AS2012: What the papers say

by Calum Fuller

More from this author

06 Dec 2012

  • Comments

EDITORIAL COLUMNS wasted no time in dissecting the chancellor's performance after yesterday's Autumn Statement. Accountancy Age rounds up what they had to say.

The Financial Times warns the UK's triple-A credit rating could be under threat after George Osborne conceded one of his key finance targets would be missed and forecasts suggested he would not be able to contest the next election on the back of a strong economy.

Indeed, in his column, Matthew Engel describes the Statement as a "litany of despair" and accused the chancellor of "clutching at straws" in his announcements of extending the Northern Line to Battersea, a dual carriageway in Cornwall and super-fast broadband for several cities.

The Times was more restrained, again criticising Osborne for not meeting his fiscal goals, but also pointing to one-off wins on the country's 4G telecoms licences and monies coming in from Swiss bank accounts of British residents, which are thought to bring in £3.5bn and £3.2bn, respectively. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls, though, accused Osborne of using those monies in a "sleight of hand" to distort the UK's borrowing figures.

The Daily Mail reported that Osborne is bringing in a "mummy tax" as he imposed a real-terms cut on statutory maternity pay, while both maternity and paternity pay will be subject to a below-inflation rise for three years from next April, when child benefit will rise by 20p a week.

The most positive response to the chancellor's statement, though, came from the Telegraph, which praised him for "playing a terrible hand with skill".

Indeed, Benedict Brogan suggested in his column that the big winner from the statement was the coalition, noting: "The central purpose behind its [the coalition's] creation was to deal with the economic mess, and the process of agreeing yesterday's package has reminded those at the top why it is they joined forces in the first place."

He praised Osborne, too, for eschewing a mansion tax as speaking against "pointless attacks on the wealthy", while "squeezing the better-off in a number of discreet ways" including bringing about 400,000 into the 40p tax bracket.

"In all, Mr Osborne had a terrible hand to play. His most important achievement was to have consolidated the idea that the government is intent on doing what it must to keep Britain from global relegation," he said.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment

We won't publish your address

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

  • Send



Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, London, Permanent, Part Time, £60,000 pro rata




Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials


Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you



Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.


iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.