of quick fixes and more spending are like the promises of a quack doctor promising a miracle cure.”
13.17pm: @hmtreasury: We will cancel fuel duty increase planned for January. Fuel duty figure from August to be only 3 pence higher than now
13.16pm: The government will fund a reduction in planned increases in rail fares. Not clear what will happen to the rail schemes this fare increase was supposed to allow
13.15pm: @Peston: This is a mini budget, precisely what Osborne said he would abolish.
13.14pm: Osborne says he is providing an extra £1.2bn on schools. Half to go to the local authorities with the greatest need for places, and half to go to create 100 free schools.
13.13pm: 200,000 young people to be helped in to work. Those who drop out of the scheme to have benefits docked
13.12pm: Too many children are leaving school after 11 years of compulsory education without the basics
13.11pm: Unemployment to rise from 8.1% this year to 8.7% next year before falling back.
13.11pm: Tax breaks for those investing in start-up businesses now launched
13.10pm: £20bn of investment from pension funds “agreed”
Government to start looking at lower crossings of the River Thames, and “all options for expanding London air capacity” aside from more runways at Heathrow
13.10pm: Cuts to employment regulations making it easier to hire and fire new staff, and cut to health and safety rules. “It’s no use comparing ourselves to Europe. The whole of the European economy is pricing itself out of the world economy.”
13.09pm: @WHurstBuilding: One honourable member has shouted enough for one day, speaker Bercow says in an effort to get the rowdy MPs to calm down #AS2011
13.07pm: Need to go further with planning reform, including time limits for dealing with planning applications
13.06pm: Particular help for “our energy intensive industries. I am worried about the combined impact of our green policies on some of our energy intensive industries. Not going to help the environment by shutting our steel mills.”
13.05pm: @WHurstBuilding Commitment to help energy intensive industries, chancellor says as he insists he is green really
13.04pm: @hmtreasury: We will make it easier for UK-based firms to compete for government procurement contracts and make new apps from G’ment data #AS2011
13.04pm: Further £1bn into the regional growth fund pot - this is a genuine surprise. “Government should not assume this [ie. regional growth] will happen by itself”
13.03pm: Two further Enterprise Zones - Humber and Lancaster, I think - launched today
13.01pm: 35 new road and rail schemes, including the electricfication of the penine rail link, the Manchester Gateway, improvements to the Humber bridge and numerous roads
13.00pm: Overall, borrowing will be £112bn higher over 4 years than the government’s previous forecasts, debt interest payments £22bn less
12.59pm: Osborne says the country needs uncongested roads and railways, secure power sources, digitla networks “these do not exist today”
Confirms publication of the National Infrastructure plan today
Includuing 500 key projects, and “Mobilsiing the finance needed to deliver them too.”
Funding of £5bn of additional on infrastructure over net three years
£1bn from Network Rail
£5bn for next spending period
Allowing city mayors to borrow against future tax receipts
12.59pm: @sarahr100: Osborne reiterates right to buy will help meet housing shortage and help construction – hope so, given they’ve spent two months announcing it!
12.57pm: @iainwithers: £400m kitty for construction firms who have difficulty accessing credit, will kickstart projects already have planning permission
12.57pm: We will reinvigorate Right to Buy, Osborne says, adding it was one of the “best social policies of all time”. Discounts of up to 50% will apply and this will help to boost the construction industry.
12.56pm: Need to make sure low interest rates are available to families and businesses. The government to launch a “major programme of credit easing for small businesses” for £40bn, while reducing the ceiling for a similar scheme for big business
The important thing is to get credit flowing to our small businesses
12.54pm: Eligable firms must have turnover below £50m
12.53pm: @WHurstBuilding: Launching national loan guarantee scheme to reduce interest rates small business can borrow at, Osborne says #AS2011
12.51pm: @hmtreasury: We are launching a major programme of credit easing #AS2011
12.49pm: Setting expenditure totals for two years after the end of the CSR period. It will fall by the same amount as the last two year of the current spending review
12.48pm: Working age benefits will be uprated in line with CPA inflation spike in September
12.47pm: Annual increase in state pension will be largest ever next year.
12.45pm: Further clamp down on public sector pay, to save £1bn to be diverted to capital projects
12.44pm: No change in spending review period. “We will make significant savings in current spending, use it to make additional investment capital projects, infrastructure and education.”
12.42pm: We will not take a risk with the solvency of the British economy”
12.41pm: Borrowing will be falling by the end of the parliament. “It is not happening as quickly as we’d wanted because of the impact on the economy. But we will meet our targets.”
12.40pm: If we’d prusude Labour path, “we’d still be in the eye of that sovereign debt storm.”
Has given up chance of meeting targets one year early
12.38pm: Debts worse than expected, but still to fall to £127bn next year.
But because of the lower interest rates, debt interest payments will be £20bn lower than predicted
12.37pm: Osborne says OBR gives further evidence that the boom was more unsustainable and the bust deeper. “Our debt challenge is even greater than we thought. the effects will last even longer.”
12.35pm: OBR forecast. No recession in Britain.
Osborne admits: “unsurprisingly revised forecasts down.”
The forecasts are:
0.9% growth this year
12.33pm: Osborne has now stood up. “We will do whatever it takes to protect Britain from this debt storm while doing all we can to promote growth.”
12:30pm: Welcome to Building’s live coverage of the autumn statement.
Before the chancellor stands up, it’s worth recapping on what we’re expecting from today’s statement. There has been an unprecedented amount pre-briefed and half launched prior to the statement. Here’s a (by no means exhaustive) list of what we can expect:
- £5bn plan to improve national infrastructure over three years. Further £25bn could be spent in future years
- £500m housebuilding plan in England
- Mortgage indemnity scheme to help 100,000 people get onto the property ladder
- £600m plan for 40,000 new school places
- A list of 500 priority construction projects, including 40 to be given high-priority status
- A deal to persuade pension funds to invest a further £20bn in infrastructure projects
- Help for energy-intensive industries including product manufacturers set to be hit by the introduction of a carbon floor price
- Publication of a revised and updated National Infrastructure plan
- Growth forecasts for UK economy in 2011 and 2012 to be revised down
- January rise in regulated rail fares to be capped at 6.2%, not 8.2%
- Borrowing forecasts to be revised up and expected to be double earlier estimate in 2014-15
- £40bn “credit easing” scheme to underwrite bank loans to small firms
- £1bn scheme to subsidise work placements for the young unemployed
- Doubling of free childcare places for deprived two-year-olds to 260,000 in England
- 3p fuel duty rise due in January to be delayed or frozen
- Bank levy to be increased