In quotes: Reaction to the Autumn Statement
George Osborne has delivered his 2013 Autumn Statement on the state of the economy, as new figures forecast Britain's public finances will be back in surplus by 2018. Here's a round-up of the political comment and reaction.
CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE
I can report that Britain is currently growing faster than any other major advanced economy.
Britain's economic plan is working, but the job is not done.
We need to secure the economy for the long term, and the biggest risk to that comes from those who would abandon the plan.
Britain is moving again - let's keep going.
SHADOW CHANCELLOR ED BALLS
The whole country will have seen today that for all your boasts and utterly breathtaking complacency, you are in complete denial.
For most people in this country living standards aren't rising, they are falling year on year on year.
No real action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. No proper plan to earn our way to rising living standards for all.
As this Autumn Statement shows, with the out-of-touch chancellor and prime minister hard-working people are worse off under the Tories
VINCE CABLE, BUSINESS SECRETARY
There is a legacy problem from this very deep crisis which followed on from the collapse of the banking system. And it is what we in the jargon call the structural deficit.
It was around that crisis that the coalition was formed. We're well in to that task. We've delivered a lot.
ROBERT CHOTE, OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY
We have revised up our short-term growth forecast and revised borrowing down by a cumulative £73bn, with the budget back in balance by 2018-19.
The government is on track to meet its fiscal mandate, but not its supplementary debt target.
We've seen the economy growing much more strongly than we expected over the first three quarters of this year and we think that the momentum is going to continue in the fourth quarter.
But we then think that the economy is going to slow in to next year.
BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON
I congratulate George on holding down next year's rail fare rises for all passengers, whether commuting in Leeds or London.
As in previous years we look forward to receiving the additional funding from government that will enable us to now hold Travelcard fare rises to RPI, in line with the rest of the country
UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY
This is a chancellor who has got his priorities wrong. Borrowing is still at record levels at £111bn and they are four years behind schedule on their ambition to eliminate the deficit.
This government is still living way beyond its means and creating a debt time bomb that will be inherited by our grandchildren.
JONATHAN EDWARDS, PLAID CYMRU TREASURY SPOKESMAN
We were very concerned by the plans to increase the state pension age because life-expectancy in some parts of Wales is eight years less than parts of south-east England.
Therefore any policy that increases the state pension age will disproportionately hit some of the communities in south Wales.
STEWART HOSIE, SNP TREASURY SPOKESMAN
The modest improvement in unemployment to be welcomed means it is almost unchanged since this government came to power and there's still a million more people unemployed than pre-crash.
Even the borrowing figures - George Osborne said they'd fallen today to £111bn. That's still £50bn more than he promised they would be in his first budget only three years ago.
He has failed on every single one of the targets he has given himself.
JOHN CRIDLAND, CBI DIRECTOR GENERAL
We have always advocated the dual approach of tackling the deficit and driving growth - the OBR forecasts confirm it is working. Let's stick with what works.
Abolishing a jobs tax on employing young people under 21 will make a real difference and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.
But it was a missed opportunity not to support our hard-pressed energy intensive businesses which are also struggling with rising costs, and the package on housing supply could have been more ambitious.
FRANCES O'GRADY, TUC GENERAL SECRETARY
Growth may be returning but families are getting poorer.
The official forecasts show that Britain's living-standards squeeze is to get even tighter - a point curiously absent from the chancellor's address - and is a major blow to hard-working people.
DAVE PRENTIS, UNISON GENERAL SECRETARY
The chancellor can produce this mirage of an economic recovery and massage the figures as much as he wants, but it doesn't mask what is being felt in the real world.
Prices have risen faster than wages for 40 out of the 41 months in the past years. Average earnings are £1,600 lower in real terms than when they came to power.
CHRIS MOULD, THE TRUSSELL TRUST
We're glad that the economy appears to have turned a corner, but we can't ignore the reality for millions of British citizens who are facing a tougher winter than ever.
Recovery is not filtering down. Low-income families are teetering on a financial knife-edge.
Today, numbers given three days' emergency food by Trussell Trust foodbanks since April topped 500,000.
That's why we need urgent cross-party action on food poverty, and why we are calling for an inquiry into the causes of UK hunger.
CARL EMMERSON, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
We learned that we are growing faster this year, next year.
That's good news but it doesn't mean the government's finances in the underlying structural sense are any healthier.
Things are still pretty bad. The government's deficit is still very, very large and much austerity still lies ahead of us.
GRAEME LEACH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS
This was a pro-business, confidence-building Autumn Statement. After years of deficit, we have a chancellor who is finally talking about a budget surplus, albeit some way off.
JOHN ALLAN, CHAIRMAN, FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES
Today's Autumn Statement represents steady progress, with a range of announcements that address members' concerns in the cost of doing business, with action on business rates and confirmation that next year's fuel duty rise will be cancelled.
The statement is a sobering reminder about the scale of the deficit the country faces and the tough choices which need to be made.
We therefore welcome the use of what spare resources the chancellor could find to focus tax cuts on encouraging firms to take on younger workers, which must be an overriding priority.
SIR MERRICK COCKELL, LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
At a time when local authorities are contending with the biggest cuts in living memory, there are signs in this Autumn Statement that local government is being listened to.
The easing of restrictions on housing investment announced today does not go as far as we would like, but it does show that our call for more local flexibility to drive economic growth has been recognised.
CHRIS JOHNES, OXFAM
It is good news for some that the recovery is taking hold, and unemployment is falling.
However, the improving economic data masks rising levels of poverty among working families as rising living costs outstrip stagnant wages.
We are especially concerned that young people looking for work will be sanctioned if they aren't in training or on a back to work scheme.
They must be offered a good quality of employment instead of facing simply punitive measures.
TIM STOVOLD, KINGSTON SMITH ACCOUNTANTS
Scrapping National Insurance for the under-21s could save employers up to £4,658 per employee, so is a valuable incentive to employ younger workers.
This is a bold move as it will benefit not just small businesses but also multi-nationals.