Thursday, December 6th 2012, 7:18 PM EST
GEORGE Osborne backed strivers yesterday by cutting taxes, boosting pensions and launching a £4billion-a-year squeeze on benefits.
The Chancellor used his Autumn Statement to unveil a surprise income tax cut for 24 million low and middle income earners.
He also cheered motorists by freezing duty on petrol and diesel for all of next year, cancelling a 3p-a-litre increase scheduled for January.
Mr Osborne confirmed that the basic state pension would rise by 2.5 per cent next year, to £110.15 a week for a single pensioner.
To cheers from Tory MPs, he said: “We’re helping those who want to work hard and get on.” But he also admitted that Britain was still struggling to recover from “the least councils believe they have enough salt stockpiled to grit the roads.
One local government chief said they are well prepared to keep the traffic moving during the depths of winter.
Bookies William Hill have cut odds on the lowest-ever temperature record being broken from 14/1 to 8/1.
It stands at -27C and was equalled in recent years on December 30, 1995 in Altnaharra, northern Scotland.
Forecaster Brian Gaze, of The Weather Outlook, warned: “Forecast models show a ‘beast from the East’ weather system next week, with massive blocking high pressure from Siberia to Scandinavia pushing easterly winds across the UK.
“There’s a good chance of much of the country seeing lying snow, with growing signs of the weather turning very cold.”
The Met Office last night warned that a very cold spell of weather could bring the lowest temperatures of the year so far.
It said bitter 60mph gales are likely to make it feel even colder.
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Source Link: express.co.uk