Autumn Statement Speculation
What announcements could be on the inside of the Chancellor’s red box
On Wednesday 3 December Chancellor George Osborne will deliver the last Autumn Statement of this Parliament. Traditionally designed as a set-piece speech to provide an update on the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), on this occasion the Chancellor will also be prompted to prove the Conservatives’ 2010 election promise – to balance the budget within the next parliament.
We can expect Osborne to use the time to argue why he believes the Conservatives are ready to lead a majority government post 7 May 2015.
Rounding up the speculation which has been building in the lead up to the Chancellor’s speech, FTI Consulting takes a look at what announcements could be on the inside of the Chancellor’s red box.
A fiscal focus
Growth in previous quarters this year will have given the Chancellor confidence that the deficit-reduction package is working.
However, the Prime Minister intended to dampen overoptimism through his November warning to the G20 that the “red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy”. His warning looks to be followed by the release of OBR figures that will likely prove Osborne’s target for balancing the budget by 2015-16 impossible. Government borrowing is higher than expected and announcements are expected on the National Savings and Investment financing target. At the G20 meeting, the Prime Minister acknowledged the sluggish UK export rate, which the OBR recognises as part of a widespread plateau in productivity.