Autumn Statement 2012: As it happened

Key points

  • George Osborne said austerity measures would continue a year longer to 2018, but Britain was "heading in the right direction"
  • Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the government had failed and the average family was £20,000 worse off since it came to power in 2010
  • Some benefits will rise less than the rate of inflation and higher earners will have to pay more tax on pension savings
  • The 3p rise in fuel duty planned for January has been cancelled
  • The main rate of corporation tax will fall from 22% to 21% from April 2014
  • An extra £1bn will be spent on road improvement schemes and the Business Bank will get £1bn to try to boost growth

Live text


  • Sarah Bell 
  • Catherine Wynne 
  • Edwin Lane 
  • Martha Buckley 

Last updated 5 December 2012



Welcome to our coverage of the chancellor's Autumn Statement. It is the second biggest economic event of his calendar after the main Budget in the spring.


The main story of the day is bound to be a gloomy economic one. George Osborne will tell the Commons that growth will be slower and borrowing higher than the government had hoped, meaning austerity measures will have to last longer.


The chancellor has briefed ministers on the Autumn Statement at a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street this morning. On Tuesday they were told of plans for additional investment in transport, skills, science and schools, paid for by a squeeze on how much some government departments can spend.

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Norman Smith, Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

tweets: Chancellor tells cabinet - "we are on the right track and making progress" #bbceconomy


Steel yourself for lots of talk of deficit and debt targets. The chancellor set himself two rules when the coalition government took over in 2010 about reducing government borrowing. And he may not be able to meet either of them. As BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders put it, "we will probably find out today that he has literally nothing to show for nearly three years of austerity".


We are also expecting to hear about measures targeting higher earners as well as a squeeze on benefits. However, this is a different beast to the main spring Budget so there will be no red box or alcohol duty rises. What can we expect from this statement? Read our guide here.


We'd love to hear what you think the chancellor should do to try to boost growth and help hard-pressed families. Text us on 61124 or tweet us using the hashtag #bbceconomy.