This was going to be a tough one and with all the gloom and doom around George is going to need to give the economy some stimulus for growth.The main headline is that public sector pay rises will be capped at 1% for another 2 years after the current freeze ends. This is going to enflame the already angry public sector workers further who are going on strike tomorrow over pensions. I guess the unions chose the date of the 30th as they knew that the Autumn statement was not going to be popular.Other main/important points so far are
- The right to buy is coming back with the ability for occupier of social housing to buy their houses at a 50% discount.
- Business finance partnership will have £1bn to help mid sized firms ( we await the details )
- Credit easing of £40bn with the aim to bring down interest rates by 1% for small firms.
- Infrastructure spending to increase including a new rail link between Oxford, Bedford and Milton Keynes
- Benefits will increase by 5.2% as per the September inflation rates.
- Tax credits to be cut
- Fuel and train fares increases less than originally planned
- More tax breaks for investing in businesses.
Not much direct help for small businesses so far except the business rates holiday for small firms which is being extended to April 2013. Small firms need lower business rates period! The credit easing is good in principle but not sure how well it will work in practice