Extra cash for OAPs, a fuel duty freeze and a cap on business rate rises have been announced in the chancellor’s autumn statement – and people in Sheffield have been giving their reaction.
George Osborne’s statement offered an update on the state of the economy alongside tax and spending measures, with the chancellor calling it a ‘plan to deliver a responsible recovery’.
The state pension will rise by 2.7 per cent, or £2.95 per week, in April, but a rise in the retirement age to 68 is set to come in earlier than planned, in the mid-2030s, meaning millions will retire later.
Retired nurse Elizabeth Frampton, aged 67, from Sandygate, said she welcome the extra money, but added: “It’s not much money. The pension isn’t a living wage.
“If you’re a professional like I was, your average salary is probably about £2,000 a month. Now you’re looking at about £500.”
Mrs Frampton continued: “I would say 65 is the right age for retirement. Anything over that is unreasonable.
“We were looking forward to retirement, and now we’re having to be penny-pinching.”
Meanwhile Richard Wright, executive director of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said the statement was ‘positive for business’.
“Christmas and New Year is always a critical time for retailers and so it is good to see the chancellor has put in place measures to increase business on our high streets,” said Mr Wright.
“The cap on the rise of business rates is another step in the right direction, as is the cancellation of next year’s fuel duty rise.
“But as always the devil will be in the detail and we hope businesses will not be let down by a failure to deliver on these initiatives quickly.”