Autumn Statement: George Osborne to extend debt targets

This is a statement the chancellor would rather not have to make.

George Osborne will have to publish grim official forecasts with serious political and economic consequences. With growth much lower and borrowing much higher than he hoped, the chancellor may be forced to admit he's missing his own deficit and debt targets.

Mr Osborne won't boost spending in an effort to boost growth or cut it further in an effort to bring the deficit down quicker but, instead, he will extend what he once called "the age of austerity" by another year - until 2018.

He will spell out the welfare cuts as well as tax rises needed to raise £14bn in the first year after current spending plans runs out - the year following the general election in 2015.

Protracted coalition negotiations which took place at Nick Clegg's home two weekends ago produced a Lib Dem veto on benefit freezes and cuts targeted at the under-25s or families with more than two children, and a Conservative veto on any form of mansion tax.

What he does announce will be evidence - Mr Osborne will claim - that the government is confronting the country's problems, instead of ducking them. It's evidence, Labour and his other critics are sure to say, that he is failing even in his own terms.

Despite the predictable lack of Christmas cheer, the chancellor's aides insist that he still has some surprises to unwrap.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

David Cameron changes tactics over immigration

David Cameron changes tactics over immigration, moving to curb benefits instead of capping numbers in a bid to curry favour around the EU.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Features & Analysis

  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    How Korea helped prostitutes work near US military bases


  • LuckyDumped

    The rubbish collector left on the scrap heap as his city cleans up


  • A woman gets a Thanksgiving meal at a church in FergusonFamily fears

    Three generations in Ferguson share Thanksgiving reflections


  • Canada joins TwitterTweet North

    Canada's self-deprecating social media feed


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • IslandsUnmapped places

    Will the age-old quest to capture uncharted land and space ever end?

Programmes

  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.