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Osborne grabs £2 billion from middle-class

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Autumn Statement 2012: George Osborne will create more high-rate taxpayers in a £1 billion hit on middle-class earners while raiding the pension pots of rich older people for another £1 billion.

Mr Osborne's complicated package of changes in the Autumn Statement will hit those who pay the 40p rate of income tax and wealthier pensioners, who will get less tax relief.

However, there is good news for drivers and low earners. The Chancellor will scrap a planned 3p rise in petrol duty and raise the tax-free personal allowance, so those earning under £9,440 will pay nothing to the Treasury at all.

Mr Osborne will also save £3.7 billion on the welfare bill because most benefit payments will rise by just one per cent - less than inflation. This will effectively mean a cut in child benefit for millions of families.

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