This Thursday the Chancellor gives his Autumn Statement. With the economic upturn shaky at best we can expect little in the way of good news and plenty more squeezing of budgets. Except, that is, for one thing. It appears that the Chancellor has £700million to spare on a measure that even its supporters claim won't any difference. So what's the truth? Are we in the grip of a near permanent austerity? Or do we have some cash to burn?