This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament, setting out how the government will continue to secure the public finances, support families with their costs, help businesses to grow and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed.
The Autumn Statement reinforces the government’s commitment to the long-term economic plan set out in 2010.
The economy is now growing faster than predicted. As a result, borrowing will be lower. By setting out a Autumn Statement that focuses on the continuing need to reduce spending, the government is reinforcing its commitment to tackling the deficit and help get the public finances back in to balance.
With the deficit and debt still at unsustainable levels, deviating from that plan now would be the biggest risk to recovery.
The Autumn Statement sets out the next steps in this long-term economic plan, including:
delivering sound public finances
helping hard-working people to keep more of the money they earn
supporting businesses to grow and create jobs
equipping all young people to compete in the global economy
increasing the incentives to work and providing a benefit system that is fair to those who need it and those who pay for it
clamping down further on tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning, ensuring that those with the most in society make a fair contribution to reducing the deficit
taking action to reduce levels of tax debt and to reduce fraud, error and debt in the benefit and tax credit systems
Delivering sound public finances
In recognition of the need to continue to reduce the deficit and debt, the Autumn Statement sets out:
a reduction in Whitehall departmental budgets for 2014-15 and 2015-16 of 1.1%, excluding protected departments, local government, Security and Intelligence Agencies and HMRC
how a cap on welfare announced at Budget 2013 will work to control welfare spending
how future reviews of the State Pension age will work in practice
a review of the current fiscal policy framework to ensure that debt continues to fall as a percentage of GDP, including using surpluses in good years for this purpose
To support families with the cost of living, the Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the government is:
freezing fuel duty for the remainder of this Parliament, saving the average motorist £11 every time they fill up their tank by 2015-16
introducing the married couples transferable tax allowance, benefitting eligible couples by up to £200 in 2015-16
introducing reforms to save the average energy bill payer £50, whilst maintaining support for the poorest families
extending free school meals to all children in reception and years 1 and 2
*cap the average increase in regulated rail fares for 2014 in line with the Retail Prices Index, complementing the decision by the Mayor of London to cap average fare increases in London for 2014
The government’s plan to build a stronger economy is underpinned by its commitment to deliver a fairer society. The Autumn Statement will help to provide a benefit system that is fair to those who need it and those who pay for it, and clamps down further on tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning.