Lansons Conversations

Autumn Statement 2012: Lansons Public Affairs Briefing

As we come to the mid-point of the Coalition Government, today’s Autumn Statement is set against the backdrop of a tumultuous economic year for the UK. To help you separate the reality from the rhetoric and understand what is genuinely new please click here to read our briefing on the 2012 Autumn Statement. Three consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage (two in 2012) saw the country slump back into recession. This, juxtaposed with a wave of national euphoria resulting from the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics coming to London, finally gave way to 1% growth in Q3 of 2012. Whether this was an anomalous blimp in an otherwise grim economic trend remains undetermined, though the political consensus seems to be that we have avoided a triple-dip recession in exchange for a faltering, slower recovery than most envisaged this time last year. The Office for Budget Responsibility predict the economy will shrink by 0.1% overall this year, before returning to growth of 1.2% in 2013 and 2% in 2014. Whilst the Chancellor’s unwavering commitment to deficit reduction remains evident, his admission that the slower than planned pace of recovery will affect the deficit reduction programme forms a large part of the pretext to this year’s Statement. With public sector borrowing up £2.7bn on the same point in 2011, the Chancellor confirmed that the debt will not begin to decline until 2016/17 – a year later than predicted. Prolonged austerity – or “fiscal consolidation” as Osborne termed it – for another year was also part of the mix for today’s Statement. Against this backdrop there is a premium on clear and instructive political insight. Lansons Public Affairs and Regulatory Consulting can help you to mitigate political and regulatory risks to your business, market your brand to public policy audiences and manage your reputation with stakeholders. I hope you find our views of interest; we will continue to report in similar terms on other major policy statements. In the interim please do let us know how we can help your organisation in your political engagement.