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What should the Autumn Statement deliver for consumers?

uk parliament

As the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement approaches, here’s a roundup of what Which? has been calling for – including what we’ve been doing as part of our campaign to end mortgage confusion.

The Chancellor delivers his Autumn Statement around this time each year, which sets out economic forecasts and almost always contains new policy announcements.

Last year we called for George Osborne to take action to keep energy prices in check – and he did, announcing proposals to save the average British household £50 on their bills. This year we’ve got a new set of asks for the Chancellor. We’ve been working with our supporters on our campaign to make mortgage comparison easier.

We’re calling on George Osborne to…

Richard Lloyd, our executive director, also wrote to George Osborne about a range of issues, calling on him to:

  • Help people get a good deal from their pensions and savings – by setting out a national savings strategy and forcing banks to allow you to switch between ISAs
  • Make mortgage price comparison easier for consumers by ensuring all fees and charges are fair and easy to compare
  • Empower students to get a better deal for their tuition fees, by making better data available for them to make choices
  • Ensure that infrastructure investments are value for money, through greater scrutiny of new projects.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Statement we’ve been ramping up our campaigning work on mortgage fees in particular – disclosing the 40 fees and charges that can make the world of choosing a mortgage both murky and costly.

Taking out a mortgage can be one of the biggest financial decisions of our lives. We want the Chancellor to stop sneaky fees and make it easier for people to compare the cost of mortgages. We think he should work with industry and consumer groups to find better ways to present the total cost, to make fees clearer, and to put an end to additional rip-off fees once you’ve taken out the mortgage.

Sneaky fees and charges

So far, more than 43,000 people have signed our petition to Stop Sneaky Fees and Charges. 1,900 of you have gone a step further and emailed your MP asking them to write to the Chancellor. Almost all of the 650 MPs have now received a message from at least one Which? supporter, and some have received as many as 10 – so thank you for your support.

We hope that the Chancellor will use his Autumn Statement to tackle these issues and ensure consumers get a better deal.

What are the biggest issues that you would like the Chancellor to tackle? Have you supported our mortgage fees campaign by writing to your MP? If so, how did your MP respond?

Roger Smith says:
1 December 2014

The Autumn statement should clearly set out a plan for reducing debt

According to Daily Politics on BBC Today we are to count the number of times George O refers to his “Long term economic plans.” Either he has to borrow more to pay for these or take it from taxation.

With interest rates remaining at an all time low when are we going to see better deals for savers?

I think the biggest thing for consumers would be to clamp down on large multi-nationals playing the creative accountancy card to avoid paying large sums of corporation tax, cos until they get that under control, its the consumers who will be the easy target for making up the difference,

Here’s a round-up of the key announcements from George Osborn’es Autumn Statement: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2014/12/autumn-statement-2014-the-key-announcements-387550/ Let us know what you think.

You may want to delete my comment Patrick as it’s nothing about what “Which? has been calling for”

But I am pleased about the tax incentives for live-action children’s TV. Here in the UK we have a very strong past of fantastic kids TV going back to the 1960’s. But these days it’s all CGI rubbish imported from the US etc. So I am very pleased about the new children’s television credit.

If you missed it in his speech more info is here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/uk-launch-tax-incentives-kids-753582

Well I see he almost did what I wanted with his diverted profits tax, however, if a company can creatively do whatever to reduce corporation tax liability then I’m sure they’ll manage to creatively make little or no profit in the UK.

The tax needs to be based on turnover and a jaw dropping 75%, companies will then either leave these shores or pay the correct amount of corporation tax rather than pay the much higher tax with this.