Money Advice Trust > Joanna's Blog > Mixed news for households from the OBR

Mixed news for households from the OBR

We live-tweeted the Chancellor's Autumn Statement earlier and the team is currently busy poring over the detail of what has been announced.  Here are our initial thoughts.

​Help for homebuyers, motorists and small business owners will all be welcomed.  In many ways, however, the most important announcement from the Chancellor today wasn’t any new policy, but rather the OBR’s new forecast that wages will grow faster than inflation for the next five years.  After a prolonged and damaging squeeze on incomes, the prospect of greater spending power may offer some much-needed relief to the large number of households that remain in financial difficulty.

Nevertheless, the OBR is also forecasting a steep rise in household debt relative to income, including £41 billion more unsecured debt by the start of 2019 than expected in March.  Despite the welcome economic recovery, these figures are a reminder of the potential for many more households to fall into unmanageable debt in the years ahead.

When it comes to small businesses, the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief and extra support for shops, pubs and cafes are particularly welcome.  In a recent survey, around a third of small business owners contacting Business Debtline were found to draw less than £100 from their business each month – and this extra help will make a significant difference for many.

For more reaction to today's announcements follow #AutumnStatement on Twitter.


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