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  1. Wealth
November 28, 2011

Osborne's Autumn Statement: Liveblog

By Spear's

I will be liveblogging George Osborne’s Autumn Statement here from 12 noon on Tuesday

I will be liveblogging George Osborne’s Autumn Statement here from 12 noon on Tuesday, seeing what it means for HNWs and getting expert analysis and reaction here.

Youth Contract: Private sector work experience for long-term unemployed youth but mandatory work for those who refuse. Chain-gangs! And more maths from free schools! Wouldn’t want to be born today.

Investments of up to £100,000 in start-ups will be eligible for 50% income tax relief. CGT waived on these investments for 2012. This should be good news for Spear’s readers looking to be angel investors or venture capitalists.

Going to be easier to hire and fire people, especially business of fewer than ten people. Good for employers, less so for employees.

No third runway at Heathrow, potential estuary airport, Northern Line extension to Battersea.

No Financial Transaction Tax/Tobin Tax, but increasing bank profits levy to 0.088%. Small enough to stop flight, plus sweetener of defence against Tobin Tax.

‘Reinvigorate right-to-buy, one of the greatest social policies ever’ – discount of up to 50% on purchase, one house built for each sold. That, of course, is nowhere enough housing.

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Credit easing of £40 billion for businesses up to £50 million in turnover – National Loan Guarantee Scheme will lead to reduction of 1% in interest on loans.

In 2026, pension age to go up from 66 to 67. That will save £59 billion, apparently. It’ll be pushed up again before then, I’m sure. Ridiculous to have it so early when we’re going to live to 250 (or at least I plan to).

International aid – now Osborne’s going to get booed by his own side. Wait, he’s going to get booed by Labour so we don’t give too much aid in 2013.

Public sector pay freeze to end in 1% rise, not 2% as planned. Lucky there’s a strike planned for tomorrow.

Debt-GDP ratio 67% this year, peaking at 78% in 2014-15, falling by end of Parliament

£156bn/yr borrowing under last year of Labour. This year borrowing will be £127bn, £120bn 2012, £100bn 2013-14, £79bn 2014-15, £53bn 2015-16, £24bn 2016-17. Debt interest payments £22 bn lower than predicted because of ‘low interest rates we’ve secured’. Those would be the low interest rates which imply we’re imminently in recession. But also goes to show that we’ll be borrowing for a long time yet, longer than Osborne predicted.

Oh look, Labour’s about to get blamed by the OBR… But first energy price rises. There it is – unsustainable boom and deeper bust. Structural deficit proportion goes up because economy’s capacity has shrunk.

The country must ‘live within its means’ to keep interest rates low. OBR doesn’t predict recession in Britain, but the OECD did yesterday; its revised figures are 0.9% this year, 0.7% in 2012, 2.1% in 2013, 2.7% in 2014, 3% in 2015 and 2016. But only if Europe doesn’t go into recession, which is looking more likely.

What are these contingency plans Osborne speaks of? Selling Buck House to China?

How will Osborne pay for all of this? Stealing from Peter (eg Ministry of Defence) to pay Paul (eg Work and Pensions) is likely, but there will be no extra borrowing for his giveaways because it would traduce Plan A. According to this morning’s FT, there will be plenty of extra borrowing just to make up for our worsening deficit.

Slightly later than planned, welcome. We’re going to hear what George Osborne has in store for the country, most of which has already been trailed: £5 billion for infrastructure, an extra £20 billion from private investors, SME credit easing of £20 billion… But what will there be for HNWs?

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