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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 18:23 GMT
Brown's economic picture
The Chancellor's autumn statement is one of his main set piece speeches in the House of Commons. He used it to tell MPs the government would build a "stronger and fairer Britain" even in an uncertain world economy.

BBC News Online looks at the speech itself and brings you comment and reaction on key areas including the NHS and pensions.

The Chancellor's Budget plans

Gordon Brown delivers his Pre-Budget Report
Gordon Brown delivers his Pre-Budget Report

Gordon Brown said the UK economy was in good shape despite the world economic downturn. He said the government had taken decisive action in its monetary and fiscal policy in the past and that he was now "cautiously optimistic" about the future.

  The BBC's Andrew Marr reports
  Gordon Brown's speech in full
  Gordon Brown interviewed

Commitment to NHS's future

Surgeons operate
National income promise for the NHS

New technology and rising expectations will put significant financial pressures on the NHS, according to a report commissioned by the government. Gordon Brown said the NHS should remain publicly funded even though it will make ever greater demands on public finances. He also promised an extra 1bn for the NHS next year.

  The BBC's Niall Dickson reports
  Radiologist Dr Fergus Gleeson
  Nursing director Dame Pauline Fielding

Pensioners secure winter payment

The pensioners' winter payment is assured
There is help with heating bills for pensioners

There was a 2bn boost for the elderly from measures including the new pensioner credit. Every pensioner household will receive a winter fuel payment of 200 every year for the rest of this parliament. And the Chancellor made a number of guarantees about future increases in state pensions.

  Jessie MacLachlan of the Pensioners' Action Group

Growth forecast stays steady

UK coins
The Chancellor predicted steady economic growth

Despite the impact of the 11 September atrocities and the worldwide slowdown, the Chancellor says the UK economy will continue to grow by at least two per cent a year. British manufacturing output had fallen slightly but less than in other countries, he said.

  The BBC's Evan Davis reports
  Margaret Doyle from The Economist
  Economic consultant Dr Neil Blake

Business gets a helping hand

Laptop computer
Investment in skills is seen as crucial

The Chancellor announced moves to help Britain's long term competitiveness by encouraging further business investment in skills and training with a new tax credit. He also pledged to cut red tape and the tax burden for small businesses.

  The BBC's Jeff Randall reports
  Businessmen give their verdict

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