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Housebuilding drive at heart of Osborne plan to appease 'strivers'

George Osborne is expected to announce 'the biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s' in today's Autumn Statement. The chancellor's pledge to tackle the 'crisis in home ownership' in Britain will be at the centre of a five-year economic plan that will also feature cuts in areas such as business support, police and local services. Osborne will say he is prioritising areas that contribute to the economic and national security of Britain, whether putting money into subsidised home ownership programmes, health, infrastructure or defence. The chancellor will earmark £300m to develop two big rail schemes: London's Crossrail 2 and a new line between Manchester and Leeds, dubbed HS3. Although the chancellor will stick to his plan to run a budget surplus by 2020, the original forecast of a £10bn surplus in that year is likely to be scaled back as Osborne dips into the fiscal reserves.

 

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