Ten takeaways from the Autumn Budget - Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have revealed ten key takeaways from today's Autumn Budget, including a £65bn hit to tax receipts, a fall in wages and rise in borrowing.


Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake commented:

"Instead of a bright future for Britain, Conservative plans will see a £65bn hit to tax receipts, slashed wages and higher borrowing.

"The Government found £3bn to spend on Brexit, but nothing for our police or social care.

"The Chancellor has completely failed to show the ambition needed to tackle the housing crisis, build the infrastructure the country needs or fix Universal Credit.

"This Budget was meant to save Philip Hammond's career, but it has fallen apart before the day is even over."

Here are ten key takeaways from the Autumn Budget:

1. £65bn hit to tax receipts: Tax receipts have been downgraded by £65.4 billion over the five-year period compare to previous forecasts from the March Budget. By 2021-22, annual public sector receipts will be £28bn less than previously forecast (OBR November 2017, link, p.13, compared with OBR March 2017, link, p.11).

2. Slashed wages: The OBR now expects wages to rise by just 2.3% next year, down from 2.7% previously. Pay increases now aren’t expected to hit 3% (the current inflation rate) until 2021, a whole year later (link, p.11).

3. Higher borrowing: Forecast public borrowing by 2021-22 has increased by £53 billion, from £134 billion to £187 billion (link, p.18).

4. Stamp duty: The OBR predicts the cut to stamp duty will increase house prices (link, p.53) and will only lead to an additional 3,500 first-time buyers (link, p.233).

5. Universal Credit: Additional funding for Universal Credit will not come into effect before January 2017, leaving many vulnerable families at risk of being plunged into poverty this Christmas.

6. Social Housing: Philip Hammond did not once mention the need to build more social housing or replace council houses sold off under Right to Buy. This is despite the latest figures showing that since April 2015, 28,011 council houses have been sold under Right to Buy only 8,113 replaced (link).

7. Delayed infrastructure funding: The biggest funding announcement today, the additional extra £7bn for the National Productivity Investment Fund, will only be provided in 2022-23 (link, p.28).

8. Police: No extra funding was provided for the police, despite a steep rise in violent crime and police forces facing a £413m real-terms cut in 2017/18 (link).

9. Social care: Social care was not mentioned once in Philip Hammond's speech, and no additional funding was provided. This is despite more than a million vulnerable older people are already missing out on vital support that they need (link).

10. Public Sector Pay: Teachers and police officers will be left £3,000 worse off by 2020 due to the Chancellor's refusal to lift the public sector pay freeze (link).

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