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GMB On The Autumn Statement

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The So Called “Prudent” Mr Osborne Will Borrow More In Five Years At The Treasury Than Labour Chancellors He Labels As Profligate Did In 13 Years

GDP per head is still 3% lower and take home pay is 13% below pre–recession levels and many of the new jobs are precarious and badly paid so if this is success I would not like to think what failure looks like says GMB General Secretary.

GMB commented on the Autumn Statement delivered on 3rd December 2014 by George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer. See notes to editors for main points from Press Association.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said "The so called “prudent” Mr Osborne will borrow more in five years at the Treasury than Labour chancellors he labels as profligate did in 13.

The welcome increase in economic activity is partly linked to population growth as GDP per head is still 3% below 2007 levels.

The real value of take home pay for workers is 13% below pre–recession levels while many of the new jobs are precarious and badly paid.

If this is success I would not like to think what failure looks like.”

Four GMB members on low pay told the union:

"I have a wife and two young daughters aged 3 & 8. Currently I go to work at 7 am and don't get home until 7pm or even later. For the majority of the days in a week I do not get to see my children at all but I have to work these crazy hours to pay the bills and keep my kids fed and in clothes. My quality of life is zero because I simply have to work all the time and have little to no family life at all. My company does not pay overtime either, so it is really tough just to earn enough to scrape through the weeks and months."

" I never go on holiday, can't afford a car, don't eat much meat as I can't afford to, only buy Christmas present for my daughter, never go out, don't buy new clothes.’

"Everyday bills all mount up and once they are all paid you have very little for food or to go and enjoy life."

"Every penny needs to be accounted for. We buy supermarkets own brands, collect save money coupons and buy one get one free."


Contact: Cath Speight GMB National Political Officer 07506 711925 or Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Equality and Diversity Officer on 07956 237178 or Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services on 07860 606137 or Gary Doolan, GMB National Political Officer on 07852 182358 or Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser on 07974 251722 or GMB Press Office 07921 28988.

Notes to editors

Main points from Press Association:

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne rose to deliver his Autumn Statement at 12:35pm.

Mr Osborne said the UK is now "the fastest growing of any major advanced economy" with higher growth, low unemployment, falling inflation and a deficit that is half what the Government inherited.

The Chancellor said Britain faces a choice between squandering economic security or finishing the job, adding: "I say we stay the course. We stay on course to prosperity.”

The deficit "remains too high", so today's announcements will tighten the public finances and are "not a net give away".

The economy has grown more than 8% over the Parliament and business investment has risen by 27%.

Warning lights are flashing over the global economy," and the Office for Budget Responsibility has revised down forecasts for global growth in every year of their forecast, said the Chancellor.

Mr Osborne announced a £45 million package to support exporters to economies in Asia, Africa and South America.

OBR's GDP growth forecast for this year is 3% - up from 2.4% forecast a year ago.

OBR forecasts UK GDP growth of 2.4% in 2015, 2.2% in 2016, then 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.3% in subsequent years.

Half a million new jobs created over the last year, with numbers claiming unemployment benefit falling by 23% and young people on long-term jobless benefit almost halving. Unemployment forecast at 5.4% next year before settling at 5.3%.

Regular earnings growth is now faster than inflation, at 4% for those in full-time work for over a year.

OBR predicts wage growth above inflation for the next five years.

OBR revises down inflation forecast "significantly" to 1.5% this year, 1.2% next year and 1.7% the year after.

OBR forecasts deficit to fall from £97.5 billion last year to £91.3 billion this year, then £75.9 billion next year then £40.9 billion and £14.5 billion in subsequent years before reaching a surplus of £4 billion in 2018/19.

Surplus of £23 billion predicted for 2019/20. Deficit as percentage of GDP at 5% this year, falling to 4% next year, then 2.1% and 0.7% before moving into surplus of 0.2% in 2018/19 and 1% in 2019/20.

Government will meet its debt mandate a year late and fiscal mandate two years early.

Debt as a share of GDP 80.4% this year, peaking at 81.1% next year then falling to 80.7%, 78.8%, 76.2% in following years before reaching 72.8% in 2019/20.

Tax receipts have not been rising as quickly as predicted and are forecast to be £23 billion lower by 2017/18, but this is offset by savings on welfare and public service pensions and spending cuts, said Mr Osborne.

Interest on national debt set to be £1.6 billion lower than forecast at the start of the next Parliament.

The coming years will require "very substantial savings in public spending" and a new Charter for Budget Responsibility will be published next week, with a House of Commons vote in the new year, to reinforce the commitment to deliver them.

The Government will spend £10 billion less this year than set out in its plans.

Mr Osborne confirmed additional £2 billion every year for the frontline of the NHS and a £1.2 billion investment in GP services paid for from foreign exchange fines.

Employment Allowance of £2,000 to be extended to carers.

Public sector pay restraint in the next Parliament to deliver savings "commensurate" with the £12 billion achieved over the past four years.

Commitment to complete public service pension reforms, saving £1.3 billion a year.

Plan published for a further £10 billion of efficiencies in Whitehall, and Chancellor commits to raising at least £5 billion by cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion.

Government is "on track" to meet welfare cap, says OBR. Universal Credit work allowances to be frozen for a further year, tax credits to be cut when overpayments are certain and unemployment benefit to be ended for migrants with no prospect of work.

Total welfare spending set to be £1 billion lower than Budget forecast and to continue falling as share of GDP.

UK's net payments to European Union to fall by about £1 billion this year and next year and decline in real terms over the next five years.

End of military operations in Afghanistan to save an additional £200 million this year.

Inheritance tax exemption extended to cover aid workers who die dealing with humanitarian emergencies.

National debt incurred during First World War to be repaid.

Hospice charities, search and rescue and air ambulance to be granted VAT refunds.

New 25% diverted profits tax on multi-national profits generated in the UK and "artificially" moved out of the country.

Bank profits which can be offset by losses for tax purposes to be limited to 50%, meaning banks will pay almost £4 billion more over the next five years.

Clampdown on aggressive tax avoidance to raise £2.8 billion.

Charge for non-dom tax status to rise to £60,000 a year for those resident for 12 of the last 14 years and £90,000 for those in the country for 17 of 20 years.

Annual charge on properties "enveloped" to avoid stamp duty to rise by 50% above inflation on properties over £2 million.

Expansion of British Business Bank, extension for a further year in the Funding for Lending scheme for smaller firms and new tax break for orchestras and children's television tax credit.

R&D tax credit increased for small and medium companies to 230% and for large firms to 11%, while small business rate relief is doubled for another year.

Inflation-linked increase in business rates capped at 2% and discount for shops, pubs and cafes increased by 50% to £1,500.

Immediate reduction in oil industry supplementary charge from 32% to 30%.

Fuel duty is kept frozen.

Air passenger duty for children under 12 abolished in May 2015 and for under 16s in 2016.

Government-backed loans of up to £10,000 made available for all students undertaking post-graduate masters degrees.

Britain awarded the lead role in the international effort to explore Mars.

Tendering for new franchises for Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express to replace pacer carriages with modern trains.

Investment of £250 million in new advanced material science institute in Manchester with branches in Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.

New sovereign wealth fund to invest proceeds from shale gas resources in the North in the north of England.

Government to legislate to devolve corporation tax to Northern Ireland if the Northern Ireland executive shows it can manage the financial implications.

Agreement reached on full devolution of business rates to Welsh Government.

People who die under 75 to be enabled to pass on annuities tax free.

Limit on saving in New ISAs to rise to £15,240 and ISAs to be inherited tax free.

National Insurance on young apprentices to be abolished.

Income tax free personal allowance to rise to £10,600 rather than the planned £10,500 next year, giving wage boost of £825 a year.

Higher rate income tax threshold to rise to £42,385 next year.

Reform of residential property stamp duty so that rates fall only to that part of the property price that falls within each band - 0% in first £125,000 then 2% on the portion up to £250,000 then 5% up to £925,000, then 10% up to £1.5 million, then 12% on anything above that, saving £4,500 on average priced home.

Stamp duty reform to save money for 98% of homebuyers and represent total tax cut of £800 million a year.

Mr Osborne completed his statement at 1.24pm.


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