Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement today with the Office for Budget Responsibility set to cut growth forecasts and a raid on pension tax relief likely.
The Financial Times reports Osborne’s austerity measures are now likely to last another year, into 2018, while the OBR will revise down the 2012 growth forecast from 0.8 per cent to nearly zero and the 2013 forecast from 2 per cent to 1 per cent. The newspaper reports a planned 3p in the litre rise in fuel costs, due to be introduced in January, will be delayed.
The Times reports Osborne will raise fresh taxes on the banks alongside a reduction in the international aid budget. It reports the Government will push ahead with its controversial shares-for-rights scheme, despite heavy criticism of the plans when they were announced earlier this year.
The Telegraph reports George Osborne is to order £5bn in civil service cuts and spend the savings on building projects over the next two years. These will include new schools, roads and other infrastructure. It reports that Osborne will also look to reinvigorate the previous Labour government’s private finance initiatives in an attempt to raise money for public projects from businesses.
In the run-up to today’s statement it has been heavily reported that the Chancellor will look to cut the annual allowance for pension tax relief from £50,000 to between £40,000 and £30,000. Some have suggested Osborne could use the statement to reform income drawdown rules. due to concerns about falls in income levels.
Osborne will deliver the statement from 12.30 today, with full coverage of what it means for you and your clients on the Money Marketing website this afternoon.