Big-Ben

November 29th is G Day

George Osborne has just 40 days and 40 nights to pull off a miracle in his autumn statement.

Politicians and business figures believe November 29 is the day on which the government’s success or failure hangs.

It is the moment when the Chancellor must deliver a package of measures designed to kick Britain’s economy into life.

The economy is forecast to grow at just 0.9% this year.

That’s miles better than most of our competitor countries.

But it’s still terrifyingly low.

The business community is worried about 2012 and 2013 – when work on the London Olympics dries up with nothing but Crossrail to keep the cement mixers turning over.

Pressure is mounting on the Chancellor and David Cameron to think again about ordering a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Some of Britain’s biggest firms and arms of industry are convinced that foreign investors will turn their backs on the UK’s clogged airspace.

Twenty years from now, they say, Britain risks being an isolated backwater unless we are an effective air hub.

There is tension at the heart of government, I hear.

Two camps are forming – those who believe in pushing the “pay off the debt” line and others arguing for more emphasis on growth.

Some ministers are terrified of raising the nation’s hopes that the slump will be over soon and argue the narrative should not waver from debt reduction.

But others – staggered by Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King’s gloom and doom this week – believe firms need to be encouraged to make investments.

They know bosses will only spend if there’s a mood of optimism.

I am told the Treasury is working overtime to find measures which will deliver genuine help to the business world in its frantic search for growth.

Now the Chancellor needs to find a way of insisting he’ll pay off our debt but fire up the engine of UK plc a the same time.

Written By

George Pascoe-Watson