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Autumn Statement 2016

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Welcome to this BBC News Special on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.


Forgive the sound of my voice. I have plenty of lozenges to get us


through. Today's Autumn Statement is the


first financial set-piece since Britain decided to leave


the European Union The new Chancellor says he wants


the country to be "match fit" for the opportunities


and challenges ahead. I'm in poverties mouth, one of the


key industrial hub on the south koe.s I will be talking to


businesses here, large and small about what they make of the


Chancellor's businesses here, large and small


about what they make of the Chancellor's statementp


I'll be responding to your e-mails, texts and tweets about what the


Autumn Statement means for you and your family. I'm in the what the of


the City of London there.s' been market volitility ever since the


referendum. How will the same markets respond today? And I'm house


Parliament getting the thoughts of politicians from the major parties


and their assessment of the new Chancellor's performance.


And all that over the course of the next four hours here on BBC2


and we're also joined by viewers on the BBC News Channel.


With me throughout are the BBC's political


and our economics editor, Kamal Ahmed.


Well, Philip Hammond left Number 11 Downing Street just


He says the public finances face a "sharp challenge"


and that he wants to make the economy "watertight".


His boss in Number Ten says she wants a country


that works for everyone, in particular those people "just


But with growth next year expected to be lower then previously


forecast, how will Mr Hammond be able to meet these twin challenges?


Well, the last time a Chancellor stood at the Despatch Box to deliver


a financial statement, it was a chap called George Osborne


Remember him? No giggling at the back.


All the forecasts back in March assumed we would be staying


Britain will be stronger, safer and better off,


possible scenarios, which could, possibly,


The British people have spoken and the answer is - we're out.


I think the country requires fresh leadership.


We don't see any need for an emergency Budget.


I expect to make an Autumn Statement in the usual way.


We are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to protect this


We are going to go through a period of volitility now.


The UK economy grew faster than expected in the three months


I've been here for 25 years and I hope it's going to be


A reminder of some of the remarkable things that have been going on this


year alone. Laura, in the run-up to this Autumn Statement, he get the


impression there was a the bit of, how should I put it, bargaining


between Number 10 Downing Street and Number 11? Indeed. Classic tension,


how account Treasury make Downing Street's rhetoric add up to reality.


Repeatedly May hae has made her sell to the British public that she wants


to stand up for people who are finding it hard it get by, the


Treasury, however, despite everything that has changed, all the


uncertainty is focussed on how to pare back spending. Phil Hammond has


a more relaxed approach to get the deficit down but don't be under any


illusion, we are still in hard times. So Number 10, and Number 1


#1, I think it would be an overexaggeration to say daggers


drawn, but there is still tension. We are going to look at what has


been proposed, not what ministers talk b the giveaways, the briefing


that comes out, but the takeaways in the afternoon. And perhaps the


Treasury now not as around as it was under Gordon Brown or George


Osborne? Absolutely. It is one of the biggest changes in this new


administration. David Cameron and George Osborne and before that,


Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, who's relationship was different, but in


terms of having two big alpha beasts around the Cabinet table was the


same. We had the two duets who were almost as powerful as each other,


George Osborne and David Cameron used to basically preagree


everything between the two of them before the rest of Government had a


chance to get in the room. Things are very different now. Number 11 is


one of the Prime Minister's ministries, rather than being part


of this, sort of super-power cupel. Interesting -- couple.


Interestingly, Phil Hammond started off thinking that's how it should


be, he started thinking that the Treasury should be a finance


department, he is the chief finance officer in a business but in terms


of politics, as things have got going I'm in the so sure everyone at


the Treasury is as happy at being a bit less important. He seems relaxed


#6789d we have a picture of him -- he seems relaxed. We have a picture


of him reading his own Autumn Statement, that clearly taken on the


run, not in anyway a posed picture for the media! He has a semi-on his


face, which we don't often see, probably realising the ludicrous


nature of these pictures but he has this uncertainty of the consequences


of Brexit next year. That's a real difficult problem. It is a hugely


difficult problem. And, as everything with this Government,


that's the backdrop to the lot. You know, they don't want to be defined


by Brexit but like it or not, that's the backdrop to the lot and whatever


measures the Treasury come forward with, everybody knows, the probably


biggest headline will be how bad the outlook looks, in terms of the


economy. Worth remembering, though n recent months, the Treasury has been


proved wrong in terms of what they predicted for the immediate


aftermath of the referendum vote. So, as ever, you have to have a


pretty heavy dose of salt in terms of the forecasts. Absolutely:


So that's the political backdrop to today.


A key part of the Chancellor's statement will be the new set


of independent forecasts provided by the Office for Budget


The last set in March were predicated on official


Government policy which, at the time, was to remain


Official Government policy is now to leave the EU.


So, Kamal, what should we be looking out for?


No change really, there. Starting off, let's take all forecasts with a


degree of scepticism, I think, they are a path, a possible journey, only


a possible journey, other things could happen. But let's start but


looking they deficit protections. -- projections.


That's what the Government spends over what it earns -


These are the forecasts from the Office for


Budget Responsibility, the independent economic watchdog,


published at the time of the Budget in March.


They show that budget coming down every year, pretty sharply. 55


billion, in the year of borrowing. The important figure


is that last one. George Osborne said he wanted


to achieve a budget surplus by 2020, that moment when the Government


starts earning more than it spends. Since then we've had the referendum,


the fall in sterling and a downgrade That has changed the numbers we


expect the OBR to publish today. You can see the Institute for Fiscal


Studies forecast of what the OBR's forecast might be. It is a forecast


of a forecast but it shows that although borrow something falling


every year, city, look at that 2019-20 figure now. It is still


borrowing. Still a deficit by 2019-20.


Of it is pro-Brexit but there are other problems, the Chinese economy,


etc. But what is the Government going to do now for hitting a dead


lain and what deadline for the books will it set? And it'll be a small


percentage of GDP, below the mass rate of 3%. But am I right in


thinking some of the reason for the slower deficit reduction, one of the


reasons is that the forecasters are assuming lower economic growth? Yes,


that's right. So the level of economic growth in a country is


absolutely linked to the public finances. The better growth, the


better the public finances, because you get better tax receipts, in


particular. So, today we will get the new economic growth forecast


from the Office for Budget Responsibility. The OBR basis its


forecast on Government policy. It'll be interesting how much that changes


now that the Government policy is to leave the Budget urge about. Letsd'


remind ourselves what the OBR said in March 2016, George Osborne's last


budget. They suggested that growth this year would be 2%. Now, as you


say, Andrew, actually, the economy has done better than many people


expected, despite the referendum vote. There is a lot of momentum in


the economy. And the Bank of England, in November, actually


upgraded the growth forecast for the year, which is good for the public


finances. After having downgraded them Yes, so


actually saying the economy this year would be performing better.


But, as you say, Andrew, since then, economic forecasts have become


gloomier. Some sand Brexit. The majority of that is because they


believe Brexit and uncertainty will lead to lower growth. Let's look at


suggestions for next year. The OBR in 2006 said growth next year would


be 2.2%. But let's lack at what the Bank of England now believes next


year will look at. They are saying quite a sharp downgrade, 1.4%. Of


course, as ever, these are just forecasts, not definite facts that


will happen. The Bank of England is now suggesting that overall, by the


end of 2018, the economy will be 2.5% smaller than it would have been


if we'd voted to stay in the European Union. I think we always


need to say, though, Andrew, that it is not just Brexit, necessarily,


there are other issues with the UK economy that are not connected to us


leaving the European Union. Kemal, what about inflation? We


haven't had much of that recently? We haven't. We have had a benign


inflation situation in the UK, really since two years after the


financial crisis of 2008-9. That situation is changing slowly. So


let's have a look at that. This year, inflation at the moment is


0.9%. That actually was a decline. But, the path is upwards and, the


important bit today is we will see the predictions for inflation for


next year. And this is where prices and the voters might start feeling


the impact in their pocket. So, before the referendum in June, this


is the Treasury's estimate of inflation for next year, 1.9%. An


increase, but relatively modest. Right, let's look at what the Bank


of England then has suggested. This, now, since the referendum result,


since the stall in sterling and the fall in sterling has increased the


costing of food and fuel imports into the UK. They believe, now,


inflation will go up to 2.7%. Quite a rapid rise on that 0.9%. And that


really raises this squeezed living standard issue, because wage


inflation in the UK at the moment is running just about 2%. If inflation


starts going above, that real incomes start falling. OK. We are


going to give away a Daily Politics' mug for anybody who can tell us when


the Bank of England got a inflation forecast back? Only one. All we can


afford, it is tough times. Well, what's the story


on the financial markets? Our Business Editor,


Simon Jack, is in Markets can react quite violently to


economic pronouncements. I was stood in this spot when this happened,


post-referendum, the fall in the value of sterling and it has


continued to be pretty volatile and moved down. That was a big surprise,


the markets got that forecast catastrophically wrong. Today the


question is how much scope there is for surprise. We are expecting


slower growth, lower tax receipts, which means higher borrowing for the


government. The more you borrow, the worse credit you are, the worse your


credit rating is. And we have seen the price, the cost of government


borrowing begin to creep up lately. So what are markets expecting today,


what capacities do they have for shock? Big picture, you are braced


for this, aren't you? Braced for some pretty bad news. Certainly


braced for bad news, economic growth will be lower next year than had


hitherto been forecast. Sterling is a lot weaker. We will see the impact


of the inflationary effects of lower sterling come through. That will eat


into people's spending power. So, we know that. We know that we are going


to be borrowing more. And that means there's less room the Chancellor to


give giveaways to the public to ease some of those concerns of lower


growth, what that's going to mean for the man in the street. Before we


talk about what he may or may not do, what he's got up his sleeve,


some people may say we've had gloomy economic forecast before, we were


promised a nightmare after the referendum, but in fact we are on


target to hit pre-referendum growth targets for 2016 - 2017. You are


absolutely right that the forecasts for this year's economic activity


have been remarkably robust. What we haven't really seen is the impact of


the decision to leave the EU. We are still part of it. It hasn't really


weighed on consumer spending. Confidence is still reasonably


robust. What we are likely to see into the future is more of the real


impact as we trigger article 50 and we see consumers react to that


higher inflation. Within the stock market there have been some movers,


some big estate agents have seen their shares it as there is this


measure to ban them charging tenants for extra fees, so we have seen some


activity, what's been going on? That's right, there's always a


little bit of leaking of what will be announced by the Chancellor had


12:30pm. One of the things that he's announced if this move to stop


tenants having to pay the fees, and to push that onto either the estate


agents or the landlords. So that has hit the estate agents this morning.


Thanks, Sue. We'll be catching up with you again. Countrywide and


Foxton is both seeing sharp falls in share prices and we are seeing some


market reaction to what we are expecting in the budget. The pound


is very stable at the moment. Does it have the capacity to shock? Let's


see. Of course when the share price of


estate agent falls, the nation is in mourning. What about the wide


economy? Jo Coburn is in Portsmouth for us


today, gauging business reaction Yes, Andrew, I'm a Land Rover BA


are, here where they are building this rather amazing catamaran which


is going to be ready to hit the waters around Bermuda by next


spring. All sounds very exotic. Let's talk to the man who runs the


show, Martin Whitmarsh. The Chancellor has said he wants to make


the economy watertight, excuse the pun, in the event of choppy waters


ahead. What would you like to hear from him? We don't like some


certainty post Brexit but what we mustn't do in the clamour for


certainty is compromise the government. They've got to get the


best deal they can for the economy. In the meanwhile be only thing that


we can have that encourages investment in RND, any tax break


enables companies to have the confidence to invest, that would be


the most positive thing we could have delivered this afternoon. Is


there evidence that businesses are holding onto their cash and waiting


before they actually use or invest in projects? I think all of the


volatility post Brexit, the exchange rate, that has caused everyone a bit


of a slow up. We sense it in our partners and these big companies


that invest in our programme. They are just wondering what direction we


are going to go and how they conserve a bit of cash through


whatever challenges they have. We've got to live with it. It's how it is.


In the meanwhile anything that could stabilise that, give us some


confidence that we can invest and certainly have our partners invest


in research and development, marketing and infrastructure. Martin


Whitmarsh, thank you very much. And that is the theme of the people we


will be talking to down here. While they may see the Brexit world as an


opportunity, they would like to see some certainty so they can make


decisions about investment for the future, or investing in new staff,


trying to recruit people with the right sorts of skills. I'll be


talking to businesses here in Portsmouth large and small about


what they are looking for from Philip Hammond. You run an online


cashmere company, wearing one of their beautiful scarves. What would


you I to hear from Philip Hammond? The obvious things like the


alliance, increasing or reducing the VAT, and corporation tax being


reduced. And then we need a plan. There are lots of big companies out


there that have teams of people that are managing the whole pre-empting


of Brexit. We are not, there are ten of us. Working away and not knowing


what to do next. I've got a January strategy meeting. I'd like to know


what countries that we are looking at to export to. So at the moment we


are doing 50% to a domestic audience, selling online, 50% of our


business is export. Has that been helped by the fall in the value of


the pound? Massively, the Americans are buying from us in droves at the


moment. Around Brexit there was nervousness, some brand GB


uncertainty and that did not help us. That was the only month


Marseille when we saw a dip in growth. But we kind of need to know


basically what's going to happen next. I don't spec them to show


their hand completely but it would be nice to know whether we should


continue targeting export or rein it in and look at the domestic market.


Thank you. Let's hear from our personal finance expert with what


she has for the day here in Portsmouth. We already have some


details from the Treasury about what you can expect from the Chancellor


which will affect your personal finances. He's going to reduce the


rate at which benefits are withdrawn for people when they start work. At


the moment if you get universal credit, then once you reach a


certain amount of earnings, 65p per every ?1 you burn is taken away,


that's going to go down to 63p. The National Living Wage paid to people


aged 25 and over will also be increased in April from ?7.20 to


?7.50. Although that is lower than other people out. A decrease in fuel


duty and passenger air duty may also be looked at, making the cost of


holidays cheap. You can get in touch in many different ways.


Andrew. Thanks, Ruth. Joanna Gosling is outside the House of Commons.


Thank you. With me Oliver Dowden, Tory MP and Jonathan Reynolds, the


shadow economic Secretary. Thank you both for joining us. Oliver Dowden,


when the Chancellor talks about eye watering Lee high public debt


levels, can he afford to be doing anything intimate of helping people?


It is important the Chancellor sticks with a plan that has been


working. We have reduced borrowing by two thirds, created 3 million


jobs. I want to see him continue to do that. He is not sticking with the


plan, is he? The plan has changed. The original plan was to be in


surplus by the end of the parliament, that has gone. It


continues to be the plan to reduce the deficit year on year. It is


important that we continue to have that confidence. At the same time


their escape, because we have taken difficult decisions through the last


Parliament, to show some flexibility so we are properly prepared for the


challenges that face us in years ahead. I'm particularly interested


in what the Chancellor will be doing around infrastructure, making sure


we've got the roads and railways in place, so we match fit and ready for


when Britain leaves the European Union. How do you see the challenges


facing the Chancellor? The first plan was to clear the deficit before


the end the last Parliament, clearly that hasn't happened and we've had


six wasted years. We need a plan to make sure this company is


successful. Post Brexit that is more challenging. It is not about


gimmicks and bits of money here and there, it is about a serious new set


of fiscal rules that allow investment to take place. Bring down


the day-to-day spending to equal the taxes coming in, but do the rules so


investment can take place. When you say six wasted years in terms of


paying down the deficit, and looking ahead to more uncertainty, what is


your answer? It sounds like more spending. Not spending on the costs


of failure. What would you spend on? Bridges, railways, the energy


system, broadband connections. But we want fiscal rules that will allow


people to do that. On the measures the Chancellor could introduce,


there has been lots of talk about Jams, the big news today seems to be


that cuts to universal credit will go ahead, the working poor who go


out and earn a low wage will be hit. Fiscal rules, in terms of how you


diverged, just describe what you would identify the fiscal rules to


be in a nutshell. Labour would like a focus on the deficit, the things


the government spends money on, but excluding investment. So you take


out, you don't borrow for day-to-day spending. What would the target


beyond cutting the deficit? Over a five-year rolling period, you have


to get it down on day-to-day spending, but why include investment


spending? Does that add up? Jonathan talks very reasonably about this but


his boss, the Shadow Chancellor, is proposing ?500 billion of additional


spending, an extraordinary about of money. There is no fiscal


discipline. The contrast with us, because we made those difficult


decisions to the Parliament, it gives us scope to have more


flexibility as we face Brexit to invest in infrastructure, and help


struggling people to get by. To be clear on what Oliver has said,


Oliver is adding capital investment over ten years and adding an extra


?250 billion. Your national infrastructure plan is for ?483


billion. Capital spending plus leveraging from the private markets


for a national investment bank. All of that spending is against the


backdrop, with a figure of ?1.6 trillion of UK debt, the picture


will just get worse, won't it? That's the situation we are in. When


they said we had to bring the deficit down in one Parliament, they


ignored economic advice and this is what has happened. We are right out


of time. Thank you both. STUDIO: Thanks. A lot of talk of fiscal


rules, there. Mr Hammond may have some fiscal rules of his own. There


have been 12 fiscal rules since 1997, ten of them have been broken.


There is expert analysis on the website.


And if you're on Twitter you can join the conversation


There's our live shot of Big Ben, there, two minutes to 12. Very soon


we'll be going over as we always do on Wednesday to the House of Commons


for prime ministers questions. And that will be followed


by the chancellor's statement. Always a beautiful picture of


Westminster, there. Laura, a difficult one for the Chancellor


because he has to base what he tells us today on forecasts lovably


roughly the consensus forecast that we heard from the city, from people


who, in the past, have been wrong in their forecasts. Indeed, and on


these big set piece days when you get the Treasury's big statements,


even though they use independent numbers from the Office for Budget


Responsibility, he is to do and then knowing his audience is deeply


sceptical about what is being put forward. He has to base it on that.


Particularly for the Treasury, who take quite a downbeat view on what


the uncertainty around Brexit will mean, it is extreme the difficult


for them to stand up and not sound like the world is about to come to


an end, but at the same time... One of the interesting things about


Philip Hammond has been in the last few months, he is certainly not a


flashy politician, not somebody who enjoys hogging the limelight. But in


his own downbeat way he has had some quite extraordinary things. He has


said that we are in for a roller-coaster, he has said debt is


at eye watering levels. How does he calibrate that with wanting to


present a steady, cautious course which is what we are all told that


he will put forward. I think the issue will be when and if the


government will balance its books. It has been interesting that Theresa


May has talked about still hitting a surplus, ie the government earns


more than it spends. Philip Hammond has been much more careful, he has


only talked about balancing the books. However it happens, and you


are right, forecasts are only that, but they do show a pathway. And


although the direct, precise numbers may not be hit in the end, they show


this kind of journey that the country's economy is on, and Philip


Hammond has to take on board what that forecast says. What will be


fascinating is what the Office for Budget Responsibility says about


Brexit, how much of the effect on the economy, if there is an effect


on the year, me, as we leave the European Union, is down to the


issue, and how much is it down to all the other issues that the


economy is grappling with anyway. That will be one of the key issues


to look for, what the OBR says about Brexit, what the government needs to


borrow extra to account for that, and other issues, and also what the


overall debt position will be. The Treasury is certainly clear that


that debt position is going to be a very, very big number that is going


to be pretty frightening. And it'll not be the headline that


everybody gets, it'll be the Budget bubbling, their big numbers that


will dominate the debate. Well, let's go straight over to the House


of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions.


Number one, please, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, this morning I had


meetings with ministerial colleagues and others n addition to my duties


in this House, I shall have further such meetings later


in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. A report recently produced by a number of


organisations, including guy Gingerbread and sit zeens advice in


Fife found one-third of families that should have been claiming child


maintenance support did not apply but a major barrier to application


was the ?20 application fee and that the 4% collection fee had a serious


impact on family budgets. Will the Prime Minister undertake to review


these unfair charges? The issues of trying to ensure that those who are


responsible for children tally pay for their children when a family has


broken up has been one that is a long-standing question which this


House has addressed. There have been various ways of dealing with it


through the agency that has been responsible. I think it is right


that the changes have that been introduced are on a more level basis


and that more people are able to access the support that they need as


a result. The Government is rightly focussed on economic growth, jobs


and prosperity, something that all of us on these benches can get


behind. With that in mind, will she back our highly-competitive bid for


funding for the north-west relief road in Shrewsbury which will


relieve the congestion our town is facing but dove-tail into that


narrative I know that relief road has been an issue that is of


particular concern to him and a priority for him and has received


local backing. I understand the a bid has been put in for feesibility


funding so a business case can be prepared for the scheme. What I can


say at the moment, the announcement of the successful bids for


feasibility funding is expected very shortly indeed. THE SPEAKER: Jeremy


Corbyn. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Government's


sustainability and transformation plans for the National Health


Service hide ?22 billion of cuts from our service, according to


research by the BMA. That risks and I quote, "Starving services of


resources and patients of vital care." That comes from Dr Mark


Porter of the BMA. When he calls this process a mess,


where is he wrong? The National Health Service is


indeed looking for savings within the NHS which will be reinvested in


the NHS. And I would remind the right


honourable gentleman it is this Government that is providing, not


just the ?8 billion of extra funding the NHS requested but ?10 billion of


extra funding requested by the National Health Service and the


sustainability and transformation plans are being developed at local


levels, in the interests of local people by local clinicians.


It's very strange the Prime Minister should say, that Mr Speaker, because


the Health Select Committee, chaired by the honourable friend the member


for Totnes says it is ?4.5 billion, not ?10 billion. There is quite a


big difference there. Mr Speaker, part of the reason for the strain on


the National Health Service is more than 1 million people are not


receiving the social care that they need. As a result of this, there has


been an increase in emergency admissions for older patients.


Margaret wrote to me this week saying... It's not funny.


She described how her 89-year-old mother suffered two falls, leading


to hospital admissions, due to the lack of nursing care and went on to


say, "My mother is worth more than this." What action will the Prime


Minister take to stop the neglect of older people, which ends up forcing


them to take A admissions when they should be cared for, at home or


in a care home? Well, of course social care is an


area of concern and social care is a key issue for many people. That's


why the Government has introduced the Better Care Fund and why the


Government has introduced the Social Care precept for local authorities


and we are encouraged the working together of the health service and


local authorities to deal with precisely the issues he has raised


on social care and bedblocking. But I will just say this to the right


honourable gentleman. We've introduced the Better Fund and


social care precept. Let's look at what Labour did in their 13 years.


They said they'd deal with social care in the 97 manifesto. Introduced


a Royal Commission in 1999. A Greene Paper in 2005. A review in 2006.


Another Paper in 2007, and another green Paper in 2009. Three years and


they did nothing. Mr Speaker, as the Prime Minister


well knows, health spending trebled under the last Labour Government.


And the levels of satisfaction with the National Health Service were at


their highest, ever, in 2010. This Government's choice was to cut


social care by 4.6 billion pounds in the last Parliament. At the same


time, as they found the space, shall we say, to cut billions in corporate


taxation bills. That means it's affecting patients leaving hospital


as well. In the last four years, the number of patients unable to be


transferred from hospital, due to the lack of adequate social care,


has increased by one-third. Will the Prime Minister ensure her Government


guarantees all of our elderly people, the dignity they deserve?


I recognise the importance of caring for elderly people and providing


them with the dignity that they deserve. He says that this


Government has done nothing on social care, I repeat, we have


introduced the social care preset, that is being made use of by my


local authority and by his local authority. We have also introduced


the Better Care Fund. He talks about support for elderly people. Which


Government is it that has put the triple lock in place for pensioners,


to ensure the largest increase in pensions for elderly people. The


precept is a drop in the ocean compared to what is necessary for


social care. I will give you an example, Mr


Speaker, the whole House I'm sure would have been appalled in the


revelations in the BBC Panorama programme this week, showing older


people systematically mistreated. The Care Quality Commission's


assessment that care homes, run by the Mall, ey Group require


improvement and have issued notices. The commission goes on to say that


the owner has allowed sfrs to deteriorate further and has "Utterly


neglected the duty of care to the residents of these homes." What


action is her Government going to take to protect the residents of


those homes? The right honourable gentleman raises the issue of the


quality of care that is provided in homes and the way in which elderly


people are treated. I'm sure everybody is appalled when we see


examples of poor and terrible treatment that is be given to


elderly and vulnerable people in care homes. What we do about it is


ensure that we have the CQC, which is able it step in, which takes


action, which has powers to make sure that nobody, nobody in the


chain of responsibility is immune from legal accountability but we


know that there is more that can be done and that's why the CQC is


looking into ways in which it can improve its processes, increase its


efficiency. My honourable friend, the minister for community health


and care is going to be writing to the CQC shortly, to look at how we


can seek to improve what they do. It is the CQC that deals with these


issues, we have that in place. Is there more we can do? Yes. And we


are doing it. Mr Speaker, the problem seems to be that that home


was understaffed and we shouldn't be blamingp often underpaid and


hard-pressed care workers, he with should be ensuring there are enough


of them, properly paid in all of those homes. There was a serious


problem of understaffing and it was the last Labour Government that


established the CQC. I think a warning notice is insufficient. We


stronger action. Yesterday the Government proposed patients may


have to show passports or other ID to access non-emergency health care.


Has the Government considered that the impact of this on elderly


people? The last census showed us 9.5 million people in this country


don't have passports. Rather than distracting people with divisive and


impractical policies, could the Prime Minister provide the NHS and


social care with the money this it needs to care for the people who


need the support? Over the course of this Parliament, the Government will


be spending half a trillion pounds on the national health service. The


right honourable gentleman asks about a process to ensure that


people who are receiving NHS treatment are entitled to receive


that NHS treatment. For many years there has been a concern about


health tourism, about people turning up in the UK, accessing health


services and not paying for them. We want it make sure that those who are


entitled to use the services are indeed able to have those free at


the point of delivery but we deal with health tourism and those who


should be paying for the use of our health service. Mr Speaker, Sir


Simon Stevens told us two weeks ago that the next three years are going


to be the toughest ever for NHS funding and that 2018 would see


health spending per person cut for the first time ever in this country.


. The NAO reported that the cost of health tourism is over 100 times


less than the ?22 billion of cuts the NHS is facing from this


Government. The reality is, Mr Speaker, under this Government,


there are 6,000 fewer mental health nurses. There are a record 3.9


million people on NHS waiting lists. All of us who visit A departments


know the stress the staff are under and that the waiting time is getting


longer and longer and that there are 1 million people in this country not


receiving the social care that they need. So, instead of looking for


excuses and scapegoats, shouldn't the Prime Minister be ensuring that


health and social care is properly resourced and properly funded to


take away the stress and fear that people face in old age, over social


care and the stress that is placed on our very hard-working NHS and


social care staff? Billions of pounds extra into social care


through the social care precept and the Better Care Fund. Half a


trillion being spented on the National Health Service. A record


level of investment in mental health in the National Health Service. THE


SPEAKER: Order. Members must not shout down or attempt to shout down


the Prime Minister. The question has been asked and it was heard and the


answer must be heard. The Prime Minister.


Well, there is a fundamental point that the right honourable gentleman


refrains from mentioning, and it is this: We can only afford to pay for


the National Health Service and for social care if we have a strong


economy, creating wealth. And that's precisely what he is going to hear


Chancellor of the Exchequer in a few minutes' time. Thank you, Mr


Speaker. On the 23rd June, my constituents voted by a margin of


62% to 38% to leave the European Union.


Many of those people are unhappy and frustrated at what they see are


delaying tactics by some remainers who don't seem to understand the


meaning of the word democracy. THE SPEAKER: Order, this is very


discourteous. The honourable gentleman has a legitimate question


and that question and every other question should be fully and with


politeness, heard. The honourable gentleman.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will repeat it. Remainers who


don't seem to understand the meaning of the word "democracy" which I


would remind them, government by the people, especially rule of the


majority. With that in mind, what reassurance can my right honourable


friend give my constituents and me that Article 50 will be triggered by


March next year? That we will trigger article 50 by


March next year. My honourable friend is right. The referendum was


decided by this Parliament 6-1 that people should have the opportunity


to vote on membership of the European Union, the vote was held,


the turnout was high, public gave their verdict. There must be no


second referendum, no attempt to weasel out of it, this is the


government that will deliver on the vote of the British people. Mr


Speaker, we on these benches have repeatedly brought up the


devastating impact on disabled people from the UK benefits system.


The government plans to cut support for people with long-term health


difficulties by ?30 per week. Last week might SNP colleague proposed a


motion which was passed by this house with support from both Labour


and Conservative members for these cuts to be postponed. Will the Prime


Minister act on the vote of this house? Let me say to the Right


Honourable gentleman what we've been doing in relation to benefits for


disabled people. The overall funding for disability benefits will be


higher in every year up to 2020 than it was in 2010. We have been


focusing support on those who most need it, those who are not able to


get into the workplace. For those who are able at some stage to get


into the workplace we have been providing a wider package of


support. I'm pleased to say over the last three years nearly 600,000 more


disabled people are in the workplace with the dignity of having a job,


which is what many people with disabilities want to have. We are


focusing on help for those who need it and helping those that want to


get into the workplace to do that. It was widely trailed that the Prime


Minister will make changes impacting on benefit recipients in work, will


the Prime Minister confirmed she has no intention of helping people with


disabilities and medical conditions? Why should people who are unable to


earn a living it punished for their disability or illness by losing ?30


a week? Does she have any intention of changing that. I have just set


out for the right honourable gentleman the ways in which we are


providing support and help for those people who have disabilities. As I


said, the overall funding for spending on disability benefits will


be higher in every year to 2020 than it was in 2010. What it is also


important to recognise that when we give support for people with


disabilities it isn't simply about the benefits system and how much


money they are given, for those who are able to get into work, and on


that part of the EASA, we provide packages that are outside benefits


as well, as we recognise that people want the dignity of getting into the


workplace. That's what we are helping people with disabilities who


can work to do. Simon Burns. Will my right honourable friend agree that


thousands of road commuters, including many of my constituents


who use the a 12, are travelling on roads that need to be repaired and


upgraded? To improve connectivity and to speed up daily commute times,


would my right honourable friend accept that the proposed ?1.3


billion investment in improving our road network is warmly welcomed and


will do a great deal to enhance connectivity in the country? My


honourable friend is absolutely right. The importance of


infrastructure expenditure in helping to deal with the issue of


productivity in our economy, and I'm pleased that that ?1.3 billion for


new roads does show us investing in the long-term future for Britain. It


is about delivering jobs, delivering economic growth, it is about making


sure that this is an economy that works for everyone. It's just one


part of the package that we are proposing. Of course my right


honourable friend the Chancellor will be setting our proposals out


more clearly in a few minutes time. One of my constituents is imprisoned


in Iran. A British national has been separated from her husband and her


two-year-old daughter for eight months now. She has been on hunger


strike and is now suicidal. The Prime Minister needs to reunite this


mother, this daughter, this wife with her family. Mr Speaker, will it


take her death for the government to start taking her seriously?


Obviously this is a very difficult time for the whole family and I'm


sure we are all concerned about the reports of the impact that detention


is having on her health as she is in detention in Errani. This has been


repeatedly raised with the Iranians government. I personally raised it


on the 20th of September in New York when I stressed the importance of


finding a resolution as soon as possible. I have requested


assurances that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be allowed


representation and contact with her family. The British government


remains ready to help bringing Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter back to


Britain if that is the request. Does my right honourable friend that most


of our social problems are either caused or aggravated by the acute


shortage of housing? So even if, as I hope, we managed to reduce the net


immigration to this country, we will have to build far more new homes. So


isn't the decision, the recommendation by the European


banking authority, to increase by 50% the reserves banks must hold


against house-building, making it even more costly for them to land


for housing than for unsecured credit cards, profoundly unhelpful


and perverse? Well I'm sure my right honourable friend will recognise


that we, of course, are subject to our own regulation authorities. The


point he makes about the importance of house-building is absolutely


correct, we do need to build more homes. That is something the


government has been doing, we've seen something like 900,000 new


homes built since 2010, but there is more for us to do and that is what


this government is working on. Brexit secretary and the Foreign


Secretary are described by a senior German politician as having no idea


what Brexit really means. The Times reports today that EU ambassadors


think the Foreign Secretary's more colourful outbursts are damaging our


relationship with member states. When is the Prime Minister going to


get a grip on her ministers and when is she going to demonstrate to the


country and to our EU colleagues that she has a coherent, workable


plan for Brexit? I've been very clear in this house on many


occasions about the plan that we have for Brexit. Crucially we will


be leaving the European Union and we will be triggering article 50 by the


end of March next year and that's when the formal negotiations will


start. But it is absolutely right that we do not set out, at this


stage, every single detail of our proposed negotiating strategy,


because that would be the best way to get the worst possible deal for


Britain. As we leave the European Union, maintaining the UK's cutting


edge in world leadership in scientific and technological


discovery is of paramount importance to our industries and universities.


Can I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement that each year we will


invest a further ?2 billion in investment and of element to boost


our science and engineering base. Isn't this just the type of vital


support that our businesses and researchers need, rather than the


threats from the Labour Party to slash the research and development


tax credits that would hamper innovation and harm our economy? My


right honourable friend is absolutely right. The extra


investment we will be putting into research and development is a


crucial part of the long-term task we have of ensuring that we have the


economy and the growth and prosperity in this country that we


need. The new funds will be able to put us at the cutting edge of


scientific discovery, which I saw for myself, we are already doing


this. I was at the Wellcome genomics campus in Cambridge on Monday, able


to see the really exciting, really transformational work that is being


done, coming out of the knowledge base and scientific research here in


the United Kingdom. We want to see more of that and that is why we will


be reinvesting in it. Aleppo's hospitals are destroyed, Syrians who


avoid the barrel bombs and chlorine gas are starving from the Russian


blockade. We must do more. So will she revisit the prospect for a


strops, and will she looked at backing the campaign to stop this


daily perpetrator of war crimes of stripping them of its right to hold


the 2018 World Cup -- will she revisit the prospect of aid drops.


The honourable gentleman is correct to raise the appalling itches taking


place in Aleppo and it is right that we, along with our international


allies, should be doing all we can to bring this to a stop. He will


recognise that the issue of who hosts sporting events is not in the


government's remit. What we are doing is working with our


international allies to put more pressure on Russia to stop the


appalling atrocities, the appalling attacks taking place in Aleppo. What


we want to see is an agreement for a political transition to a Syria


without President Assad. Does my right honourable friend agree that


if the UK is to remain competitive, and our citizens are to enjoy the


benefits of a digital revolution, it is essential that we should be at


the forefront of deployment of both ultra fast broadband and five G


mobile connectivity? Can I therefore welcome the announcement that we are


led to believe may be made shortly of a ?1 billion investment to


achieve this. Well, my right honourable friend will, of course,


be waiting in anticipation for my right honourable friend the


Chancellor's Autumn Statement, but he's absolutely right that as we


look at improving collectivity in this country, as we look to the


economy of the future, the provision of superfast broadband, the


provision of those new technological opportunities for people is


absolutely a crucial part of that, and that is something this


government recognises and will act on. One day last week four police


officers in my constituency were assaulted over a single 24 hour


period. There are over 23,000 assaults on police officers last


year. An assault on a police officer is an assault on society. What will


the Prime Minister do to make sure the toughest deterrence are in place


to reduce attacks on from mine officers, and restore the number of


police on our streets? Can I send our best wishes to those police


officers who were assaulted in her constituency last week. It is


important that we recognise, when police officers go out on duty, and


indeed off-duty, they sometimes find themselves intervening in situations


where they find themselves on the receiving end of assaults and


violence against them. They are willing to go forward in the line of


duty where others are not. And we recognise that. What we have done in


relation to this is, one of the things we want to do is to actually


identify rather better the number of assaults taking place. That's why


last year we issued some provisional figures, we are improving those


figures this year. Sentencing guidelines already allow for an


assault on a police officer to be taken as an aggravating factor into


account. Newton elements like body worn video cameras help to provide


evidence to make sure people can be brought to justice and deter


assaults in the first place. I know the Prime Minister shares my concern


at the level of Acute Hospital bed blocking. But she agree with me that


part of the solution is to promote Community Hospital beds in places


where they still exist in places like Warminster and Shaftesbury as


part of a stability process. As regards the best EP process, that


will take place at local level that these proposals will be considered


and put forward by local clinicians. But the concept of being able to


deal with bed blocking in a variety of ways is absolutely right. There


are good examples around the country where having those step-down beds


available is actually resolving the problem of bed blocking. There are


other ways in which it is being done, in parts of the country social


workers are employed by hospital trusts for example. It is good to


recognise the good practice when it is being done and we should see more


of that across the country. Earlier this month IRA man turned lawyer


Kieran Conway confessed to the BBC that he took part in robberies,


bombings and gun attacks that murdered British soldiers. He stated


he will never disclose information on any fellow IRA man despite


knowing details of IRA actions that he himself defined as constituting


war crimes. Can the Prime Minister assure me that Her Majesty 's


government will apply for the extradition of this terrorist for


questioning from the Republic of Ireland? The question as to whether


or not an individual would be extradited or a request would be put


in for extradition would be for the appropriate prosecution and


investigation authorities to take. What I do say to the honourable


gentleman is that we do of course recognise the concerns for those


cases where it is still possible to bring people to justice, and


obviously want to see that being done. Mr Speaker, during the last


six years we've had three major referendums all with varying degrees


of excitement. Would the Prime Minister agree with me that you can


have too much excitement, will see therefore rule out any further


referendums in this Parliament? Well, my honourable friend is trying


to set me down a route. One thing I will certainly rule out is a second


referendum on whether or not we leave the European Union.


Mr Speaker, there has been a financial appeal launched because of


the increasing numbers of people finding themselves homeless as the


direct result of the UK Government's pursuit of austerity. How account


Prime Minister sleep in her warm bed at night, knowing her Government


policies have confined people to a cold Christmas? The Government is


taking action in a variety of aof ways to address homelessness. We


need it make sure we see more homes being built in this country. I say


this to the honourable lady. She talks about austerity in the tone


she refers to T actually austerity is about us living within our means.


And we should always remember, when we are talking about Government


providing support for individuals, that tax payers have to pay for that


support and many tax payers are themselves struggling to get by.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister will be aware


that yesterday the peninsula rail task force launched its report which


was commissioned following the storms which serviced Devon and


Cornwall's vital rail link as it was severed again, this time by


flooding. Does she welcome the report and will she commit the


Government to ensuring the vision it outlines is delivered? I thank my


honourable friend for his question. Can I suggest he exercises a little


more patience and listens very carefully to what my right


honourable friend the Chancellor will have to say.


Mr Speaker, in these uncertain times, we all should agree that


Britain needs strong defence. How account Prime Minister justify her


Government's decision to scrap all the Navy's heavyweight surface to


surface guided missiles without any replacement? I don't accept the


picture the honourable gentleman represents of the Armed Forces, we


are investing billions of pounds to ensuring our Armed Forces have the


missiles, the boats, the ships for the royal navy and other pieces of


equipment for the other Armed Forces. So the picture he presents


is not the picture I recognise. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Would my right honourable friend agree that it would be good for


confidence in the rule of law if judges did not enter into


speculative public thoughts on cases that they are about to hear? We


value n this country, the independence of our judiciary. -- in


this country. That's the independence for the judiciary when


they come to make their judgments in court but also they are independent


and it is for them to determine what they choose to put in their speechts


or not, not for the Government to tell them what to do. Mr Speaker, as


millions of public sector workers face another year of suppressed pay.


After another week of shambolic Brexit negotiations, and with a


National Health Service facing an winter crisis, facing ap winter


crisis and crying out for cash, does the Prime Minister worry that her


Government is only just about managing?


Well, I have to say to the right honourable gentleman that we are


very clear about the amounts of money we are putting into the


National Health Service. He talks about the negotiations, actually the


negotiations for us leaving the European Union don't formally start


until we trigger Article 50. We will be triggering Article 50 by the end


of March next year. What the right honourable gentleman wants to do is


to stop us from leaving the European Union by denying the people, the


decision and deliverability of the vote they took, rightly on, 23rd


June. He wants to deny people what they want, we are going to give it


to them. May I raise with the Prime Minister the concerns of millions of


drivers and hauliers across the United Kingdom who worry about the


cost of driving, cost of fuel duty, whether her Government will look at


keeping that down and also at the pump pricing and how forecourt


pricing is worked as oil prices change, prices jump like a rocket


and fall like a feather. I recognise, as my honourable friend


says many people look with very great concern about the cost of


motoring in this country. I suggest, as I have done, to some of my other


honourable friends, he is a little more patient and waits for the


Chancellor's Autumn Statement. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime


Minister has talked about her worries with social care but surely


we have to judge her by her actions. In the last six years there's been a


37%, on average, cut in local authority funding. 57% in my area.


And nearly one-quarter of all of those older people in need of social


care have been denied any help at all. What is she going to do about


it? The Right Honourable lady might have noticed I have been asked


several questions about social care and I will give the answer...


I will give the answer I have given previously. What this Government is


doing about social care is putting more in through the Better Care


Fund, giving local authorities the opportunity through the social care


preset and making sure that health and social care come together to


ensure that we deal with the issue of bedblocking.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, how many of us would charge into a


darkened store at night knowing that inside there three masked-wearing


crow-war wielding thugs trying to rob a store My two constituents,


Nigel and Grant did just that and by intervening, the thugs fled, leaving


the money, the staff were hurt less, and one of the gentlemen was hurt


himself. Will my right honourable friend join me in praising their


courage and selflessness in this extraordinary act of bravado? I


absolutely... I absolutely agree with my


honourable friend and I commend the bravery and courage that was shown


by those two individuals. I think he said Nigel and Grant who stepped


into that situation who ensure that it was not as bad as it might have


been. That is incredible bravery. There are many members of the public


who would not have been willing to step forward in that way. Can he


pass my best wishes and I'm sure the best wishes of the House on to those


individuals. Does the Prime Minister believe that


big companies should put a woke on the board? I believe that we should


see workers representation on boards and I make no apology for the fact


that this Government is going to deliver on that.


For all their years in Government, the Labour Party did nothing. Speak


speck order. -- THE SPEAKER: Order. Statement the First Secretary of


State and Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Chancellor Phil Hammond. Mr Speaker, it is a privilege to


report today on an economy which the IMF predicts will be the


fastest-growing major advanced economy in the world this year.


An economy with employment at a record high and unemployment at an


11-year low. An economy which, through the hard


work of the British people, has bounced back from the depths of


Labour's recession. And an economy, which has confounded


commentators at hem and abroad wits strengths and its resilience -- at


home and abroad with its sfrenges and resilience since the British


people decided to leave the European Union and chart a new future for our


country. M Mr Speaker that will change the course of history, it has


thrown into sharp relieve the economy that will ensure our


success. The global reach of our services industries, the strength of


our science and hi-tech manufacturing base and the cutting


edge British businesses that are he had looking the world in disruptive


technologies. But it is a decision that also makes more urgent, than


ever, the need to tackle our economy's long-term weaknesses, like


the productivity gap, the housing challenge and the damaging imbalance


in economic growth and prosperity across our country.


Mr Speaker, we resolve today to conp front those challenges head on. --


confront those challenges head on. To prepare our country to seize the


opportunities ahead. And in doing so, to build an economy that works


for everyone. A an economy where every corner of


this United Kingdom is part of our national success. Mr Speaker, I want


to pay tribute to my predecessor, my right honourable friend, the member


for Tatton. My style, Mr Speaker, will, of


course be different from his. I suspect I will prove no more adept


at pulling rabbits from hats than my successor at Foreign Secretary has


been from retrieving balls from the back of scrums. But my focus on


building Britain's long-term future will be the same. He took over an


economy on the brink of collapse. With the highest budget deficit in


our history and brought it down by two-thirds. That is a record of


which he should be proud but times have moved on and the task now is to


prepare the economy for the exit of the EU and match fit for the


transition that will follow. We will contain our commitment for fiscal


discipline, while recognising the need for investment to drive


productivity. And fiscal head room to support the


economy through the transition. Mr Speaker, let me turn now to the


forecast. Since 2010, the Office for Budget Responsibility has provided


an independent economic and fiscal forecast to which the Government


must respond. Gone are the days when the Chancellor could mark his own


homework. I thank Robert Choalk and his team for their hard work.


Today's OBR forecast is for growth to be 2.1% in 2016, high than


forecast in March N 2017, the OBR forecast growth to slow to 2.4%,


which they attribute to lobar investment and weaker consumer


demand driven respectively by greater uncertainty and by higher


inflation resulting from sterling depreciation. That is slower, of


course, than we would wish. But, still, equivalent to the IMF's


forecasts for Germany and higher than the forecast for growth in many


of our European neighbours, including France and Italy. A fact


that will, no doubt, be a source of very considerable irritation to


some. As the affects of uncertainty


diminish, the OBR's forecast growth recovering to 1.7% in 2018, 2.1% in


2019-2020 and 2% in 202 #. While the OBR is clear it cannot predict the


deal the UK will strike the EU, it's current view is that the referendum


decision means that potential growth over the forecast period is likely


to be 2.4% lower than would otherwise have been the case.


The OBR acknowledges that there is a higher degree of uncertainty around


these figures than usual. Despite slower growth, the UK labour


market is forecast to remain robust. We have delivered over 2.7 million


new jobs since 2010 and this forecast, this forecast, Mr Speaker,


shows that number growing in every year.


Another 500,000 jobs created over the OBR forecast, providing security


for working people across the length and breadth of Britain.


Mr Speaker, for those who claim that the recovery is just a south-east


phenomenon, I have some news. Over the past year, employment grew


fastest in the north-east, the claimant count fell fastest in


Northern Ireland. Pay grew most strongly in the West Midlands and


every UK nation and region saw a record number of people in work.


That, Mr Speaker, is a labour market recovery that is working for


everyone. Monetary policy has played an


important role in supporting growth since the referendum decision. But a


credible fiscal policy remains essential for maintaining market


confidence and restoring the economy to long-term hale.


In -- long-term hale. In view of the uncertainty facing the economy and


in the face of slower growth forecastings, we no longer seek to


deliver a surplus in 2019-20 but the Prime Minister and I - the Prime


Minister and I, Mr Speaker, remain firmly committed to seeing the


public finances returned to balance as soon as practicable, while


leaving enough flexibility... SHOUTS AND


JEERS While leaving enough flexibility to


sport economy in the near term. -- to support the economy. Today aim'


reporting a new draft charter with three fiscal rules: First the public


finances should be returned to balance as early as possible in the


next Parliament. And in the... And in the interim, Mr Speaker, sick


lickically adjusted borrowing should be below 2% by the end of this


Parliament. Second, public sector net debt as


share of GDP must be falling by the end of this Parliament. Welfare


spending must be within a cap set by the government and monitored by the


OBR. In the absence of an effective framework, the welfare bill in our


country spiralled out of control with spending on working age


benefits trebling in real terms between 1980 and 2010 as a result of


the action we have taken since 2010, that has now stabilised. The cat I


have announced takes into account the policy changes since the last


budget with a realistic baseline -- the cap. I confirm again today that


the government has no plans to introduce further welfare savings


measures in this Parliament beyond those already announced. I now turn,


Mr Speaker, to the OBR fiscal forecast. First I will set out key


drivers of changes since the budget. The post-budget changes that were


made to welfare and housing policies cost the Exchequer ?8.6 billion over


the forecast period. Expected ONS classification changes have added


?12 billion since the budget. Tax receipts have been lower than


expected this year, causing the OBR to revise down addicted revenues in


future. Added to this is a structural effect of rapidly rising


incorporation and self-employment, which further erodes revenues.


Combine in these pressures with the impact of forecast weaker growth and


taking account of the measures I shall announce today, the OBR now


forecasts that in cash terms borrowing is set to be ?68.2 billion


this year, falling to ?59 billion next year, ?46.5 billion in 18-19,


and then ?21.9 million, -- ?20.7 billion, and ?17.2 billion in 21-22.


Overall public sector net borrowing as a percentage of GDP will fall


from 4% last year to 3.5% this year and will continue to fall over the


parliament, reaching 0.7% in 21-22. This will be the lowest deficit as a


share of GDP in two decades. The OBR expects security adjusted public


sector net borrowing to be 0.8% of GDP in 20-21, comfortable in meeting


our target to it to less than 2% and importantly leaving significant


flexibility to respond to any headwinds the economy may encounter.


The OBR's forecast of higher borrowing and slow asset sales


together with the temporary effect of the Bank of England's action to


stimulate growth translates into an increased forecast the debt in the


near-term. The OBR forecasts that debt will rise from 84.2% of GDP


last year to 87.3% this year. Peeking at 90.2% in 2017-18, has the


Bank of England's monetary policy interventions approached their full


effect. In 2018-19 debt is projected to fall to 89.7% of national income,


a first fall in the national debt as a share of GDP since 2001- 02. And


it is forecast to continue falling thereafter. Members of the house may


be interested to know that stripping out the effects of the Bank of


England interventions underlying debt peaks this year at 82.4% of GDP


and falls thereafter to 77.7% by 21-22. This the Speaker, it is


customary in the run-up to the Autumn Statement to hear


representations from the Shadow Chancellor of the day, usually for


untenable levels of spending and borrowing. We used to think on this


side of the house that Ed Balls's demands were an extreme example, but


I have to say the current Shadow Chancellor has outperformed him in


the fiscal incompetent sweepstakes. What we don't know is whether he can


also dance. He can? Good, good. A second career awaits him, Mr


Speaker. I have received, Mr Speaker, some more measured


representations from a range of external bodies. Some of them


calling for fiscal expansion while others have suggested that there is


no need at all to respond to a changed economic outlook. And that


reflects, to be fair, the challenge that we face of resolving how best


to protect the recovery, build on the economy's manifest strengths,


yet at the same time respond appropriately to the warnings of a


more difficult period ahead. But with our debt forecast to peak at


over 90% next year and the deficit this year of 3.5%, I have reached my


own judgment. It is a judgment based on a sober analysis of our fiscal


position, but also a realistic appraisal of the weakness of UK


productivity, and the urgent need to address our fiscal challenge from


both ends. Continuing to control public expenditure but also growing


the potential of the economy and protecting the tax base. So we


choose in this Autumn Statement to prioritise additional high-value


investment, specifically in infrastructure and innovation, that


will directly contribute to raising Britain's productivity. And the key


judgment we make today is that our hard-won credibility on public


spending means that we can fund this commitment in the short-term from


additional borrowing while funding all other new policies announced in


this Autumn Statement through additional tax and spending


measures. That is the responsible way to secure our economy for the


long-term. Mr Speaker, the productivity gap is well known to


honourable and right Honourable members but shocking nonetheless. It


bears repeating, we lack the US and Germany by some 30 percentage points


in productivity, but we also lag France by 20 points and Italy by


eight points. Which means in the real world it takes a German worker


for days to produce what we make in five. And that means, in turn, that


too many British workers work longer hours for lower pay than their


counterparts, and that has to change if we are to build an economy that


works for everyone. So raising productivity, Mr Speaker, is


essential for the high wage, high skill economy that will deliver


higher living standards for working people across this country. As a


result of decisions taken by my predecessor, public investment is


high over this decade than it was over the whole of the period of the


last Labour government. But today I can go further. I can announce that


we are forming a new national productivity investment fund of ?23


billion to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over the next


five years. Investing today for the economy of the future. Let me set


out for the house how this money will be used. Mr Speaker, we do not


invest enough in research, development and innovation. As the


pace of technology advances and competition from the rest of the


world increases, we must build on our strengths in science and tech


innovation to ensure that the next generation of discoveries is not


only made here, but is also developed and produced in Britain.


So today I can confirm the additional investment in R rising


to an extra ?2 billion by 2020-21. Mr Speaker, economic to productive


infrastructure directly benefits businesses. But families, too, rely


on road, rails, telecoms and especially housing. We've made good


progress with the number of new homes being built last year, hitting


an eight year high. But for too many the goal of homeownership remains


out of reach. In October my right honourable friend the Communities


Secretary launched the ?3 billion home builders fund to unlock over


200,000 homes and up to ?2 billion to accelerate construction on public


sector land. But we must further still. The challenge of delivering


the housing we so desperately need in the places where it is currently


least affordable is not, of course, a new one. At the effect of


unaffordable housing on our nation's productivity makes it an urgent one.


My right honourable friend the Communities Secretary will bring


forward a housing wide paper in due course addressing these long-term


challenges. But in the meantime we can take further steps. One of the


biggest objections to housing development as honourable and right


Honourable members will know from their own constituencies is often


the impact on local infrastructure. So we will focus government


infrastructure investment to unlock land for housing with a new ?2.3


billion housing infrastructure fund to deliver infrastructure for up to


100,000 new homes in areas of high demand. And to provide a affordable


housing that supports a wide range of needs, we will invest a further


?1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 additional affordable homes. And I


will also relax restrictions on government grants to allow providers


to deliver wider of housing types. I can also announce a large-scale


regional roll-out of Right to buy for housing association tenants, and


continued support for homeownership through the help to buy equity loans


scheme and the help to buy ISA. Mr Speaker, this package means that


over the course of this Parliament the government expects to more than


double, in real terms, annual capital spending on housing. Coupled


with our resolve to tackle the long-term challenges of land supply,


this commitment to housing delivery represents a step change in our


ambition to increase the supply of homes for sale and for rent, to


deliver a housing market that works for everyone. Mr Speaker, reliable


transport networks are essential to growth and productivity. So this


Autumn Statement commits significant additional funding to help keep


Britain moving now and to invest in the transport networks and vehicles


of the future. I will commit an additional ?1.1 billion of


investment in English local transport networks where small


investments can often offer big wins. ?220 million additionally to


address traffic pinch points on strategic roads. ?450 million to


trial digital signalling on our railways to achieve a step change in


reliability and to squeeze more capacity out of our existing rail


infrastructure, something I know the Leader of the Opposition will


welcome. And finally, Mr Speaker, ?390 million to build on our


competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the


development of connected autonomous vehicles. Plus 100% first-year


capital allowance for the installation of electric vehicle


charging infrastructure. The Department for Transport will


continue to work with transport for the North to develop detailed


options for the Northern Powerhouse rail. My right honourable friend the


Transport Secretary will set out more details of specific projects


and priorities over the coming weeks. Mr Speaker, our future


transport business and lifestyle needs will require world-class


digital infrastructure to underpin them. So, my ambition, it says here


because I wrote it here... So, my ambition, Mr Speaker, is for


the UK to be a world leader in 5G, which means a step change in speed


and reliability. We will invest over ?1 billion in our digital


infrastructure to catalyse private investment in fibre networks and to


support 5G trials. And from April we will introduce 100% business rates


relief for a five-year period on new fibre infrastructure. Supporting


further roll-out of fibre to homes and businesses. We have chosen, Mr


Speaker, to borrow, to kick-start a transformation in infrastructure and


innovation investment. But we must sustain this effort over the long


term if we are to make a lasting difference to the UK productivity


performance. So today I have written to the National infrastructure


commission to ask them to make their recommendations on the future


infrastructure needs of the country, using the assumption that the


government will invest between 1% and 1.2% of GDP every year from 2020


in economic infrastructure covered by the commission. To put that in


context, will spend around 0.8% of GDP on the same definition this


year. I am also backing the commission's interim recommendations


on the Oxford Cambridge growth corridor published last week with


?110 million of funding for east-west rail and a commitment to


deliver the new Oxford Cambridge Expressway. But, Mr Speaker, this


project can be more than just a transport link. It can become a


transformational tech corridor, drawing on the world-class research


strengths of our two best-known universities. So I welcome the


commission's continuing work on delivering model options and we will


carefully consider its final recommendations in due course.


The major increase in infrastructure I have announced will represent a


significant increase in funding through the Barnett Formula of over


?250 million to the Northern Ireland executive, ?400 million to the Welsh


Government and ?800 million to the Scottish Government.


I'm sure he will in a moment. But, Mr Speaker, public investment


is only part of the picture. About half of our economic infrastructure


is financed by the private sector and we will continue to support that


investment through the UK guarantee scheme, which I am today extending


until at least 2026. The new capital investment I have announce Liberal


Democrat provide the financial backbone for the you Government's


industrial strategy which the Prime Minister spoke about on Monday, a


firm foundation upon which my right honourable friend the Business


Secretary will work, with industry, to build our ambition of an economy


that workser to you will A I can announce further measures it back


business. I'm doubling export capacity to make it easier for


British businesses to export and funding an initiative to boost


management skills across British businesses and taking a first step


to tack he will why the long-standing problem of our


fastest-growing start-up tech firms being snapped up by bigger


companies, rather than growing to scale, bin jecting an initial ?400


million into venture capital funds, through the British business bank,


unlocking ?1 billion of new finance for growing firms.


And I'm also launching today, a Treasury-led review of the barriers


to accessing patient capital in the UK, so that we can take further


action to address them. Mr Speaker, this Government


recognises that for too long economic growth in our country has


been too concentrated in London and the south-east. That is not just a


social problem. It's an economic problem. London is one of the


highest productivity cities in the world and we should celebrate that


fact. But no other major developed economy has such a gap between the


productivity of its capital city and its second and third cities. So, we


must drive up the performance of our regional cities. Today, we publish


our strategy for addressing productivity barriers in the


northern powerhouse and give the go-ahead to a programme of major


road schemes in the north. Our Midlands engine strategy will follow


shortly but I am today providing funding that the evaluation study


for the Midlands rail hub can go ahead. In addition, we are investing


in local infrastructure in every region of England. I can announce


the allocation of ?1.8 billion from the local growth fund, to the


English regions. ?556 million to local enterprise partnerships in the


north of England, ?542 million to the Midlands and east of England


a?683 million to LEPs in the south-west, south-east and London.


We will announce the detailed breakdown of allocations to


individual LEPs shortly. Devolution, Mr Speaker, remains at the heart of


this Government's approach to supporting local growth. And we


recommit today to our city deals with Swansea, Edinburgh North Wales


and Tie Cities and I can announce today we are beginning negotiations


on a city deal for Stirling so every single city in Scotland will be on


course to have a city deal. To support new mayoral combined


authorities in England, I can announce that we will grant them new


borrowing powers, to reflect their new responsibilities.


And while we continue discussions in London and the West Midlands on


possible consideration of further devolution powers. I can relegal


that London will have its share of national affordable housing funding


to deliver a commitment of over ?90,000 affordable homes and also


that we are devolving to London, the adult education budget and giving


London greater control over the delivery of employment support


services for the hardest to help. Mr Speaker, I have deliberately


avoided making this statement into a long list of individual projects


being supported. But... But, I am going to make one


exception. I will act today with just seven


days to spare, to save one of the UK's most important historic houses,


Wentworth wood house neither Rotherham.


It is said to be the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austin's Pride


Prejudice but in 1946, in an extraordinary act of cultural


vandalism, the then Labour Government authorised extensive


open-cast coal mining, virtually up to the front door of this precious


property. Perhaps, Mr Speaker, that's Labour's idea of a northern


powerhouse. Wentworth Woodhouse is now at critical risk of being lost


to future... THE SPEAKER: It sounds very interesting indeed, the


Chancellor. WentworthWoodhouse is at critical


risk of being lost to future generations, a local effort has been


successful in securing millions of pounds 234 funding from various


foundations and charities, subject to the balance required to make the


house safe being found by November 30th. So, we will, today, provide a


?7.6 million grant towards urgent repairs to safeguard this key piece


of northern heritage, all but destroyed by a Labour Government,


saved by a Conservative one. I can, also, Mr Speaker, confirm


distribution of a further ?102 million of Libor bank fines to Armed


Forces and emergency services charities.


Including my honourable friends will be pleased to hear, ?20 million to


support the defence and national rehabilitation centre at Stamford


Hall in Nottinghamshire. As well as ?3 million from the tampon tax fund


for Comic Relief to distribute to a range of women's charities.


Mr Speaker, we choose to invest in our economic infrastructure, because


it can transform the growth potential of our economy, as well as


improving the quality of people's lives. But that investment is only


possible because we on this side of the House are prepared to take the


tough decisions to maintain control of current spending. Every one of


them opposed by the party opposite. When we took office in 2010, public


spending was 45% of GDP. This year, it is set to be 40%.


And during those six years, we've seen crime fall by more than


one-quarter. The highest proportion ever of goods or outstanding schools


-- good or outstanding schools. The number of doctors has increased by


10,000 in NHS. Pensioner poverty at lowest level ever. The lowest ever


number of children being raised in workless households and the


highest-ever, number of young people going on to study fulltime at


university. We have demonstrated, beyond doubt,


that controlling public spending is compatible with world class public


services, and social improvement. But as the OBR projections


demonstrate, we have more work to do to eliminate the deficit. So


departmental spending plans, set out in the Spending Review last autumn,


will remain in place. And departmental expenditure in 21-22,


will grow in line with inflation. The ?3.5 billion of savings to be


delivered through the efficiency review, announced at the budget and


led Miyamoto right honourable friend the Chief Secretary - and led by my


right honourable friend, the chief he can s must go through I have...


For increasing the number of prison officers by 2,500. Mr Speaker,


having run two large spending departments, in previous roles, I


came to this job with some very clear views about the relationship


between the Treasury and spending departments.


I want departments to be incentivised to drive efficiencies


and I want the Treasury to be an enabler for good, effective spending


across Government. O to kick start this new approach, I will allow up


to ?1 billion of the savings found by the efficiency review, to be


reinvested in 19-20 in priority areas and I have budgeted today


accordingly. Mr Speaker, we manage public spending so that we can


invest in the public's priorities. And this Government has underlined


those priorities with a series of commitments and were texts for the


duration of this Parliament. And I can confirm today that, despite the


fiscal pressure, we will meet our commitments to protect the budgets


of key public services and defence. We will keep our promise to the


world's poorest through our overseas' aid budget and we will


meet our pledge to our country's pensioners through the triple lock.


But as we look ahead to the next Parliament, we will need to ensure


that we tackle the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal


sustainability and, so, the Government will review public


spending priorities and other commitments for the next Parliament


in light of the evolving fiscal position at the next Spending


Review. Mr Speaker, I now turn to taxation.


Since 2010 this Government has put a business-led recovery at the heart


of our plan. We've cut corporation tax from 28% to 20%. Sending the


message that Britain is open for business.


The additional investment in productivity and infrastructure that


I have announced today, underscores that message, and the raft of


investments in the UK announced, since the referendum, by Soffbank,


glancing yes, Nissan and others confirms T -- Glaxo. My priority as


Chancellor is to ensure that Britain remains the number one destination


for business, creating the investment, jobs ands were


prosperity to protect our long-term future. I know how much business


values certainty and stability. So, I confirm today that we will stick


to the business tax road map that we set out in March. Corporation tax


will fall to 17%, by far the lowest overall rate of corporate tax in the


G20. We will deliver the commitments we have made to the oil and goes


sector. The carbon price support will continue to be capped out to


2020 and we'll implement the business rates reduction package


worth ?6.7 billion. I can also confirm today that, having consulted


further, my right honourable friend, the Communities' Secretary, will


lower the transitional relief cap from 45% next year, to 43% and from


50% to 32% the year after. That's complicated, but it is good news.


Just in case anybody wasn't sure, Mr Speaker.


InI will also increase, I will also increase the rural rate relief to


100%, giving small businesses in rural areas, a tax break worth up to


?2,900 per year. Mr Speaker, in return for these highly-competitive


tax rates, the tax base must be sustain bible. -- sustainable.


We'll align the employee, employer threshold at ?1. 57 per week. There


will be no cost to employees and the maximum cost to business will be an


annual ?7.18 per employee. Insurance premium tax in this


country is lower than in many other European countries and half the rate


of VAT. In order to raise revenue, which is required to fund the


spending commitments I am making today, it will rise from 10%


currently, to 12% from next June. At the same time, I can confirm that


the Government's commitment to legislate next year to end the


compensation culture surrounding whiplash claims, a major area of


insurance fraud and that will save drivers an average of ?40 on their


annual premiums. Mr Speaker, technological progress is changing


the way people live and the way they work. The tax system needs to keep


pace. For example, the OBR has highlighted today the growing cost


to the exchequer of incorporation. So, the Government will consider how


we can ensure that the taxation of different ways of working is fair


between different individuals doing essentially the same work and


sustain the tax base as the economy undergoes rapid change. We will


consult in due course on any proposed changes.


In the meantime, the Government will take action now, to reduce the


difference between the treatment of cash earnings and benefits. The


majority of employees pay tax on a cash salary, but some are able to


sacrifice salary by agreement with their employer, and pay much lower


tax on benefits in kind. This is unfair. And, so, from April 2017,


employers and employees who use these schemes, will pay the same


taxes as everyone else. Following consultation with


stakeholders, ultralow emission cars, pension savings, childcare and


the cycle to work scheme will be excluded from this change. And


certain long-term arrangements will be protected until April 20 21. For


pensions that have been drawn down, I will also reduce the ?4000 the


money purchase annual allowance to prevent inappropriate double tax


relief being gained. This government, Mr Speaker, has done


more than any other to tackle tax evasion, avoidance, and aggressive


tax planning. And the UK tax gap, it may surprise some honourable members


opposite to hear, is now one of the lowest in the world. But we must


constantly be alerted to new threats to our tax base and be willing to


move swiftly to counter them. At the budget we committed to removing the


tax benefits of disguised earnings for employees. And I'm now going to


do the same for the self-employed and employers, raising a further


?630 million over the forecast period. We will shut down


inappropriate use of the VAT flat rate scheme that was put in place to


help small businesses. We will abolish the tax advantages linked to


employee shareholder status in response to growing status that it


is being primarily used for tax planning purposes by high earning


individuals. And we will introduce a new penalty for those who enabled


the use of tax avoidance scheme that HMRC later challenges and defeats.


These measures and others set out in the Autumn Statement document raise


around ?2 billion over the forecast period. Mr Speaker, there is


understandable public concern that the pitch is tilted in favour of


large multinational groups. Which are able to use cross-border


structures to manage their tax liabilities. Following detailed


concentration Daly consultation I can confirm we will implement a


programme and reform the way that releases awarded for historic


losses. These measured scored at the budget 2016 will help to ensure


large businesses will always pay tax in years where they make substantial


profits. It will also mean that businesses cannot avoid tax by


borrowing excessively in the UK to fund their overseas activities. They


take effect in April and raise over ?5 billion from the largest


businesses in the UK. Mr Speaker, I said that the tax system must be


fair, and that means rewarding those who work hard by helping them to


keep more of what they earn. And there is one tax reform this


government has pursued since 2010 that has done more than any other to


improve the lot of working people, raising the tax-free personal


allowance. When we entered government in 2010 it was ?6,475.


Now after six years it is ?11,000 and will rise to ?11,500 in April.


As a result we have more than halved the tax bill of someone of a salary


with ?15,000 to just ?800. That is a massive boost to the incomes of low


and middle earners. Since 2010 we have cut income tax for 38 million


people and taken 4 million people out of income tax altogether. I can


confirm today that despite the talent in fiscal forecasts we will


deliver on our commitment to raising the allowance to ?12,500 and the


higher rate threshold to ?50,000 by the end of this Parliament. Once


that ?12,500 has been reached, Mr Speaker, the personal allowance will


rise automatically during the 20 20s in line with inflation rather than


the national minimum wage as currently planned. It will be for


the Chancellor to decide from year to year where the moor is


affordable. As well as taking millions of ordinary people out of


tax, we are the government that introduced the National Living Wage.


Gave a pay rise, Mr Speaker, to over a million workers. They don't like


it. A Tory government gave a pay rise to over a million of the lowest


paid workers. We are the government that introduced 15 hours a week of


free childcare for all three and four-year-olds and will double that


for working families from September. The government whose education


reforms have raised standards and expanded opportunity with 1.4


million more children now in good or outstanding schools. The new capital


funding is provided today for grammar schools will help to


continue that trend. And we, Mr Speaker, are the government had


pledged to invest in our NHS, and we are delivering on that promise. Back


in the NHS five-year forward plan for the future with ?10 billion of


additional funding by the end of 2020-2021. But we recognise that


more needs to be done to help families make ends meet and to


ensure that every household has opportunities to prosper. So today I


can announce that the National Living Wage will increase from


?7.20, ?27.50 in April next year. That's a pay rise worth over ?500 to


a full time work. Mr Speaker, creating jobs, lowering taxes and


raising wages addresses directly the concerns of ordinary families. And


the revenue raising measures that I've announced today enable me to go


further to help families on low wages. Universal credit is an


important reform to our benefit system and is designed to make sure


that work always pays. We want to reinforce that position. I have


considered carefully the arguments made by my right honourable friend


's and wake them colourfully against the fiscal constraints we are


facing. -- weighed them carefully. I have concluded that from April we


can reduce the universal credit data rate from 65%, to 63%. This is


effectively a targeted tax cut worth ?700 million a year by 21-22 for


those in work on low incomes. It will increase the incentive to work


and encourage progression in work, and it will help 3 million


households across our country. Mr Speaker, we believe that a market


economy is the best way of delivering sustained prosperity for


the British people. We will always support a market led approach. But


we will not be afraid to intervene where there is evidence of market


failure. We will look carefully over the coming months and the


functioning of key markets including the retail energy market to make


sure they are functioning fairly for all consumers. And in the private


rental market, letting agents are currently able to charge unregulated


fees to tenants. We've seen these fees spiral despite attempts to


regulate them, often ?200. This is wrong. Landlords appoint letting


agents and landlords should meet their fees. We will ban fees to


tenants as soon as possible. And also, Mr Speaker, we will consult on


how best to ban pensions cold calling and a wider range of


pensions scams. We can also help today those who rely on income from


modest savings to get by. Low interest rates have helped our


economy recover but they've significantly reduced the interest


people can learn on their cash savings. So we will launch a new


market leading savings bond through endless and I. The detail will be


announced at the budget, but we expect our new investment bond will


have an interest rate of around 2.2% gross and a term of three years.


Savers will be able to deposit up to ?3000, and we expect around 2


million people to benefit. The announcements I have made today


lower taxes on working people, boost wages, back Savers, and bear down on


bills. In early 2017, we will begin the roll-out of tax free childcare


across Britain providing up to ?2000 savings per child. Once rolled out,


we pledge to keep it under review to ensure that it is delivering the


support they need to working families. There is one further area


of household expenditure where the government can help. The oil price


has risen by over 60% since January and sterling has declined by 15%


against the dollar. That means significant pressure on prices at


the pumps here in Britain. So today we stand on the side of millions of


hard-working people in our country by cancelling the fuel duty rise for


the seventh successive year. In total this saves the average car


driver ?130 per year and the average fan driver ?350 per year. This is a


tax cut worth ?850 million next year, Mr Speaker, and means the


current fuel duty frees is the longest for 40 years. Mr Speaker, I


have one further announcement to make. This is my first Autumn


Statement as Chancellor. After careful consideration and detailed


discussion with the Prime Minister, I have decided that it will also be


my last. Mr Speaker, I am abolishing the Autumn Statement. No other major


economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year and neither


should we. So the spring budget in a few months will be the final spring


budget. Starting in autumn 2017 Britain will have an autumn budget


announcing tax changes well in advance of the start of the tax


year. From 2018 there will be a spring statement responding to the


forecast... LAUGHTER Perhaps they should have read their


briefing. What a great state of emotion, some people are very easily


humoured, but we must hear the Chancellor. Perhaps they should have


read their briefing because they might remember that Parliament has


mandated the Office for Budget Responsibility to produce a report


to Parliament twice a year and has mandated the government to reply to


it. From 2018 there will be a spring statement responding to the forecast


from the OBR but no major fiscal event. If unexpected changes in the


economy require it I will of course reserve the right to announce


actions at the spring statement, but I will not make significant changes


twice a year just for the sake of it. This change will allow for


greater parliamentary scrutiny of budget measures ahead of their


implementation. Mr Speaker, this is a long overdue reform to our tax


policy making process and brings the UK into line with best practice


recommended by the IMF, the ISS, the Institute for government and many


others. Mr Speaker, the OBR report today confirms the underlying


strength and resilience of the British economy. This Autumn


Statement responds to the challenge of building on that strength while


also heeding the warnings in the OBR's figures as we begin writing


this new chapter in our country's history. It restates our commitment


to living within our means and sets out our choice to invest in our


future. It sends a clear message to the world that Britain is open for


business and it provides help to those who need it now. So, Mr


Speaker, we have made our choices, we have set our course, we are great


nation. Bold in our vision, confident in our strengths, and


determined in our ambition to build a country that works for everyone.


STUDIO: So that was the Chancellor. This is now the Shadow Chancellor's


response. This morning we have heard the


verdict from the trial following the tragic murder of Jo Cox. Jo Cox's


murder robs this house of a fierce advocate for social justice and a


passionate campaigner. Her killing was an attack on democracy itself.


Our thoughts are with her family this morning. Mr Speaker, today's


statement places on record the abject failure of the last six


wasted years and offers no hope for the future. The figures speak for


themselves. Growth, down. Wage growth, down. Business investment,


down. And their own deficit target failed.


The debt target failed. The welfare cap failed. We have heard today, Mr


Speaker... If members on either side want to shout out, don't bother to


stand because he won't be called. I say that two members on both sides.


Stop it. It is juvenile, low-grade, and hugely deprecated by the public.


Whose support we should be seeking and whom we should try to impress,


not to repower. Thank you Mr Speaker. There will be more taxes,


more debt, and more borrowing. The verdict could not be clearer. The


so-called long-term economic plan has failed. As the Treasury is only


leaked paper failed, the government knew it had failed before the


referendum result was announced. And we now face Brexit. The greatest


economic challenge of a generation and we face it unprepared and


ill-equipped. The new Chancellor acknowledged the fact himself in


October when he promised a reset of economic policy. So today we


expected a change of direction after those six wasted years. Instead, we


have seen further cuts to earnings for those in work to Universal


Credit. And a living wage increase that is lower than expected under


the previous Chancellor. This is a new Conservative leadership with no


answers to the challenges facing our country following Brexit and no


vision to secure our future prosperity. Just turning to Brexit,


Labour respect the decision of the British people to leave the European


Union. But the Celtic Tory handling of Brexit threatens the future


prosperity of this country. The Chancellor must do the right thing


for British workers and businesses and incest on full tariff free


access to the single market. He and the Treasury know that's what will


give the best deal for jobs and prosperity here. I will just say it


may not be in the Chancellor's nature but I urge him to stand up to


the Prime Minister and the extreme Brexit fanatics in her Cabinet. If


he stands up for British businesses and jobs, fighting for single market


access, he will have our full support. After six wasted years,


wages are still lower than 2008. Self-employed people are on average


paid less than a generation ago. 6 million people are earning less than


the living wage. Too many people are having to worry about buying school


uniforms, affording a family holiday or paying the rent and mortgage. We


have had one month of briefing from the party opposite on those people


who are called Just About Managing, the Jams. To the party opposite,


these people are just a demographic. To us, they are our friends,


neighbours and the people we represent. Let me tell you what they


are, why they are just managing, it is the results of Tories imposing


austerity on the economy that couldn't bear the strain. We have


seen productivity stagnate. But there's nothing in this Autumn


Statement on the scale needed to overturn those six wasted years. If


the Chancellor really wants to make a fair tax system as well, we can


start by bringing back the 50p rate for the very richest in our country.


And it's familiar hollow rhetoric from the Tories on tax avoidance


when they have cut the resources at HMRC, the very people who collect


the taxes themselves. Resources available to HMRC today are 40% less


than they were in 2000. The Chancellor has frozen in work


benefits at a time when food prices are rising and we don't expect wages


to keep up. We need an economy that is fundamentally more prosperous and


where that prosperity is, yes, shared by all. The increase in the


national living wage announced today is actually lower than expected and


leave the poorest paid workers still earning less than they need to live


on. So I ask the Chancellor to adopt a real living wage level as Labour


has pledged to do and abandon his predecessors empty rhetoric.


Regrettably, the Chancellor is still going ahead with some of the cuts to


Universal Credit. Thanks to the pressure, I'd paid tribute to those


MPs on all sides of the house who have campaigned on this issue,


thanks to that pressure, is offering to soften the blow. We don't want to


blow softened. We wanted lifted altogether. Today's changes will


lead a single parent on average at least ?2300 worse off. These are the


very people who are working hard to deliver for their families and the


government is betraying them. As for the people on disability is put


through the ordeal of the discredited work capability


assessment, who are trying to get themselves ready to return to work,


just about managing, they still remain in the Chancellor's firing


line. Cutting ?30 a week from the support that these disabled people


receive. It is scandalous. In our society. Those who are just about


managing, also rely upon our public services. They send their children


to local schools, they depend on their local hospital, they rely on


their council services like cleaning the streets, tending to their parks


and playgrounds, and opening their libraries. But the reality, is,


after six wasted years, our public services are just not managing.


Today the childcare that parents rely on remains underfunded as the


Public Accounts Committee has reported and it will remain


underfunded even after the announcements today. I want to pay


tribute as well to the honourable members for Swansea East and


Thamesmead for their important work in bringing the issue of child


burial fees to public attention. And I ask the government to do the right


thing in child burial fees and reconsider making funding available


for families in these desperate circumstances. Councillors from all


political parties are reporting that they are at a tipping point in the


provision of social care. The previous Chancellor cut nearly ?5


billion from social care meaning now that over 1 million people who need


care are not getting it. They are not even just about managing, and


they have got little help today. We call for additional support for


social care. But the funding being provided today is only a stopgap


measure. Our social care system will not be secured without long-term


funding. Tonight, many elderly people will remain trapped in their


homes isolated and lonely, lacking the care they need, because of this


continuing cut to social care. You can't cut social care without also


heading the NHS. The suppose it 10 billion funding allocated is a


restatement of an earlier commitment but the health select committee


described as trembling pound as, " misleading and incorrect -- ?10


billion. The real amount is less than half that amount. The result,


we now have 3.9 million people on NHS waiting lists. More than ever.


Many of those at 3.9 million are waiting in pain and they have got no


relief today. No relief today. Across the country, hospitals are


facing losing their accident and emergency units, losing their


maternity units, and losing their specialist units. This Tory


government is failing patients and also failing the dedicated NHS staff


that service them so well. This is the first time health care spending


per head has declined since the NHS was created. I fear there will be a


crisis in funding in care over this Christmas. The NHS cares for us. We


should care for the NHS. On education, members of this


government have also overseen the biggest real terms cuts in education


for four decades. ?1 in every seven has been cut from college budgets


and Conservative policy has saddled a generation of students with a


lifetime of debt. How can a government seriously talk about


supporting a 21st-century economy when they are planning to put tens


of millions into the failed 20th-century policy of grammar


schools? Segregating our children at an early age. On housing, the


Chancellor announced today he is scrapping proposals on letting


agents fees. This U-turn is a victory for Labour's campaign


against both the tenant tax and letting fees. The Chancellor has


spoken before the dream of home ownership for the young. Nothing


announced today is the scale needed to suggest it will remain anything


other than a dream. The hard facts are these. The government, of which


he is a member, built fewer homes that anyone since the 1920s. They


are now a third of the fuel -- there are a third of a million homeowners


under 35. The Chancellor could have delivered today the scale of


investment required to build the homes we need and create a new


generation of home ownership. He significantly failed. I am grateful,


as a result of the campaign from the honourable member, that the


Wentworth building will be saved. I am grateful. The accusation was that


a Labour government opened an opencast mine near to it and


threatened it. That was a Labour government in 1947, I believe. I


just wish... LAUGHTER


I just wish... Some of the policies pursued by Tory governments since


the 1950s could be reversed so easily. The biggest failure of


investments is this. The Chancellor has failed to address properly this


government's most consistent shortcoming. His predecessor cut


public investment to the lowest it has been since the 1990s. Instead of


delivering the ambitious investment this economy needs, across the whole


country, the Chancellor has failed to recognise the scale of the


challenge today. He also risks repeating the mistakes from last


year with a national flood resilience plan failing to provide


the protection our communities need. Just one in five of the project in


the investment pipeline are under construction. And there are 82


billion shovel ready projects still delayed. The infrastructure gap


between London and the rest remains unbridgeable top London was


scheduled to receive 12 times the public investment per head of the


North East of England. But the 1.1 billion of investment in transport


is a re-announcement, the Oxford to Cambridge rail link is delayed


significantly against Network Rail 's original planned completion date


of March 2000 and 19. There are just no new ideas here -- 2019. Just what


they've previously failed to deliver on. This is press release policy and


not provision. All we need now is the return of the high viz jacket.


The fourth Industrial Revolution will not be delivered on delays, on


old news and re-announcements. At last, the government has realised


its mistake and now talk about an industrial strategy, words that


ministers refused to even referred to in the past. But it isn't enough


to just change a few ministerial titles. The government and the


Chancellor need to deliver. But we have yet to see the proposed green


paper on industrial strategy promised over the summer. The same


government that no talks also of high-tech investment oversaw a ?1


billion cut in real terms to funding in the last parliament for them the


OECD recommends developed countries should be spending 3% of GDP on


science. And what we have heard today, the new spending will lift


our expenditure from 1.7% of GDP to a mere 1.8%. And it's the same


familiar story for business. The Chancellor is continuing the race to


the bottom on corporation tax while continuing to cut public services,


the Chancellor is cutting taxes too busy business. -- big business. We


know it's not the headline tax rate which encourage long-term investment


from businesses. Business investment has been revised down every year


under this government. What encourages business investment is


knowing they have accessed as rule workers, world-class infrastructure


and a major market. Today's grim economic forecast show the challenge


ahead. The Chancellor admitted over the summer it was time for a change


of course. He has now had to abandon his government's fiscal charter with


its failed hard surplus Labour warned this would lack


flexibility to adapt or economic circumstances and the capacity to


allow investment. The U-turn today shows how right we have been over


the last year. In conclusion, only weeks ago, the Prime Minister


offered a hope of change. The Chancellor offered to reset economic


policy. Today we have seen the very people the Prime Minister promised


to champion betrayed. The Chancellor has failed to break with the


economic strategy of posterity. The country remains unprepared and


ill-equipped to meet the challenges are Brexit and ensure Britain's


future as a world leading economy. After all the sacrifices people have


made over the last six years, I feel today's statement has laid the


foundations for more wasted years. Only a Labour government will


deliver on the ambition and vision to rebuild and transform an economy


so that no one and no community is left behind. Mr Speaker, can I first


associate myself... We leave the House of


Commons but debate on the Autumn Statement continues in the chamber.


Let's take you through the headlines. We start with the growth


forecast. A lot follows from this. They are now forecasting growth of


2.1% a sheer, 1.4 next, 1.7, and then it goes back to 2.1, 2.1 and


then 2021, they do not really know but they say 2%. A dip in the next


two years and then back to trend in the outer years. Because of the dip


there are implications for borrowing. In every year, the


Chancellor has forecast more borrowing. 68 billion in 2016/17 and


then 59 and then 46.5 in 21 /20 two. That is well over ?100 billion he


plans to borrow between now and the start of the next decade. It then


follows because of that that government debt rises. You borrow


more, it all adds to the national debt. The national debt will now


peek at 90% of GDP, just over, by 2017/ 18. That means that 12 years


after the great crash, debt is still rising and only begins to fall after


that. 12 years of rising debt as a percentage of GDP. The new target


for debt now, though it is an old one as well, is to see it falling as


a share of GDP by the end of this Parliament. So it peaks up to 90%.


That is a lot of GDP and then begins to start to fall in the Algiers.


Cyclic Lee adjusted borrowing should be below 2% there's the Chancellor


by 2020. -- out years. He will start to get control of the deficit and


get it down. The National Living Wage will rise to ?7 50 an hour next


April. Fuel duty rise is cancelled. That seems to happen every year now.


Universal Credit taper, a marginal rate of tax that people on welfare


and working pay when they lose benefits and get more pay, that is


seduced by a very small amount from 65% to 63. -- that is reduced. What


was leaked in the papers this morning, the upfront letting agency


fees are banned in England. They have already been banned in


Scotland. A number of tax announcements. Corporation tax will


fall as the Government has told us before to 17%. It is currently I


think 20, maybe 19 has been reduced to, but it is going down to 17. He


hopes to raise another 2 billion by targeting more tax avoidance


schemes. That tends to be mentioned in every budget or Autumn Statement.


Because he is looking at ways to raise more money and not see that


deficit rise by even more, having to borrow more, he is increasing the


insurance premium tax to increase from 10% to 12%. You will pay that


from June of next year. On housing, we were told there would be a number


of announcements on housing. He is putting in 1.4 billion to help build


40,000 new affordable homes. That is spread over time. This year it was a


very small number of affordable homes being built. He has also


announced a 2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund to help build


thousands of new homes. That is spread over a number of years. Right


to buy was a policy of the previous Chancellor and of the Prime Minister


but they are not going ahead across the country. They are going to look


at a large scale regional pilot to allow housing association tenants to


buy their homes. On transport, he is a former Transport Secretary, so we


expected a fair bit on transport. He announced a 1.3 billion package to


improve English local transport. Sounds a lot but it is only .08% of


GDP. There will be 450 million for a trial of digital signalling on


railways, 394 low emission vehicles. The kind of thing that chancellors


always liked to pad out their budgets on their Autumn Statement


is. There are consequences of these announcements for the rest of the


UK. Under the devolution settlement is clad in Northern Ireland would


get an extra 250 million a year, Wales 400 and Scotland 800 million a


year. There is to be 1.8 billion from local growth elements for


infrastructure in the English regions. New borrowing powers for


mayoral combined authorities. The Government is trying to encourage


big cities to have elected mayors. Saying if you do that and combined


we will let you borrow more. For business, the Chancellor announced


there was a 6.7 billion package to reduce business rates. This ?23


billion for the new productivity investment fund over five years. How


much of that is new money we will discuss. It works out at about 4.5


billion a year. Looks a lot bigger when you save 23 billion. There will


be an extra 400 million to unlock a billion funding for start up tech


schemes. The kind of announcement we are used to seeing in these sort of


events. Other measures, we have a lot of measures. The Chancellor said


he was not going to make it a big deal but actually was. Billing


funding for digital infrastructure, including 5G mobile. -- billion


funding. Infrastructure will rise from 2020. That will leave the


United Kingdom still quite low. What we have already heard from the Prime


Minister, an extra 2 billion a year for research and develop and by


2020. So, it slowly builds up in the rest of this decade. Another 2


billion for our and D. Kind of infrastructure, productivity, trying


to invest in the future. The Chancellor also announced that was


the last Autumn Statement. Quite an historic event, you might think.


Instead he said there would now be a spring statement, starting next


year. So, what she will ask of the budget? That is moving to the


autumn. So, in a way, nothing much really changes. We still have a


statement and a budget, one each, every year. We are joined by the man


who gets to mark the Chancellor's homework. We will come to him in a


minute. Laura, give me your overview of what we have heard? It was a


low-key presentation from a low-key Chancellor with quite a dramatic


picture behind it. The dramatic picture that, instead of being in


the black as was expected by the end of this Parliament, as the country


will be much more in the red. The surplus has gone and will be well


over more than 20 billion. The deficit still hanging around like a


bad spell as we head into the next general election, if these forecasts


are right. Borrowing is back. This looks very different from the


planned George Osborne put forward just a few short months ago. The


straitjacket on public spending is a bit looser. Those new rules, not


that different to those of Ed Miliband. Philip Hammond made a


concerted effort to try to show the long-term plan, long-term


infrastructure by his long-term ambitions for the economy. There was


a Conservative effort to make this add up to a political narrative. I


am not sure how convincing this is as a set of measures that will


really help people out there who, as Theresa May has identified, are just


managing to get by. Nothing very dramatic on the giveaway site. A lot


of drama on how the picture has changed. The thing that struck me,


he is now saying grows... OBR is saying economic growth will be 2.1%


this year, then it full is to one point for next year and 1.7 is


forecast the year after. Then it rises back up again to over 2%. His


financial position deteriorates because of the two coming years. If


the OBR is wrong and if it turns out that growth stays at around 2% to


almost every one of these figures he has given us today will turn out not


to be true. You are right. These are only forecasts. We are in an


incredibly uncertain period of time. It is not about giveaways or micro


economic issues. It was huge in macro terms. Those new debt to GDP


ratios are very high, going over 90% in three years' time. It shows the


Government will have to borrow a lot more. Its total borrowing amount by


the end of the forecast period will be just under ?2 trillion. Just


under. If our economy grows rapidly, and lots of economists say it is


perfectly sustainable, not maybe at 90% but as long as you have a


falling proportion of debt in proportion to GDP, that is


sustainable. What the Government has done as well, those new targets for


what Philip Hammond said were balancing the books, are flexible to


put it benignly. They could be possibly meaningless, to put it more


aggressively. They said they wanted to bring the budget back to balance


as early as possible in the next Parliament. Don't we all. One of


those rubber conditional words, possible, of course. One interesting


bit within the Office for Budget Responsibility's economic outlook is


they have done a whole chapter on what they call the no referendum


counter factual. What with their forecast have looked like if we had


not voted to leave the European Union? What does it say? It does say


that directly related to the referendum results, it suggests that


borrowing of ?3.5 billion this year, nearly ?10 billion next year, ?15.4


billion in 2018/ 19th is attributable to the referendum


result because it suggests, it says that the referendum means there will


be a negative impact on the economy. The OBR, if it were concerned about


plunging into the debate, what effect would Brexit have questioned


it has not shown it in its work. It has put numbers on borrowing, stuck


them on the table and said everyone can have an argument about that.


There will be a huge argument and discussion about how much of the


picture changing is down to the vote to leave the European Union.


Fascinating leak at the start of his statement Philip Hammond placed in


that context. He said his statement was a consequence for the decision


we have made. He himself was quite clear, the decisions he has made are


down to the decision we have all made. About oil prices and other


global issues, they are in desperate not central. On the previous


forecast we were meant to borrow just over 55 billion this financial


year. Next year we were meant to borrow just under 39 billion and it


will now be 59 billion. And so it goes on. Is this deterioration in


our this school position worse than you thought it would be? -- fiscal


position. I think the OBR has been relatively optimistic compared with


the Bank of England. Figures up to 2020 are more optimistic on the


growth side and the public finances side. In terms of public finances


overall, numbers are very close to the numbers we put out a couple of


weeks ago in terms of our expectations. If they are more


optimistic on the growth side, and they may not be optimistic enough,


why does the borrowing deteriorate by so much? It is only 20 billion


behind where it was for the next couple of years.


borrowing is very sensitive to growth of the those aren't terribly


surprising relationships. There is clearly, as the OBR state, other


things going on, which has created problems and in particular this


year, the Chancellor has got even less in income tax revenues than he


expected to do, even given what happened to growth and wages and so


on. One of the things the OBR have drawn attention to Anna Chancellor


mentioned, he would consult on, this whole issue of what you might call


people who are no longer getting money as earnings, but instead are


self-employed or incorporating and if you are self-employed and


particularly if you call yourself a small company, you pay quite a bit


less tax than if you are an employee for the same amount of income,


something the OBR worried about in March. They seem to be worrying


about a lot more now. In a nerdy way, the Chancellor said he was


going to consult on changing the tax system or the way we define what is


self employed and that could have a big effect. The inflation figures


were interesting from the OBR because compared to the Bank of


England, they are not that bad. Inflation peaking at 2.5% in 2018.


If wage growth was to stay the way it is now, 2.3%, would be just a


little bit above, and then it falls down to 2%. If that is true, you


wouldn't get the same squeeze on real living standards that many had


feared because of the fall of the pound, and therefore maybe not the


same impact on growth. It wouldn't be so bad. Clearly the higher the


inflation is, the worse it is for living standards and the OBR along


with the bank is expecting a direct pass through into higher prices, a


bit less, but not that much less than the bank is expecting. If it


does turn out that we get prices at 2.5% and wages, 2.3%, in historical


terms, it's terrible. We usually see prices rising 2%, not 0.2%.


Irrespective of what happened on June 23, we've already had eight


years essentially with no growth in real earnings and... This could be a


return to it. It looks like we have got several more years of that and


we may well end up by the end of this decade with earnings no higher


than they were at the beginning of the decade. We have never seen that


before, certainly not since the war. Is it clear, so far, for the Just


About Managing, this new popular phrase, is it clear that the Just


About Managing are going to be any better off as a result of this?


There's not a lot here in terms of measures for the group. We do of


course have a national living wage rising to ?7 50 an hour in April,


quite a big increase on the minimum wage as it was a year ago. That will


help a lot in that group. Otherwise, we have got a small increase in the


generosity of Universal Credit when it finally comes in but nowhere near


offsetting the cuts announced back in June 2015, and no doubt we will


also be told against freezing fuel duties will help that group although


most of the money will go to better off people who tend to consume more


fuel, more petrol. There's not an enormous amount here I think for


that. We need to leave it there but we thank you for the initial


reaction for that we look forward to the more considered one tomorrow


when you have had a chance to go through the figures on that. Lets


get reaction to the Chancellor's statement from Simon Jack. Thanks,


Andrew. We have been monitoring the pound, usually the most sensitive


market to economic announcements like this and it started rising and


then falling and we've ended up pretty much back where we were. It's


a surprise because those borrowing numbers were more horrible than we


were expecting, ?122 billion more in debt over the five-year period. That


announcement that as a percentage of GDP will hit 90% in 2017-18 is the


highest it's been for 50 years. Given we were gloomy about growth


forecasts and those numbers are sensitive to those GDP numbers, but


perhaps it's not that surprising we braced ourselves for the worst.


First of all, on that big picture, 90% debt to GDP looks like a


horrible number. It is a horrible number and that's why people have


been constrained here. The surprising thing for me is the


growth forecast into the future. Although there is a huge amount of


uncertainty underpinning those, they are a bit better than people had


feared. A little bit more optimistic than some had feared but also what


was quite interesting in a statement from the OBR, they were looking at


how they came up with those assumptions, factoring in Brexit,


and they were clearly saying they thought trade volumes would be lower


and there would be a cost to Brexit. Yes, that is what they are factoring


in as one of the high inflation and the impact it will have on consumer


spending. It is those two things combined but maybe not as much of a


hit as people in the city had forecast for those numbers to be.


It's always thought you got to have a credible plan about debt and what


he said today was his going to balance the books as early as


possible in the next Parliament. Is that good enough? We will see from


the Stirling chance, and moved. He's in a difficult position trying to


engender growth in a period of great uncertainty, we don't know quite


what Brexit will bring as well as all the global phenomena going on. I


think it is a tough ask. There are other things other than Brexit


affecting the dynamic growth. Simon, a big emphasis on infrastructure and


productivity. That presumably chimed in with you. Yes, it's all tied


together and that figure, 30% less productive, in Britain than Germany


or USA, it's a real problem. What we know about this Chancellor,


addressing that is his number one priority and a lot of what we've


seen today is about that and he tied that into the infrastructure,


digital, housing, transport, and we are disappointed there's nothing on


capital allowances, the annual investment allowance because that


improves productivity. It's not as ambitious as might have been.


Ambition to invest here and now over the next year for businesses who are


uncertain and hesitant because we are being cautious. This'll be the


last Autumn Statement and will now be an autumn budget and then a


spring statement. This will be the big one. We will have a small


announcement in spring. If he doesn't tinker with things in


spring, we have one big budget a year and that's good for business


because this continual tinkering as to the workload for businesses. Yes,


it's to be welcomed, the fact you're going to an autumn budget gives


businesses more time to plan for the incoming tax year than they've had


with a Spring Budget. I think the fact we won't have fiscal events as


they are called the whole time, has to be good. One thing I thought I


heard was the death knell of the triple lock saying it was safe until


the end of 2020 but given changes in longevity might need looking at. Did


you hear that for pensions? I thought there was a hint of that, it


will be reviewed, and this is favouring a part of the community


which has been favoured a lot over the last ten years and we need to


address more to young people struggling in their first houses. On


the house-building, we got what we expected. Yes, and it will need to


be a continuing priority. We say it's freeing up planning regulation


that will really help people. Sue and Simon, thank you very much


indeed. The markets took this in their stride despite these horrible


numbers, people were expecting much gloomier growth forecasts. The city


today was braced for that news. Thank you, Simon. Let's speak to the


Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Welcome to the special programme. We


have got slower growth, higher inflation, weaker tax revenues,


squeezed living standards, spectacularly high borrowing. What


is the good news? It shouldn't come as surprise to anyone as they go


through a period of transition following the Brexit vote, that


there are challenges for the economy. I think the key thing is


that the government responds as is necessary. We have given ourselves


greater flexibility for that we are taking steps to improve


productivity. We're also doing this in a way that maintains credibility


in our public finances. How can it be credible? It's only November. In


March this year, you told us what he planned to borrow for the next five


years. You are now going to borrow ?122 billion more than you told us


you would borrow six or seven months ago. That is the OBR's estimate and


they are clear in their explanation as to why that is. They


predominantly put that down to the consequences of the Brexit vote. And


the uncertainty that follows from that leading to reduced investment


and therefore slower growth over this period of time. Than also some


structural challenges we face about different ways of working and the


fact it brings in fewer tax receipts than we would otherwise have, so,


yes, we face challenges but the difference between March and


November, quite a lot hasn't happened between them. In 2010, you


told us he would balance the budget by 2015. That didn't happen. By


2015, you told us it would balance the budget by 2020. That's not going


to happen. Now you can't tell us when it's going to be balanced.


Correct? Circumstances have changed. The OBR said, had we had the Brexit


vote go the other way, they say we would still be on course to have a


surplus by 2019-20 but the circumstances are no different and


we have to respond to those circumstances and that's exactly


what the Chancellor set out to do. Do you feel, being in a government,


supposedly a fiscally conservative government, that, by the end of this


decade, we will probably have increased the national debt to


macro-?2,000,000,000,000? -- ?2 trillion. You have to look at why


that has happened. We inherited an economy where we borrowed a record


amount. What was a national debt when you inherited it? Debt has gone


up, Andrew, very significantly over a period of time. Debt is


essentially the team elation of borrowing. We brought borrowing down


through a period of time which has been a festival difficult because of


a performance of the world economy, we actually wear on course to


eliminate the deficit by the end... We will never know now. That is what


the OBR said today. You are doing more than doubling the national


debt. Well and trillion when you came to powerful that it could


easily be macro-2,000,000,000,000 by 2020. -- 2 trillion by 2020. It has


inflicted huge austerities on this country and yet you still have 2


trillion debt. In other countries, people would be resigning over these


figures. What is the argument, Andrew? We have done too much or


done too little because other critics often say you have cut too


much and there's been too much austerity and then complain about


the fact... The argument is you haven't done what you have said you


would done. We've made a number of difficult decisions that has brought


our deficit down by almost two thirds full there was a time I


remember in 2010 when people thought we have to bring the IMF into


bailiffs out. Really? I do remember that. Ken Clarke and George Osborne


said at a press conference a few days before the general election. I


can remember others as well. The point is we faced a crisis in 2010


but restored credibility. That was six years ago and you're still


borrowing more than ever. Because of the scale of the challenge we face


today. We did maintain the confidence of the markets in the UK,


which is not a given in 2010. I'm sure you would agree. Now we face


new challenges for the question is, how does the government sort this


out? Should we chase the 2010 surplus target? A la judgment is


that the wrong thing to do, it would be too harsh on the economy given


the uncertainty we now face. This is an entirely pragmatic sensible


response to the circumstances we are in and that involves borrowing more


for economic infrastructure. ?23 billion. You are borrowing 122


billion more. As Andrew are suggesting, you have been failing


your own tests and the location from today is you are go into the next


general election unable to tell the general public when you will balance


the books. We are unable to say when we will balance the books at this


point as the Chancellor made clear, the rule is we will have the


structural deficit below 2% by the end of this Parliament at this


point. What we are saying is we will be in overall surplus at some point


in the next Parliament. As soon as possible.


Our viewers should not expect going into the next general election


without being able to tell the public when you will have balanced


the books. What we will be able to say by the time we get to 2020 is


difficult to judge at the moment. We are entering into a period of


uncertainty. The intention is to eliminate the overall deficit as


soon as possible in the next Parliament. We should have that


flexibility at the moment. By 2020 you will give a much more definite


signal to the public who voted for you on the basis you are there to


fix the public finances. The answer is, we do not know at this stage. We


are going into a period of uncertainty. It is right, during a


period of uncertainty, the pragmatic thing is to have that flexibility to


respond to events. Where we will be by 2020, of course, we don't


precisely know. George Osborne said a debt to GDP ratio of 90% was not


sustainable. That is the bigger your going to hit next year. Presumably,


it is not sustainable. One of the factors in now, as the Chancellor


made clear, our debt numbers are made worse by some of the


allegations of the Bank of England operations, which are necessary. I


am making the point that has boosted the debt number. There is an


important point that we do have to bring down debt. I would like to


bring debt down earlier and faster but we have to respond to the


circumstances that exist in the economy. The circumstances that


exist at the moment, a period of uncertainty whereby we need


flexibility to respond. That is what the Chancellor is saying. That is a


pragmatic response to the circumstances. One intriguing hint


towards the end of the statement. The Chancellor suggested the


governance might look at spending protections for some departments. In


other words can he was suspect he might lose the triple lock on


pensions and get rid of the ring fence on NHS spending. They have


made commitments for this parliament which the Chancellor reaffirmed. We


always make these commitments Parliament by Parliament. That was a


pretty clear hint they have a sell by date. The commitments we will


make for the next Parliament will be made at the next spending review.


They are not to be made now. At the point of the next spending review we


will have to look at how the economy is doing and what is affordable. Let


me ask you, that just about managing classes. Your government is the one


that puts them at the centre of everything. They are just about


managing. Is it not clear, from everything that is happening to the


economy in what was announced today, that at the end of this decade, the


just about managing classes will be worse off than they are today? I


don't think it is just about clear. If you look at it, we have just had


a period of time where growth in living standards have actually been


pretty high, the last couple of years in particular we have seen


living standards growing very fast. It is the case, given that we are


likely to see higher inflation, there will be a squeeze over the


next couple of years. And benefits are frozen. From 2018, we will see


earnings rising again. That is what the OBR is predicting. Let's get


this point clear. Even if inflation does not cover as badly as you


think, it does not matter for them. The benefits of frozen. Whatever the


inflation rate, they are worse off. I think what you will find I


appreciate not having a chance to go through all the numbers yet but what


you will find with the information we have, living standards will be


higher by the end of this parliament and they were at the beginning. I


would suggest to you, minister, just about managing. People who really


fit into that working families needing Universal Credit to top up


because they are not being paid enough to be able to survive. They


get some extra welfare benefits and they are still just about managing.


Even when you take into account the rise in the National Living Wage


that is planned, the income tax cuts. Some of them, come out of


income tax altogether. Free childcare as we have talked about.


Working families will be, on average, ?800 worse off by the end


of the decade. ?1300, when you take in the impact of the benefit freeze.


I am not sure I recognise those numbers. One of the things we have


announced today has been in -- reduction of the tape are rate. 2p.


To give an example, a couple with the highest earner on 30,000, two


children, the housing element of Universal Credit, they will benefit


from the 2p matter by ?420 a year. I have taken the 2% take that into


account. The fact is, whatever way you cut it, working families on


Universal Credit will be worse off by the end of this decade. You could


argue that may be one of the prices that has to be paid to stop


borrowing get way out of hand. Your government may do just about


managing the centrepiece of this government and they will be worse


off. I don't particularly recognise those numbers but it is important to


say, coming back to our earlier conversation, we do have to get


public finances under control. You have raised perfidy fairly criticism


of you should be going faster. We have to strike a balance between


critical credibility, reducing the deficit but also ensuring we have an


economy that can withstand this and help the just about managing. You


cannot say you're going to make the just about managing the centrepiece


of your policies and they end up most. -- worse off. Let me make this


point. One of the ways in which, ultimately, we raise living


standards, and we have an economy which can afford world-class public


services, it is by ensuring we have stronger productivity. That is a big


focus of what the Chancellor was saying today. About productivity and


research and development and transport infrastructure and


housing. These are all measures which can ensure the UK economy can


grow more and prosper more, improve productivity and wages and salaries.


That is ultimately the way in which you help all of the people in this


country. That is very clearly what the Chancellor was arguing today. I


was going to say, the problem you have with that today, is Number 10,


the Prime Minister has set up a political aspiration, her political


aspiration, that she will help people directly and feel it in their


pockets. The Chancellor may feel it is better to prioritise the


long-term economy and infrastructure but you have a mismatch. The


rhetoric of the Prime Minister and the reality of what this statement


has put forward. I do not accept that. When you look at what we have


just announced in terms of the Universal Credit taper, if you look


at what we have done with fuel duty and all of the things in terms of


housing, the additional ?1.4 billion for affordable housing, those are


all measures that are going to help ordinary, working class families in


a period of uncertainty and difficulty, which we can discuss the


reasons behind that a little bit. It is a balance has to be struck. The


long-term credibility of our public finances. The long-term growth of


the economy through better infrastructure, etc come and also


helping the British public through potentially a difficult year or two.


The Chancellor has struck that balanced very well today. Meanwhile,


the just about managing will have to continue just about managing. Thank


you for being with us. I know it is a busy day for you as well as the


Chancellor. Let's go back to Jo


Coburn in Portsmouth. Andrew, I am sheltering underneath a


child catamaran, here at the home of where they build this racing vote in


Portsmouth. One of the points that would have been very relevant for


this part of the UK was when Philip Hammond said he felt too much


economic growth have been focused on London and the south-east at the


expense of cities like Portsmouth. Who better to discuss that point


with them than Donna Jones, the Conservative leader of Portsmouth


City Council. How big is that gap between cities like Portsmouth and


London and the South East? Here in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight we


have a productivity gap with the remainder of the south-east of


England and even greater into the tens of billions if compared to


London. I do welcome some of the announcements today. Was that money


is needed in the north of the country to make the economy grow, we


also need infrastructure in the south-east as well. Have you been


jealous of the northern Powerhouse? Could something like that be done


here? We have been working on a sale and combined authority. The money


that comes through from government to enable local authorities to build


motorways. Key infrastructure is vital. How badly do you need new


roads and new infrastructure? The Tunstall talked about new


investment. It does not sound like much. -- the Chancellor. We are


still in an austerity programme and have a deficit nationally. I welcome


the announcement for the ?3.7 billion has been announced for


infrastructure to aid housing delivery and roads specifically. We


have not had any investment in rail infrastructure since the 60s and we


need to rebuild part of the motorway in Portsmouth. To deliver the


thousands of homes we need to build, we need some more infrastructure in


roads and rail. Otherwise you cannot deliver those homes? It makes it


difficult. What about affordable housing? This is much less than is


actually needed across the country. It is a very good start. I welcome


the fact the Chancellor has taken a pragmatic approach to budget


neutrality, today making the announcement that we will not repeat


a budget neutral position by 2020 but it will be achieved at some


point beyond that. I think that is realistic. I have looked at the OBR


forecast for the next five years. Today was a very sensible budget. We


need more money and growth infrastructure. The keyword for me


is a ramp built. Build more homes were build more roads and create


over 500,000 new jobs. -- around Guild. You said you would welcome


flexibility in terms of balancing the books. What does that mean about


the state of public finances which will affect you as a council? There


have been upsides and downsides. I welcome the increase in the personal


allowance for tax payers. Taking over 2 million people out of tax


with the increased to ?11,500 by 2018. Putting money back into


pockets. The increase in the National Living Wage will have an


effect. We do have people through care contracts we award looking


after elderly people who will be paid around the living wage and that


will have a slight effect on our balance sheets. John McDonnell said


was nothing from his perspective boosting social care and never be


more pressure on the NHS. We were anticipating an increase in the


adult care precept. I think that announcement may come in the next


b-day. It was not included today in the Chancellor's budget but that is


the sort of thing that we will be looking very closely at, the details


of the implications from today's Autumn Statement. Donna mentioned


the families who will just be managing. Those who are only just


about managing to pay their bills, pay their rent is, perhaps pay


mortgages. Let's talk to our personal finance experts, Ruth


Alexander, about some of the issues affecting them. Was there much in


this budget to help those who are just about managing? There was a


little bit. I do not think anyone will see their lives massively


transformed by what was announced. We would talking about the personal


allowance increasing. That was announced before. It is the point at


which you have to pay tax. It will increase to ?12,500. ?12,500 by the


end of the Parliament. By 2020, 20 21. It will take some people out of


tax altogether and help others. The higher rate tax threshold will go to


?50 million -- ?50,000 by the end of parliament. It will help savers. At


the moment you cannot get any sort of decent interest rate on savings.


It is so hard. The Government has said it will have a market leading


savings bond. Most of the detail will be in the budget that they


expect it will have an interest rate of 2.2% of that not a huge amount.


You will be able to save up to ?3000. The fact that fuel duty will


be frozen for the seventh year in a row will be good news to anyone


worried it could get a bit higher. I had an e-mail from Kate Hugh asks,


will wages for 16-17 -year-olds increase? Yes, but I'm not sure this


is the news she was hoping for. I'm afraid by just 5p an hour. The


reason she was asking is there's been a lot of talk and in fact it


was confirmed that the national living wages going to go up for


people who are aged 25 and over. That is going from ?7 20 up to ?7 50


from April. It sounds good but earlier in the year it is expected


it would go up a little bit more. So that's not great. Daniel and Darren


have asked, letting agents fees, when will the fees coming? It's


going to be as soon as possible. Darren is renegotiating a contact at


the moment and they want to charge a fee for that. He says, does this


mean I won't have to do? When do you think we will find when that will


come in? As soon as possible, maybe in the next month or so. Of course,


the bigger news Philip Hammond announced was that this will be the


last ever Autumn Statement. Back to you, Andrew.


We are in mourning here for it. But we are buoyed by the idea that there


will be a spring statement instead. Viewers in Scotland leave us now for


more on the impact of the Autumn Statement. If you are just joining


us, wondering what happened, let's give you a recap from the Autumn


Statement, the first major financial statement by the new Chancellor


Philip Hammond. Economic forecast. The government is predicting debt,


our total national accumulated debt, will reach 90% of our overall wealth


of GDP by 2017-18. Borrowing is going to increase. The idea of a


budget surplus is not going to be reached by the end of this decade.


Indeed, there is no word when it will be reached now. The growth


forecast is falling to 1.4% next year. They get a little bit better


the year after that and then rise again so next year the OBR, a lot of


pressure on the OBR to see the growth forecast right, because a lot


has fallen from it. Main measures the Chancellor announced, the


National living wage will rise to ?7 50 an hour by April. That was in the


pipeline so no surprise there. Fuel duty rises, cancelled. The seventh


year in a row. He's cancelled the automatic rise in fuel duty.


Insurance Premium Tax will increase to 12%. It's one of the taxes


chancellors think they can nudge up without anybody noticing too much


until the and arrives. He announced 23 billion for a new national


productivity investment fund and that is spread over five years but,


by the end of five years, there will be several billion more going into


productivity investment. A few other measures, Universal Credit taper is


reduced from 65-63p for every ?1. A marginal adjustment for those who


lose benefits. Another 1.4 billion to help 40,000 new homes, only in


England, but that's a problem because it is spread over a number


of years. Northern Ireland, 250 million, Wales, 400, Scotland, 800.


As we said earlier, the Autumn Statement is being abolished. Which,


for people like me, is a very sad day indeed. We have got a spring


statement instead so hurray for that. Lets go back to Joanna on


College Green. Yes, thank you for that with metres Tim Farron and Tim


reckless. We heard from the Chancellor talk about the underlying


resilience of the economy and eye watering levels of debt and the


figure is ?122 billion additional borrowing. How would you assess the


state of the nation 's finances from what you have heard? I think we have


just seen the epitaph of the fact over the last five months all of the


good work we did on financial stability in the coalition has been


undone and the Chancellor will say he had no alternative but the OBR's


figure is 220 billion. Brexit means an increase of unemployment, lower


growth, lower living standards and spiralling debt. If we believe that


this is a disaster Britain should avoid, particularly the hard Brexit


nobody voted for, but we deserve better than the white flag the


Labour Party is waving this afternoon. I would say if the


epitaph for the 3 million jobs like, people like Tim Farron telling us 3


million jobs would be at risk if we left the EU and receive the official


forecast for unemployment, after we're left the EU is just 860,000.


What about those debt figures, ?122 billion of borrowing extra, GDP not


doing as well as anticipated, and the overall level of debt not going


down? The growth forecast is reasonably good but the government


is borrowing too much. They talk a tough game on austerity but their


words are not matched with deed. What would you say? We will


accelerate leaving the European Union. Every month we are in, it's


?1 billion we have to pay. A cliff edge fall in our contributions are


no more contributions to the EU after the set December 2018


according to the statement. We like to make savings on overseas aid,


humanitarian disaster relief, scrap HS2, look at the green subsidies and


bleeding of the public finances in order. What we have discovered in


terms of the black hole within the Chancellor's budget, 220 -- ?220


million, that increases attacks across the board and at the same


time, since the 23rd of June, it seems every day has been a good day


to bury bad news and the worst news has been within the national health


and social care services. There wasn't an extra penny given to the


NHS today. The problem is, whilst we head towards a hard Brexit which


nobody voted for, and an exit from the single market, we are seeing


less income into the Exchequer, less money for the health service and


schools. The savings Mark Reckless talks about? I admire him for


carrying on repeating what was on the side of our bus. It's a delight


to hear somebody standing by it but you're the only person on the planet


is still believes that. We have had some truth today. The gap between


what we could have had and will have is a quarter of ?1 trillion over


this parliament. Can you imagine the number of nurses, doctors, social


workers, teachers, police officers and soldiers we could pay for if


this government hadn't gone for a hard Brexit nobody voted for? What


would happen to the economy at Brexit had not happened? You talk


much about it increase in unemployment and it's going the


other way. ?220 billion hole in the public finances, we will see what


that will lead to. The worst thing in the world is to be in opposition


wanting things to go badly to prove your case. I don't want that. I want


Britain to be strong which is why I think his announcement on


infrastructure, are actually encouraging at a time of low


interest rates. We should be spending but the problem is that


because of making a choice of hard Brexit but nobody voted for, he has


put himself in a position where that good work you could be doing on


infrastructure investment will be swamped and dwarfed other black hole


he is creating. We are in a period of complete uncertainty and


unpredictable it in terms of these predictions we are hearing today and


predictions are not always right. We don't really what the impact will be


once Britain leads the youth. We had the Treasury suggesting six months


ago telling us if we left, unemployment would be 1.2 million,


1.3 million next year and now we hear from the independent office


from budget was once ability, it will be 860,000. We get more


certainty that contribution to the EU budget stopped in 2018 assembler,


and there are no tariffs going forward with the European Union so


that's good news in terms of official position and business can


plan on the business they won't be tariffs with the EU and we have


savings online and the outlook is pretty good. A wonderful piece of


spin. The reality is the one figure we can't ignore, it is obvious,


there are 500 million consumers in the European Union in a single


market, the largest most prosperous market on earth, and a major reason


for that enormous black hole it it will affect every public service,


family in this country, because Britain is heading outside of that


single market so to access it is nonsense for that North Korea has


got the access to the single market. Membership will be the difference in


this country floundering and growing. Tariff free access to the


single market is probably what would agree is desirable. Why would that


happen without freedom of movement? According to the official forecast,


it will and they don't expect revenue from tariffs which would be


far more from us than us and it's not in interest. I don't that will


happen. What we have heard today and the fact that the borrowing figures


are where they are, would the last years of austerity of being a waste


of time because people out there will think I have been hit so hard


and the nation 's finances are still in a state? For five years, the Lib


Dems not making ourselves popular in the process, fought to make sure


there was famous while we put the lid on excessive spending to get the


finances in order. The last five months, completely undone the fourth


reputation for fiscal responsibility is out the window as a consequence.


It is more depressing for the people around the country who have suffered


the consequences of that and, yes, austerity... It's nothing about what


may come if we don't maintain membership of the single market. A


soft Brexit if possible. Give the British people a say on the final


terms. The Chancellor says he can afford to do what he's doing because


of the reputation hilltop with austerity and the management of the


economy. He is putting out these new fiscal rules. What do you think of


those? We've been asking for some time and that's what we encourage


when we were in government. The problem is, the good stuff in this


Autumn Statement, essentially the investment in our infrastructure,


it's far too small, it is dwarfed by is needed, and also massively


dwarfed by the enormous black hole and damage done by the impending


hard Brexit which nobody voted for. The infrastructure spend is too


small a. Lets get on the shovel ready local projects, improve the


Manchester to Liverpool line, scrap the tolls on the crossings of the


Severn Bridge, the Mersey Tunnel and the Dartford Crossing, and we can


pay for that by cutting HS2, as you'd think in a juju, reduce


overseas aid and makes an savings. Thank you both very much. Back to


you, Andrew. Thanks, Laura, what are the politics


of this? How will this go down with a Tory backbenchers? In a funny way,


they may have some irritation on both sides of the Eurosceptic right


end and also those more liberal conservatives. The sort of tweaking


of the cuts to Universal Credit don't make much difference and there


has been a lot of strong feeling on the Tory benches about making that


change in order to make that message about helping people who are having


a good hard time ring true. At the other end, some people really


believe the Tories should have gone further and harder in cutting the


first time around and the idea of pushing out paying down the deficit


even further is also not going to be very popular. More broadly, though,


I think we are in a period where the Tory backbenchers are maybe a bit


grumpy around the edges but not massively restive. Broadly, I don't


think there is going to be uprisings and public theory to any great


extent about today. You have discovered an interesting figure.


Buried in one of the document is a figure for how much it might cost


Whitehall to go through the process of us leaving the European Union.


There's been a lot of concern in recent days about how many civil


servants we will need, is Whitehall up to it? The statement reveals


expect ?412 million to be the cost just in Whitehall of getting through


our departure from the EU. Nothing to do with a potential consequences


for the economy. Actually what it will cost central government to get


this done. At a time they have to look for savings all over the place,


a billion quid just on admin, quite a big lot of money. To what extent,


you are a new Chancellor, so maybe you have a benchmark, get the worst


out first. And everything gets better. Should we look at it like


that? Absolutely. He's like a new Chief Executive. You come in, you


make sure that your bottom line, you're not going to minute belated,


but it is as gloomy as possible because then things can look better.


I don't think Philip Hammond will be looking to the headlines tomorrow or


tonight, or next month, but don't forget 2020, and a general election,


we just chatted with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who did


not rule out making that budget balance target much more distinct


either time of 2020. He had a vague notion about it now but by the


election, he could be more confident about where things are going.


The Government cannot let cuts and people on benefits take more of the


pain. George Osborne was getting to the point where the Conservative


Party were clear on voting down many of his tax credit changes. Philip


Hammond needs to be a Chancellor who does what very few chancellors have


managed to do over the decades and improve our economic performance


will improve productivity. The other thing can not just about managing


families are people getting onto the housing ladder, they have announced


the group policies around house-building they hope will


kick-start the housing market. These are incredibly slow, long-term,


deeply entrenched problems. Philip Hammond knows in his gut they will


be the test of his Chancellor ship rather than the state of the public


finances. Let's get more political reaction now.


We will go to the SNP Stuart Hovey. Every little helps. There is a 15,


16% capital cut. All of that is helpful. The big story today was the


way in which the 2010 promised to be fulfilled in 2015 numbers in


deficit, debt and borrowing will not be met and the end of this


Parliament. In the caves of the debt figure, not at all for it confirms


what we have been saying for some time this decade of posterity has


been an unmitigated disaster if the intention were to turn the numbers


around -- austerity. Scotland's deficit is about 10% of GDP cost you


are not really in a position to lecture the Chancellor, are you?


Most of Scotland's con is run from London. -- economy is run from


London. Whilst useful, it is not the whole amount, far from it. The


deficit is driven by economic policy here. I am delighted that the


Chancellor has changed tack by some extent. You must have seen some of


this money coming. Have you given any thought as to how you will spend


it? There were lots of rumours about what he might do in terms of


capital, in terms of releasing the purse strings or not releasing the


purse strings. Lots of mixed messages. The Government will


determine before the Scottish Government budget does with the


money and when they will get it. I am in no position to spend Scottish


Government finances. I understand that. You have some new welfare


powers and you have been highly critical of the Government's


approach to disabled claimants. Would you start to top up these


amounts herself in Scotland? That is a set of measures to be announced in


the budget precisely how the powers are used and what level of


mitigation might be possible in certain circumstances. I would not


want to prejudge a budget statement that has not been made in Holyrood.


That would be completely wrong. I understand that. Do you think some


of your supporters would be blamed if they felt disappointed you are


not rushing ahead to use the new powers you have? You seem to be


taking your time overtaking them up, having campaigned so aggressively


for them. As the First Minister has said, we will take the powers when


offered and use them when we are able. The welfare system needs to be


put into place to look to deliver a Social Security system that is fit


for purpose. Given we have just had a UK statement, it might be slightly


better to remind ourselves what he did today in terms of Social


Security was change the taper, the amount of money people can take


before they start to lose their benefits by 2p in the pound. On the


minimum wage but that is about 14p an hour, not a king's runs and might


be to turn lives around. What about the City deal? I understand every


city in Scotland will now have a city deal? We have been calling for


this. Fans have been laid. I spoke to the team a month ago. -- plans.


What is done with that in terms of outcome and jobs needs to be fully


packaged. That is a sellable deal. We will need to make sure that is


delivered in full and on time. I am sure that Dundee, Perth and Angus


and East Fife will benefit greatly from it. An extraordinary job has


been done. Congratulations to them. Let's get more reaction from our


business editor. The cities have been very important in the Autumn


Statement given the post Brexit situation. Let's go back to Simon


Jack. We have been looking at markets and how they have been


reacting to what they have heard. The big thing today is what the


public finances will look like. We have 90% debt as a percentage of GDP


in 2017/18, the highest it has been for 50 years of this chart here


tells us what the Government has to pay to borrow money over ten years.


It has gone from 1.36% this morning to 1.4%. In fixed income terms, in


bond terms, that is a big move. We are close to a total debt bill of


people to see what they have taken away from the Autumn Statement.


First of all, what jumped out at you from today's statement? Thinking of


our front page tomorrow, it has to be the underlying economic


conditions. It seems to be and in case of increased debt. Borrowing


will be back. Almost Keynesian in some levels. Huge pledges of


investment in certain sectors. Lower growth, lower tax receipts and


higher borrowing. There were not huge numbers of rabbits out of the


hat. There were some cheeky tax rises. We have had some angry


insurance company bosses on the phone about a particular tax rise


from 10% to 12% on insurance premiums. Gloomy, underlying


economic conditions. He said the target to eliminate the deficit went


at other windows some time ago. That was unrealistic. The new target to


balance the books sometimes in the next parliament, or as as soon as


possible. Osborne had his fiscal rules and failed to meet those.


Hamilton has created several more. -- Hammond. The debt has been


described as eye watering. It is an eye watering situation. Those are


the conditions we have to operate in. A big emphasis on the spending


he did announce today. A big emphasis on infrastructure and


productivity. What did you make of it? A welcome down payment on future


productivity of the economy. ?23 billion fund focusing on local


infrastructure. That was something new. Local pinch points. Unlocking


of regional growth. Plans announced on Monday with research and


development. Also the developer had of new ideas in the UK. And of


course broadband. That is something businesses are talking a lot about


in terms of productivity. Also, unlocking the housing piece of this


is difficult without roads and infrastructure to support new


building. There was a renewed focus on that. Did you hear enough? We


were pleased to see that. And was a connection between housing and


transport and a commitment to building new homes. All types of


different homes. Some emphasis on ownership has been replaced by


recognition that there needs to be a range of different kinds of housing.


That was very good news. I did not hear keeping the capital allowances


piece very high for businesses. That is the tax-free amount they can


invest in new plant, machinery and processes. He could have gone


further. Given we have the downgrade for next year, close to the CBI


forecasts that you are facing uncertainty. Businesses are facing


higher prices coming through. There was nothing in now for the


short-term investment picture. We think the Chancellor should have a


watching brief on that. No further cuts to corporation tax. There was


chat that if we want the lowest corporation tax in the world and Mr


Trump cuts it, we would go lower than 17, which is the aspiration


through this Parliament to 15. Izzy your -- do you think it is not


uppermost in your minds? Business it would rather the business road map


was confirmed and the 17% is confirmed. And not hearing huge


calls for it to go lower. We are hearing for some of the investment


allowances and incentives to invest on the infrastructure challenges to


be to hire up on the left bank Corporation tax. I heard Christian


saying the triple lock is saved till 2020 but then we will have to think


again. He hinted at that. Given the enormous fiscal consolidation which


is pencilled in, that is code for cuts down the line. If there is a


serious suggestion they will do that at the same time as telling


pensioners we are coming for your perks, I am not sure anyone in


government wants to go into an election even if facing Jeremy


Corbyn, with those kinds of pledges. Thank you both. Government borrowing


costs getting a bit more expensive today as we look to a bleaker fiscal


picture going forward. The pound is pretty steady but the city was


braced for gloomy economic forecasts and that is what they got.


We can get Labour's view on the statement.


Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rebecca


We carried John McDonnell's critique to the Autumn Statement in full. Do


you want to balance the books? Certainly. We would have liked to


have seen more certainty from the Chancellor today. He has abandoned


George Osborne's suppers rule, which we thought was in achievable but he


has not given us a date in terms of bringing down the deficit. We have a


fiscal credibility rule. George Osborne is to couple capital


expenditure with public spending. We would separate that. You would not


need to borrow in terms of public spending. That would come out of tax


receipts. Capital expenditure would be kept separate. At the same time,


you would bring down the deficit. You are promising to spend a lot


more on current spending. You have called for the reversal of the


Universal Credit cuts, at least 3 billion. You want much more money


for the NHS and full social care. That is a multi-billion current


spending as well. There are a number of other areas in welfare you where


you want to spend more or restore the cuts that have been made. I


don't understand McGivern you're going to add all of that to current


spending, when you would balance that. We would not have cut capital


gains tax or slashed inheritance tax for the most wealthy in society and


expected the most vulnerable in society having to shoulder the


burden. In terms of raising further revenue through taxes, we have a tax


avoidance transparency programme that we would enforce. How much


would that raise? ?5 billion is what the Government intends to recoup.


Pundits outside of government estimate anything between 70 billion


to 130 billion going out of the country in terms of tax avoidance.


We would have to examine that. The problem we have at the moment is the


Government is getting back on the resources it has within HMR see. It


is cutting the number of offices it has and employees in each


department. In order to get an accurate vision on how much money we


are using each year, the Government does not have those resources. We


would make sure that HMRC was adequately resourced. In terms of


increasing tax revenue, we must surely get productivity levels up.


The OBR report today at horrific productivity predictions yet again.


The title referred to in his speech can match the fact he appreciated


there was a productivity problem. Something is not going well for this


government. They are not investing in industry infrastructure or


creating the high-paid, high skilled jobs of the future which would


result in future tax returns for the Government. Why do you want to


balance the books? It is fiscally responsible to so do. You cannot


pluck money from the money tree. It is responsible for the Government to


invest in the future. What other government does it,


balance the books around the western world? There are a number of fiscal


positions taken by other governments around the world. It's difficult to


pinpoint particular governments who have a 0% deficit. Germany. They


have had a long-term strategy. As I look at Italy, France, Spain, United


States, they are not planning to balance the books. I wondered why...


No, it's fiscally responsible to balance the books but can't do it at


the expense of not investing in the future and your future


infrastructure because you have to balance the books of the same time


as ensuring future productivity and tax receipts. What would you do? We


would invest in infrastructure on a larger scale. What the Chancellor


said today was welcome and some of it is a repeat of what his


predecessor had put forward. That takes a long time for infrastructure


investment to happen and to have an impact. What would you do to raise


it in the next couple of years? There's a large number of shovel


ready project in the pipeline and we didn't hear many of those. I've got


a massively long list I could e-mail across to you. We've got HS2 which


doesn't seem to be progressing. That is not shovel ready. We have got a


vast number of them and they are available on the government website.


I understand the website is full of infrastructure projects. A lot of


them have not been lamented but give me an infrastructure project that is


shovel ready. Swansea tidal lagoon. That will take years to plan. It


hasn't even got planning permission yet. If you look on the government


website, you can see a long list of the shovel ready projects if you are


interest to do so. No, the point is this. What I see on the government


website, hold on, what I see on the government website is a long list of


infrastructure projects, but what I don't see is shovel ready. I will


give you an example. HS2 is approved, eight years ago, hardly


shovel ready. The diggers turned up last week to begin part of the


building but didn't have the right local authority permits and they


were sent away and they won't be allowed back until the New Year. It


is not shovel ready. I appreciate a number of local issues on particular


projects and they need to be addressed as quickly as possible but


there's a number of projects if the Chancellor did further investigation


on, he would find they were shovel ready. If you look of the government


website, there's a long list of those available. I do appreciate


there are some affected by local considerations but the point is, the


Chancellor has not even touch the side in what we need to secure


further productivity increases in this country and it's not just


talking about shovel body project but investing in skills and


education. We've seen horrific cuts to education in the last few years


and we are not making art workforce skilled for the future. Do you buy


the OBR's verdict the government will end up borrowing a lot more


money because of the impact of Brexit? Does Labour accept that? We


are in uncertain times and we've seen chaos on the government so far.


In terms of our red Line, we want tariff free access at the least to


the single market and I think that's what business is calling for, as


well. We have seen nothing to suggest that will be pushed forward


by this government coming forward and in terms of borrowing, I


couldn't hazard a guess at the amount of money the government would


have to borrow in terms of a worsening Brexit situation. The OBR


of said there will be ?58 billion extra borrowing they put down to


Brexit and that is the biggest fact the OBR forecast today. Do you


accept the impact of the economy of our decision? It is a forecast and


the caveat about in the report is a forecast dependent on the


government's ongoing negotiations. The government can put in place


initiatives now to try and alleviate any need to do that. That would be


demanding tariff free access to the single market for a start. We just


want some certainty going forward and we know we have got certainty on


corporation tax. As the CBI mentioned earlier, we just want to


see more certainty going forward in terms of what other terms for exit


in the EU are going to be. At the very least, some red lines for


business. The public finances. Given that if you win in 2020 will be


taking over a government where the debt to GDP ratio would be flirting


with 90%, do you still think, at that point, the markets and


investors in debt would support Labour borrowing more money? I think


Mark Carney made a statement not so long ago when he said we rely on our


friends overseas, the kindness of strangers. The longer our situation


is uncertain, the longer that kindness goes away... I'm wondering,


given the downgrading of the public finances by the Office for Budget


Responsibility today, do you stick to the notion that the markets would


still support a Labour government borrowing more money given that in


2020 the public finances are going to be in far worse state than you


thought you were going to inherit if you are the election? We really hope


they are not and we need to see some business Red Line 's. Do you think


you can borrow more? You need to borrow to invest in infrastructure.


You think you could borrow more even though the ratio... We would have to


assess the public finances at the time you could cut off your arms


you'd have to make sure you are securing future productivity for the


country but without a crystal ball, but I couldn't make an assessment of


the fiscal situation at the time we exit of the EU, but I really do


implore the Chancellor to start pushing for tariff free access to


the single market because it's imperative. He should also be


pushing for the financial passport. Even though we have seen borrowing


costs for the government today slowly rising, and inflation risk in


particular, do you store think the market will support you borrowing


more on top of what the OBR is saying already? As I said, we have


do assess the fiscal situation at the time. I would not want us to be


in a worsening financial situation and we will be if this government


doesn't take strong action in terms of Brexit. We have to assess the


financial situation of the time to specify the amounts we would borrow


and you are right in what you say, the amount of debt we are inward


effect that. Do you want the government to outline its red lines


on Brexit? Understandable position. It's the job of the opposition to do


that. What is your Red Line? Would you leave membership of the single


market? We wouldn't want to leave membership of the single market but


we would want tariff free access. You said you wouldn't leave


membership of the single market. We wouldn't like to. Whether that's on


the card or not, remains to be seen, but we want at least a guarantee


from the government they will maintain some degree of access. I


understand, that's a question for the government, I understand that. I


want to know Labour's position because these matters could be


unresolved. You have said that you would want to remain a member of the


single market? Our bare minimum is access to a single market, tariff


free. Would you be prepared to remain as a member? Whether that's


achievable or not is another matter. What about the customs union? Yes,


we think it's imperative to remain. You would accept by doing that this


country couldn't make its own free-trade deals? Well, I mean, all


things are negotiable. We would demand to remain part of a customs


union because it would have a detrimental impact. There's no


member of the customs union who makes its own free-trade deals, so


you would accept that we could not then do free-trade deals with


Canada, America, Australia, India? If Labour's policy sticks. Because


it hasn't happened so far doesn't mean it might not be able to happen


in the future, Andrew. We are in politically uncertain times at the


moment and if you are told me we would be out of the EU six months


ago I would have laughed. The customs union is quite clear on


trade goods. The whole point of being in the customs union is the


customs union does that free-trade deals so you can't have both. Do you


understand that? We would want to remain part of a customs union and


then we'll see what the government puts forward on that. OK, we believe


that therefore suffering to very much.


Let's go over to Northern Ireland now and our political editor


What has been the reaction in Northern Ireland? I think initially


welcomed to the increase there's going to be in capital spending on


infrastructure because of course that trickles down to the regions


like Northern Ireland. We are due over the next four years for a ?250


million increase in capital spending on infrastructure and so that will


be welcomed by the construction industry locally. And properly by


most politicians. This has been an area where there's been a


traditional amount of debate about whether we would miss out, not being


able to build much-needed road schemes because of Brexit, because


the local executive was implying for funding, planning to apply for


funding from the European Union in relation to that, so I think over


the next few weeks, we are expecting our local budget in the middle of


December, to have a debate about what the Chancellor has announced


today and whether it plug the gap. Let's go back to College Green.


Caroline Lucas from the Green party and Jonathan Edwards from Plaid


Cymru. What is your overall reaction, Caroline? At a time when


economic times, the country is moving into uncharted waters of


levels of insecurity higher than ever before, I was hoping from this


Chancellor without more policies to protect my constituents in Brighton


much better. We are seeing instead of Chancellor committed to give tax


breaks to the richest, to corporations, and is taking away


from the poorest in order to spend on that. When you add to that the


fact this is a Chancellor who didn't once mention the words climate


change, in the year on record as the hottest ever, a year when we know


that we absolutely could be investing in energy efficiency,


creating jobs, getting emissions down, getting peoples fuel bills


down, there was some win-win situations which could of been good


for people and the environment and he just blew it. Jonathan, what is


the Plaid Cymru V1 this? The mythical Tory long-term plan was


shelved in a short-term economic scramble on the back of a declining


OBR forecast over five years. It's not as bad news for public finances


but in terms of weakening job prospects, especially women look at


the inflation forecast. One of the big striking aspects of the


statement is there was no indication from the Chancellor on what is


position will be in terms of the single market and the customs union


going forward. An extra 400 million for the Welsh government in this.


Any ideas how you will spend it? We've lost 400 million over five


years, of course. It will be spent on renovating Buckingham Palace, and


the place behind me, it wasn't a serious fiscal intervention because


if you go back to the levels of infrastructure investment prior to


the crash in 2008, 1% extra pair and GDP, 20 billion across the UK and a


billion per annum for Wales, so the money announced, although welcome,


isn't a serious economic intention. Philip Hammond confirmed the


starting rate, 40% tax break, would rise by 2020 up to 50,000. John


McDonnell from Labour has backed that. The Green party is opposed to


that. A lot of people who would benefit are not rich, moderately


affluent at most. Teachers, police officers, other public sector


workers. Why would you be against them getting a fairer deal? I'm


against it because it's essentially being paid for by some of the


poorest people, who are seeing changes on Universal Credit but not


going to help them. Is being paid for off the backs of the poorest


people and that's why we are objecting to it. Essentially, this


is a budget yet again for the more wealthy in spite of the fact only a


few months ago Theresa May were standing on the doorstep of Downing


Street promising as this was going to be a budget and a country under


government putting some of the poorest working class people at its


heart. This budget demonstrates that was a myth. Caroline Lucas and


Jonathan Edwards, thank you very much for joining us from College


Green. I want to go to Kamal full so we should get an international


context. The government fiscal politician in this country is


listening, but we are not alone. The US budget deficit ended on October


the 1st, it is up 36% year-on-year. The French budget deficit is rising.


The commission has said to the Spanish and Portuguese, we will not


penalised you even though you are not sticking to the Maastricht


rules. The Italian budget deficit is in some trouble. Could be in more


trouble in a couple of weeks. I would suggest what Mr Hammond has


done, intentional or not, he's moving with the flow with fiscal


policy is once again taking centre stage?


I think the issue for Philip Hammond will be, do the markets believe, is


invest in our debt, that the position he is outlining is


sustainable? At 90%, many economists judge that a 90% debt to GDP ratio,


that sustainability issue is questionable. Why can the Italians


borrow under 2%? They do not have the same financial city issues we


have. They have not spent the amounts of money we have two rescue


our banks. Governments generally are in a pretty benign situation at the


moment. The big issue is the interest being charged on all


government debt, in the next five years, will rise. We spend over ?30


billion a year servicing our debt. That is why it matters. You asked


Labour, why does it matter about balancing the books? I was surprised


you didn't say, you need to balance the books or bring in a surplus to


bring debt stands you can spend less money servicing the debt and spend


money on schools. That is why fiscal discipline is important for this


government. If those interest rates start to rise as inflation risk


start to rise and premiums start to rise, the costs go up and up and up.


Mat ads to your borrowing and creates an economic problem for you


as a government. -- that adds to your borrowing. Yes, you are right.


In these benign times, fiscal policy can take more of the weight of the


problem. The issue is that economies are not performing well enough to


create wealth for people across all the income spectrum. It is becoming


more expensive for governments to borrow Billy across the western


world now. The British government is finding that out and now the man


government as well. Let's go back to Joe coe born -- JoCo in Portsmouth.


I'm here with the guys working in the racing catamaran. They are


putting the finishing touches to this vote, making it watertight and


ready to hit the waters around the media for the America's Cup next


spring. While they are busy working here in Portsmouth, Philip Hammond


says he is worried about productivity levels generally across


the UK. We are behind France, Germany and the US. Many British


people are working longer hours for not very much pain. He confirmed the


announcement that the National Living Wage would go up from ?7 20


to ?7.50 an hour. That is, of course, may be good news for some of


your employees. How will it impact to you? It has gone up 80p, which is


a lot considering our profit has still outweigh that of the staff


costs. We are employing anyone from 25 plus at ?7.50. One of two things


will happen. Our wage bill will keep increasing and we will employ young


people. So, you will need to make up the costs. Will you put prices up to


your customers? No. That is one thing I will try my best not to do.


Even though we are currently playing a 5% to 12% increase already on our


imports... You have already experienced higher prices you are


having to pay. Up to 12%. When did that stop happening? About two


months ago. Higher prices of feeding three. There are warnings of higher


inflation down the line. How will you make the balancing act happen?


It will be hard. I intend to stock from local suppliers make sure we


are getting the best prices possible. What are you most worried


about going forward as a small business? That the Government will


push for changes and not imply them. They will not see what we are


struggling with. It is tough now and you are worrying it will get more


difficult in the future. You are not the only business in Portsmouth. To


get a broader view of other businesses in the area and right


across the county on the south coast, let's speak to Mr Dunne from


the Chambers of commerce. What do you make of the statement today? It


seems solid and reliable and much expected statement. It is when you


delve down into the detail and we have got to see a lot of that yet.


It is about what it means for Hampshire and the. Whilst we welcome


am obviously, infrastructure and digital instructor at that, there


are questions as to whether some of that funding will be going. --


infrastructure. How badly is that needed? Infrastructure in the south


is creaking in terms of rail network and the East - West connection


between Portsmouth and Southampton. They are in a desperate state of


affairs. If that were improved, it would bring traffic off the M25 on.


Do you think there has been too much focus on the northern powerhouse? It


was the focus of George Osborne and Philip Hammond wants to continue


that. Has that been at the expense of areas like Portsmouth and


Hampshire? I welcome that for our friends in the north. The Southern


powerhouse is generating a lot of money and needs to be supported.


That is why the infrastructure in digital, particularly. We have


businesses and business parts in Southampton and Portsmouth and they


which are reporting unacceptable even slow speeds. That is not a way


to boost productivity. Philip Hammond has said he will inject


money into the digital infrastructure, into 5G mobile and


into some of the road and rail networks. What are some of the other


concerns? We would like further clarity on the apprenticeship levy.


They're looking at that what it means to them and how it will be


implemented. Skills is a huge issue. Everyone is finding it difficult to


recruit. We have an ageing workforce will stop we need to make sure that


the skills for the future are actually and funded and businesses


need support and education needs support. What about skills of people


here and skills from people abroad? Are their concerns about what will


happen post-Brexit when we leave the EU in terms of people you might be


able to employ? There are huge concerns about EU nationals who are


here, who are contributing and ensuring we have a skilled


workforce. We take them out of the equation and bring in the ageing


workforce and record employment and record unemployment in terms of


numbers and we have a real cocktail of a problem. Are you optimistic


broadly about the future? When you look at growth forecasts, they dip


over the next couple of years. Then they pick up again towards 2020.


Borrowing will go up and debt will peak around 2018. Are you optimistic


than that the Chancellor can balance the books and at the same time allow


businesses you know to grow? It was a very good plan. It reflects Brexit


and the short-term problems but reflects the long-term opportunities


we are seeking to take. I think we could have done more for exporters,


first-time exporters, to give incentives. There was the doubling


of the allowance on finance but I think we could have done more to


actually open up new markets and help the Department of International


trade and the overseas Chambers to get out there and open up new


markets of innovation, science and technology, where we can actually


export these services, these goods, out to other markets. That can only


be done to some extent once we have left be you. Do you think those


businesses are ready to wait for a period of time until it becomes


clearer what the Government's van will be? We can go and export to


other areas and we need to get there. That is it from us here in


Portsmouth. With that, back to you, Andrew, in the studio.


You're just about coming to the end of our coverage. Let's take you


through the headlines of Chancellor Hammond's Autumn Statement. The


economic forecast the Government debt will peak at just over 90% of


GDP in the next financial year. A lot more than was thought in the


March budget. There will be ?122 of additional borrowing over the next


five years. No sign of being able to get to budget surplus. It will not


be reached by 2020. There is no date by which it will be reached at the


Government, the OBR, is saying that growth over 2% this year is expected


to fall to 1.4% next year. Quite a lot hangs on that particular


forecast. Household budgets, the national living rage will rise to


?7.50 an hour in April. Fuel duty rise cancelled. That tends to happen


in budgets, in the autumn statements. Upfront, letting agency


fees are abandoned in England, as they are already in Scotland. The


insurance premium tax will increase from 10% to 12% next June. Northern


Ireland to receive extra money, Wales extra money and Scotland extra


money as well. Another ?1.4 billion to build more affordable homes.


Another 1.3 billion to improve transport networks.


The Chancellor has given himself more flexibility. He is borrowing


more, a lot more than we expected a few months ago full study is looking


at a different economic picture. For the Tory government, who had been in


charge since 2010, they are looking to basically get a whole decade, ten


years, without having been able to complete the Central mission of


being able to balance the books. That in itself is quite an


extraordinary fact. For Theresa May, with her ambition to help people


having a hard time trying to make ends meet, there is really very


little in today's they do adds up to a coherent message of some kind of


big thing that will really filter through that people will feel as a


benefit in their pockets. Neither of those things really, the Chancellor


having to deal with a much harder picture and not coming up with


measures to tickle the tummies of Middle England. Neither of those


credits for the Government. Not the most drastic day but big


implications on those things. I will try not to spluttered through your


final thoughts. Two words never very comfortable with a Conservative


Chancellor, debt up, debt forward. Some not very sexy areas which are


vitally important. Productivity and house-building. Philip Hammond has


given a nod to that. Transfers over the ages have tried to fix frankly


the economic performance of Britain not being strong enough to allow


people to increase their wages and to bring wealth to more of those


just managing families. The big picture is, 2008 and the financial


crisis, we are still paying today. Eight bit like my costs. More than


anyone expected in 2008. -- cough. The Government has not been able to


fix this. Debt to GDP ratio of 90% is of great concern. Dick Kelly when


government borrowing costs will increase over the next five years.


Thank you both. We will leave it there. That is it for our coverage


of the Autumn Statement. On the day we discover our official forecast


does not accept we are heading to recession and growth is continuing


and the Government will borrow a lot more. Thank you for joining us.


Goodbye. to signify the Africans


who were here.


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