Autumn Budget delayed
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the statement on the Government’s fiscal plan, originally planned for 31 October, will be delayed until 17 November.
The PM said the delay is in an effort to ensure the tax and spending plans “stand the test of time”. The statement will also be released alongside a full economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Speaking to his cabinet on 26 October, the Prime Minister said:
“It is important to reach the right decisions and there is time for those decisions to be confirmed with Cabinet. “The Autumn Statement will set out how we will put public finances on a sustainable footing and get debt falling in the medium term and will be accompanied by a full forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility.”
The decision to delay the statement comes just a couple of weeks after Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced the reversal of his predecessor’s fiscal plan.
The new Chancellor quickly scrapped the majority of Kwasi Kwarteng’s previous tax plans within days of his new role, in a statement delivered on 17 October 2022. Kwarteng’s fiscal statement or ‘mini-budget’ caused much controversy among politicians and the public after he announced it on 23 September.
As a result, the majority of mini-budget decisions are being reversed in an effort to protect the economy, which Hunt says should raise around £32bn a year. The basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% instead of decreasing to 19% and will not be cut until “economic circumstances allow.”
Changes to IR35 and dividend tax rates are also being scrapped, along with the VAT-free shopping scheme. Alcohol duty rates will be frozen for one year from February 2023, while the proposed measures on stamp duty and National Insurance will stay in place.
The energy bills relief scheme will remain to help households and businesses with soaring energy costs. However, the Government will launch a Treasury-led review of the scheme after April 2023.
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