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07 December 2012

The weekly WHIP 7 December 2012

The weekly WHIP 7 December 2012

Autumn statement

When the coalition government came to power they made a lot of changes. Some of them are perhaps more important than others. Changing the name of the 'Pre-Budget Report' to the 'Autumn Statement' was one of the most seismic.

George Osborne announced to Parliament on Wednesday that there was less money to go around. Besides a few gifts, the cancellation of increases to fuel duty, and a minor increase in the amount you can earn before the tax kicks in, it was mostly about explaining how the government was going to spend less money but still needed to borrow more. Maybe Starbucks can help out: they've negotiated their tax rate for the next year – something I bet more of us wish we were at liberty to do!

Unsurprisingly Labour weren't particularly impressed with the Chancellor's statement. I can't quite recall exactly what was said but probably something along the lines of: you can't be trusted with the economy and it would be better if we were in charge. If you want, you can watch Ed Ball's response.

Always keen to keep with the times HM Treasury labelled the relevant tab on their website with #AS2012 and put up a Pinterest board with infographics setting out the statement's key points.

#royalbaby

Of course no-one really cared what the Chancellor announced, we may be about to have some more negative growth, youth unemployment at staggering levels, and don't ask about the fiscal cliff, but Kate is having a baby!!!! The Daily Express pulled their pre-packaged souvenir edition of the shelf and onto the presses in double time.

Nothing else really matters, except what she will call it, what she will wear during pregnancy, where you can get commemorative mugs, how Will is feeling, how Harry is reacting, whether Pippa is jealous, if Charles is proud and just how much the Queen is thrilled by the impending birth of her great-grandchild.

Of course this is splendid news and because everyone loves lists, here are a few: 5 reasons to rejoice, 10 stories Zoe Williams doesn't want to read, 10 you don't want to miss (but aren't about Kate, Will or #royalbaby), and the weirdest of the weird on a day the media went into apoplexies of punning.

Nothing though beats this effort from the Daily Mail to predict what the child will look like.

SCOTLAND could be set to have to rejoin the European Union if it leaves the UK

CHEFS such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson should tell people how to use up their scraps according to one government minister.

THE APOCALYPSE may be just two weeks away, do not fear the AA and the RSPCA have some advice for you.