By Marcus Leach
Even before Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement today (Tuesday) we were well aware of several of the proposals due to 'tactical' leaks to the media.
However, there were a raft more changes outlined at the House of Commons today, and here is a brief run down of them all.
Autumn Statement at a Glance
Economic growth forecast: The 2011 forecast was revised down to 0.9% from 1.7%, with 2012's forecast revised down to 0.7% from 2.5%, and the 2013, 2014 and 2015 forecasts 2.1%, 2.7% and 3% respectively.
Public sector pay and pensions: There will be a 1% cap on public sector pay rises for two years, following the completion of the current two year freeze, due to finish next year. There will also be a review into regional pay adjustments.
In terms of pensions the major announcement means that the retirement age of 67 will be brought forward to 2026.
Transport: Rail fare rises will be capped at 1% above inflation, as of January, as opposed to the initial 8.2%. The planned 3p fuel duty rise in January is to be abolished, and August's duty rise has been reduced from 5p to 3p.
Business: The Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of total public sector job losses has risen from 400,000 to 710,000. However, as we knew prior to the Statement, the government will underwrite up to £40 billion of loans to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Elsewhere there will be an extra £1 billion business finance partnership aimed at raising money for medium sized companies, and an extra £1 billion in funding for the Regional Growth regeneration fund.
The big news here comes in the shape of a £1 billion 'youth contract' to subsidise six-month work placements for 410,000 young people.
Schools: Following the Chancellor's statement saying that there isn't just a lack of jobs but a lack of skills in the country there are measures aimed at tackling that. Namely £1.2 billion extra spending on schools in England - half to go to councils for more school places and half for 100 additional free schools.
Infrastructure: Another area we knew about before the Statement, but to re-cap there will be £5 billion new spending over three years, including £1 billion for the rail network. 35 road and rail projects across England have already been given the green light, with an extra £20 billion to come from pension funds.
There were other changes made by the Chancellor, so to see a full breakdown of the Statement click here.
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