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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is interviewed on Sky News by Trevor Phillips
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Chancellor sets November date for Autumn Statement

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The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver his Autumn Statement on 22 November.

5th Sep 2023
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Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, confirmed the date of the next fiscal statement today, circling the 22 November on Parliamentary calendars and instructing the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast. 

Third time in the hot seat

The Autumn Statement comes after his “back to work” Budget in March, where Hunt unveiled plans to abolish the lifetime allowance and boosted the annual allowance for pension contributions from £40,000 to £60,000. 

Hunt also used the Spring Budget in March to replace the super deduction scheme, which was set to end on 31 March 2023, with the full expensing for investment in qualifying expenditure on new plant and machinery. 

This will be Hunt’s third fiscal statement after taking the reins as Chancellor in October 2022 following testing circumstances left by his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng and former prime minister Liz Truss after their unfunded tax-cutting mini-Budget. 

Hunt’s appearances in front of the despatch box in the House of Commons have been uneventful compared to some of the former residents of number 11. 

Faced with a fiscal black hole, a recurring theme in the Chancellor’s previous fiscal statements has been the ongoing freeze of personal allowance thresholds, with these “stealth taxes” applying to inheritance tax, capital gains tax (CGT), VAT, income tax and pension savings. 

What to expect at the Autumn Statement 

Hunt may be backed into a cul-de-sac with this statement in November, with the government expected to hold back favourable economic and fiscal announcements until the Spring in order to launch their election campaign. Although the government could hold on until January 2025 to call a general election. 

However, Hunt may have to offer something to appease the Party, as inflation remains stubbornly high at 6.8%, and is still far off one of prime minister Rishi Sunak’s five priorities to halve inflation this year - it was 10.7% when he made this pledge - and quite a distance from the Bank of England’s target of 2%.   

Announcing the date to the House of Commons, Hunt said: “On Friday, the Office for National Statistics published an update to the UK’s GDP growth figures which shows the UK economy was 0.6% larger than pre-pandemic levels by the fourth quarter of 2021.

“It means our economy had the fastest recovery from the pandemic of any large European economy, thanks to decisions such as furlough that protected millions of jobs.

“For that growth to continue we now need to halve inflation, which I am pleased to report is now nearly 40% below its 11% peak. I can also tell the House I will deliver the Autumn Statement on November 22.”

Don’t forget the OBR

Hunt made the announcement today because the Chancellor has to give the OBR 10 weeks to prepare its fiscal forecast, which is presented alongside the Autumn Statement. 

The OBR forecast was infamously absent from Truss and Kwarteng’s mini-Budget, and this omission was held as one of the reasons for the negative backlash thrown at the then-residents of Number 10 and why the economy went into freefall in the days after the announcement. 

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