Autumn statement liveblog!

George Osborne, this morning
  • | by Kristian Dando


13:51: Right, that's your lot. I'm off for a stroll and will then proceed to eat my lunch. See you in March, finance fans!

13:38: "The chancellor can't say 'we're all in this together' without a smirk on his face," blasts Balls, who's alluded to Nadine Dorries' assertion that George and Dave are "two arrogant posh boys who wouldn't know the price of milk." Miaow!

13:34: "He's failed on growth and the deficit - what's his answer? More of the same," says Ed, who, apropos of nothing, is wearing an shirt and tie ensemble which call to mind the club colours of Aston Villa.

13:31: Ed Balls now claiming that Labour came up with the idea for the 3p fuel duty cancellation.

13:30: The speaker has just 'had words' with shy, retiring Ed Balls, who's being drowned out by a rowdy commons.

13:25:  Balls has just alluded to "the slowest recovery in the past 100 years." He's obviously not been round my place the morning after payday.

13:22: Ed Balls is up now. He's going in with a Big Ron-style 'reducer' early doors, by the sounds of it.

13:20: But wait, there's more! The personal tax threshold is up to £9,940.

13:18 Here's the money shot! No 3p fuel tax rise this January. Or ever! Well, for the forseeable future.

13:14 Almost ON CUE as I return fom the lavatory, they're talking about relief. Tax relief for businesses, that is!

13:09: Does anybody want to take over for five minutes? I'm absolutley busting for the lav.

13:07: The ISA limit has been raised to £11,520, which is better than a kick in the backside, I suppose.

13:05: First mention of "we're all in this together." Cue MASSIVE boos, jeers and cat-calls.

13:05: The Lib Dem's so-called 'mansion tax' isn't on the cards.

13:03: "Punitive tax rates don't work" paraphrases George via us, making veiled reference to the 75% rate over the channel in France.

13:02: George says that loads of tax loopholes are being shut.

13:00: We're now talking TAX. Namely aggressive tax avoidance, which despite its name, doesn't involve duffing up HMRC operatives.

12:59: Apparently, these investments are 'fiscally neutral' and will come from taxes or cuts elsewhere.

12:58: Broadband, flood defence, and homes are all being invested in. Which all sounds quite good. There's also £220m in store to upgrade colleges and stuff.

12:56 Overseas aid on the agenda right now. Yes, that's right.

12:53 Right then, so borrowing will be down about £31 billion next year. Make of that what you will.

12:51: We've just Tweeted Lewis to see if he meant the formerly rotund Take That hitmaker, but funnily enough, he's yet to get back to us. We'll keep you posted.

12:49: "Osborne sounds very like GB in his presentation of endless figures and contradicting naysayers" says Paul Lewis, R4 Moneybox host on Twitter. Who? Gary Barlow? What's he got to do with it?

12:47: Like Simon Cowell's slacks, the deficit is "too high for comfort" according to George.

12:46: We're now talking BORROWING. Billions of pounds. Mind-boggling sums.

12:44 You can blame the Eurozone (isn't that a nightclub in Vauxhall?) for this downgraded growth prediction, apparently. Thanks for nothing, Eurozone.

12:29 Growth forecast down 0.1% for 2012, which doesn't sound a lot, but we assure you IT IS.

12:28: A lot of talk about investing in sceince, business and so forth,

12:27: The MPs have just been told off for behaving badly.

12:35  And we're off! "It's taking time but the economy is healing" quoth George, to much racucous laughter. "There are no quick fixes...but we are making progress."

12:19 George Osborne is looking a bit pensive sat next to David Cameron.

12:18 Few questions coming in regarding my car's tyres. They were getting a bit worn. Nothing to worry about.

12:12 "Anything on tax breaks for medeival history books yet?" asks Sean Davies, author of The Last King of Wales, the definitive tome on Grufudd ap Llywelyn,  available now in all good booksellers.

12:06: SPOILER ALERT. Apparently, George will tell MP's there's no miracle cure for the economy. He's CLEARLY missing a trick by not using the turn of phrase 'marvellous medicine'. The Financial Times reckons that he'll expect to freeze fuel duty, and reveal a spending 'squeeze' to fund new schools. Growth predictions are also expected to be 'slashed'.

12:02 AND WE'RE LIVE! David Cameron 'warming up' the commons as we speak. Obligatory shout-out to Wills & Kate and their imminent sprog to kick things off.

11:59: Have made the jump to Sky News. Will let you know how it goes.

11:56 Trentemoller is on BBC News 24 again. I bet he'll be doing a jig at his PRS cheque this month.

11:55 Huzzah! My tyre has been changed! Boo! I need one more than I anticipated. Right, what have I missed?

11:43 The tyre bloke has JUST TURNED UP.

11:36: A seasonal pedant writes: "It's winter, not autumn!" We hear you, Ben Ferguson of South London. We hear you.

11:25: Here's a bit from Friends of the Earth, on the chancellor's plan to approve a pile of new gas plants. Unsurprisingly, they're not that keen on the idea. "Rocketing gas prices are the main reason our fuel prices have soared - and experts predict they will carry on rising. Building more gas-fired power stations will condemn households to increasingly expensive fuel bills, drive away investment in clean power and undermine UK targets for tackling climate change.

"A strong economy and protecting the environment should go hand-in-hand, but the Chancellor's short-term agenda threatens to wreck them both.

"It's time to take the nation's foot off the gas and fast-track investment in clean British energy and cutting energy waste - and build a power system that people and the planet can afford," they concluded, presumably before tucking in to a mung bean salad for their lunch.

11:20: Here's a bit from the Confederation of British Industry. "Lowering the threshold below £50,000 is not a wealth tax - it's an income tax which would hit swathes of middle-income earners," ponders the organisation, on proposed changes to tax. "This would hit small business owners who invested heavily in their companies in the early years so back-load pension contributions to the end of their working lives, particularly hard. It would also be a major blow to professionals saving in defined benefit schemes - like senior nurses, retail store managers or gas engineers - who get a pay rise or a promotion.

"Reducing the tax free limit would fly in the face of the Government's efforts to encourage more people to save adequately for their retirement, and its drive to position the UK as a world-leading business investment location."

11:12 I must say, this 'interaction' business isn't going at all well. But wait! " I hate to see George Osborne smile. Does that help?" offers Covered regular Felicity Hannah via Twitter. Not much, really Fliss.

11:10: This bloke who's meant to change my tyre still hasn't turned up. He was meant to be here 40 minutes ago. Honestly. SOME people have painfully unfunny financial 'live blogs' to write.

11:08 The real elephant in the room with this Autumn budget is that it takes place in December, when we're well into Advent. That makes it winter, by my watch. How on earth are we meant to take any of this seriously?

11:06: They've just used the term 'omnishambles' on BBC News, in a case of life imitating art. 

11:00: Not long now. Just 90 minutes. Can you contain your excitement? Apparently, the cabinet have 'been briefed'.

10:56: A bit of actual conjecture now. George has, according to the media, teases us a bit with what's on the cards. Apparently,  all this austerity business will hang around like a bad whiff, until, ooooh, 2016. That means, more borrowing, more tax rises and more spending cuts, which doesn't sound like a great deal of fun.

10:53: It's probably worth adding at this point that I'm going to have to pop out at some time this morning while a man comes to change a tyre on my car. I'll quiz him for this thoughts on all this, if I get the chance.

10:50: We're currently 'locked' to BBC News. They're currently playing a ditty by Danish ambient/techno producer Trentemoller as scenes of financial turmoil and civil disobedience unfold.


Greetings all. It's a day we've seldom been as excited about since, oooh, St Swithens Day. It's the chancellor's AUTUMN STATEMENT!

Just when you thought you couldn't stick it out until March next yearfor your fix of high-octane fiscal fun, along comes this bad boy. And for some financial heads, this is the one date in the calender they look forward to - it's like going to Ibiza outside of peak season. Not quite as many crowds or part-timers, and largely better vibes. Alright, there's no comedy briefcase 'LOLs', but there should certainly be plenty to get stuck into.

While we're waiting for things to 'kick off' in earnest, have a chew on this article we did a while back on what our George should be doing.

I'll be here, 'live blogging' the event as it happens. For predictions, suggestions and pedantry please tweet  @covered_mag or @kristiandando. Keep it clean, y'hear?