Yes, the Autumn Statement comes but once a year. The Chancellor will deliver this year’s statement tomorrow, a day after his little helper, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, published the government’s latest infrastructure plan. The Autumn Statement is one of the two big financial announcements made to Parliament by the Chancellor. Traditionally, it focused on economic projections and departmental spending allocations, leaving taxation to the Budget. Increasingly since its advent, however, the Autumn Statement has become another opportunity for tax announcements. (Some things have not changed, though – unlike during the Budget, the Chancellor will be unable to indulge in a seasonal tipple during his speech.) What early Christmas presents is the Chancellor likely to give out? According to press speculation, a number of politicians’ wishes from party conference season – free school meals, cancelling a planned rise in fuel duties and marriage tax breaks – could be granted. The Government has already announced new proposals on energy this week, and could announce a freeze on business rates or other help for small businesses. But some departments may find themselves on the naughty list – The Guardian reports that a hole in the BIS budget could lead to cuts […]

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