Osborne's statement on the economy - live blog

Minute-by-minute coverage of the Chancellor's statement to the Commons.

Stay tuned for live coverage from 1pm. Press F5 or refresh to update the page.

13.07: Looks like the Q&A session following David Cameron's statement on public disorder has run over, so George Osborne hasn't started speaking yet.

14.19: Osborne is finally speaking now. In the last month, the FTSE 100 has fallen by 16 per cent, he says. But he boasts that the yields on UK gilts have fallen and claims it as a "huge vote of confidence" in Britain.

14:21: Osborne gets political, attacking "the folly" of those who said we were going "too far and too fast". A slower pace of cuts would have been "too little, too late," he argues.

14.22: This is the most dangerous time for the global economy since 2008, says Osborne. The overhang of debt means the recovery will not be as fast as expected.

14.24: Events have vindicated the coalition's decision to take "swift and decisive action" on the deficit, Osborne says. He repeats his new boast that Britain is a "safe haven" in the global storm.

14.26: Eurozone countries need to accept the "remorseless logic" of monetary union leading to greater fiscal union, argues Osborne. Many have long advanced this as a reason for Britain staying out of the euro and "thank God we did," the Chancellor says. He adds that the break-up of the single currency would be "economically disastrous" for countries including Britain.

14.30: We need a "new model of growth," says Osborne. Given that the economy has grown by just 0.2 per cent over the last nine months, who wouldn't agree with him?

14:31: Ed Balls is speaking now. He begins by noting a rare point of agreement with Osborne. We were right not to join the euro.

14.32: Austerity is not working in Europe, says the shadow chancellor. Osborne should take the lead in developing a new plan for growth.

14.33: Noting that Osborne has many friends in the Tea Party movemen, Balls asks him if he is on the side of the US Federal Reserve or on the side of those VInce Cable attacked as "right-wing nutters".

14.35: Osborne's "reckless plans" have ripped out the foundations of the house and left Britain exposed, Balls says.

14.37: Falling bond yields are a sign of stagnation, not confidence, says Balls. He quotes Paul Krugman: "The wolf is at the door but Osborne thinks it is the confidence fairy".

14:39: Balls ends by repeating his call for a temporary VAT cut and says Osborne cannot remain in denial.

14.40: Osborne's reply begins with a joke: "I did go to California and meet Mickey Mouse and he seems to be writing Labour's economic policy at the moment."

14.41: The deficit reduction plan announced by Obama is as fast and as deep as the UK government's, claims Osborne.

14.42: Where is Labour's "tough deficit reduction" plan, asks Osborne. We have just heard Labour MP after Labour MP attack the cuts.

14.43: Osborne ends with a flourish. Balls is "almost alone in the world" in arguing for higher spending. He is "completely irrelevant" to where the international debate has gone, and is "living proof" of why the public will never again trust Labour with their money.

14.45: David Miliband asks Osborne if he has seen private sector forecasts suggesting that a 0.4 per cent reduction in growth will make it impossible for him to meet his target of eliminating the structural deficit by 2015.

14.46: Osborne replies by noting that the latest IMF report said he would meet his target even if growth was lower-than-expected. He cheekily adds that Labour would be in a "much more credible place" if David Miliband had delivered the leaders' speech.

14.47: We're going to end the live blog here. Thanks for reading.

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Our union backed Brexit, but that doesn't mean scrapping freedom of movement

We can only improve the lives of our members, like those planning stike action at McDonalds, through solidarity.

The campaign to defend and extend free movement – highlighted by the launch of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement this month – is being seen in some circles as a back door strategy to re-run the EU referendum. If that was truly the case, then I don't think Unions like mine (the BFAWU) would be involved, especially as we campaigned to leave the EU ourselves.

In stark contrast to the rhetoric used by many sections of the Leave campaign, our argument wasn’t driven by fear and paranoia about migrant workers. A good number of the BFAWU’s membership is made up of workers not just from the EU, but from all corners of the world. They make a positive contribution to the industry that we represent. These people make a far larger and important contribution to our society and our communities than the wealthy Brexiteers, who sought to do nothing other than de-humanise them, cheered along by a rabid, right-wing press. 

Those who are calling for end to freedom of movement fail to realise that it’s people, rather than land and borders that makes the world we live in. Division works only in the interest of those that want to hold power, control, influence and wealth. Unfortunately, despite a rich history in terms of where division leads us, a good chunk of the UK population still falls for it. We believe that those who live and work here or in other countries should have their skills recognised and enjoy the same rights as those born in that country, including the democratic right to vote. 

Workers born outside of the UK contribute more than £328 million to the UK economy every day. Our NHS depends on their labour in order to keep it running; the leisure and hospitality industries depend on them in order to function; the food industry (including farming to a degree) is often propped up by their work.

The real architects of our misery and hardship reside in Westminster. It is they who introduced legislation designed to allow bosses to act with impunity and pay poverty wages. The only way we can really improve our lives is not as some would have you believe, by blaming other poor workers from other countries, it is through standing together in solidarity. By organising and combining that we become stronger as our fabulous members are showing through their decision to ballot for strike action in McDonalds.

Our members in McDonalds are both born in the UK and outside the UK, and where the bosses have separated groups of workers by pitting certain nationalities against each other, the workers organised have stood together and fought to win change for all, even organising themed social events to welcome each other in the face of the bosses ‘attempts to create divisions in the workplace.

Our union has held the long term view that we should have a planned economy with an ability to own and control the means of production. Our members saw the EU as a gravy train, working in the interests of wealthy elites and industrial scale tax avoidance. They felt that leaving the EU would give the UK the best opportunity to renationalise our key industries and begin a programme of manufacturing on a scale that would allow us to be self-sufficient and independent while enjoying solid trading relationships with other countries. Obviously, a key component in terms of facilitating this is continued freedom of movement.

Many of our members come from communities that voted to leave the EU. They are a reflection of real life that the movers and shakers in both the Leave and Remain campaigns took for granted. We weren’t surprised by the outcome of the EU referendum; after decades of politicians heaping blame on the EU for everything from the shape of fruit to personal hardship, what else could we possibly expect? However, we cannot allow migrant labour to remain as a political football to give succour to the prejudices of the uninformed. Given the same rights and freedoms as UK citizens, foreign workers have the ability to ensure that the UK actually makes a success of Brexit, one that benefits the many, rather than the few.

Ian Hodon is President of the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union and founding signatory of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement.