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Autumn Statement: all the leaks, spin and lead balloons - in pictures!

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by David Campbell on Dec 05, 2012 at 09:40

We present a visual guide to what to expect today.

Leading the tip sheet on what to expect today is new measures on high-earner pensions, covering off discontent with the direction of travel among Lib Dems.

Tax relief for top bracket earners is expected to be reduced by up to 30%, in measures which are intended to raise up to £2 billion for the Treasury.

After setting itself against the direction of international thought on tax visibility, the government has abruptly changed its mind in recent weeks as public opinion has hardened against aggressive corporate tax arrangements, such as Starbuck’s engineered UK losses.

Following the confirmation from Channel Islands that the UK is seeking to impose a domestic version of US Facta, expect more explicit measures.

George Osborne had earlier shot down Lib Dem ‘mansion tax’ proposals but is rumoured to be considering a new holding tax on properties worth more than £2 million owned by non-residents.

He may also introduce new stamp duty measures on London’s money-no-object upper end residential property market.

While servicing demands for some economic stimulation and new revenue generation, Osborne is not going to reverse direction on what has become the government’s touchstone issue, benefits.

Having pledged to cut another £10 billion from welfare spending by 2016 he will possibly attempt to do so by weakening inflation-linking.

Heavily floated beforehand is the government’s delay to the previously scheduled 3p rise in tax duty which would have been toxic in rural constituencies. This is expected to cost the Treasury £500 million – which politically the government cannot leave uncovered.

Around £5 billion capital spending on infrastructure, from schools and transport to support for science, has already been announced in recent weeks, funded by a further squeeze on Whitehall.

Osborne is also expected to announce specific projects which will be supported by £40 billion of government guarantees, which may adopt proposal’s contained in Lord Heseltine’s report on regional development.

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