The Autumn Budget was bought forward by the previous ‘short time’ Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng to 31st October 2022 to stabilise markets after the ill-fated Mini Budget in September. The new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have already steadied nerves by reversing out most of Kwarteng’s tax cuts and now have decide that more time and consideration is required to deliver a stable and well-planned Autumn Budget by moving it back to 17th November 2022.
In an interview on ITV, Mr Hunt said: “My number one priority is economic stability and restoring confidence that the United Kingdom is a country that pays its way. For that reason, the medium-term fiscal plan is extremely important. I want to confirm that it will demonstrate debt falling over the medium term, which is very important for people to understand.”
Hunt added: “It’s also extremely important that that statement is based on the most accurate possible economic forecasts and forecasts of public finances. For that reason, the prime minister and I have decided that it is prudent to make that statement on the 17 of November when it will be upgraded to a full Autumn Statement.”
He also confirmed that he has spoken with Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England to ensure that the Bank understands that its position remains totally independent and is fully aware of what the government’s intentions are.
This is a sensible move rather than a rushed and fudged budget. By taking a pragmatic and stable approach to the country’s finances will no doubt settle market nerves and confidence in the UK’s ability to meet its debt obligations.