The Scotsman cartoon: Osborne’s autumn statement

Illustration: Iain Green
Illustration: Iain Green
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Chancellor George Osborne presented his autumn statement yesterday.

The Chancellor insisted the budget deficit had been halved since 2010 and was still forecast to fall in every year.

Mr Osborne said the fiscal position was helped because the welfare bill and debt interest repayments had been reduced, meaning extra cash could be diverted to the NHS.

But he conceded that “substantial savings” in public spending will still be required in the next parliament. They are expected to be closer to £30 billion than the £25 billion envisaged before.

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