Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet, will make his Autumn Statement today.
While Mr Sunak made various promises when he initially ran for the Tory leadership against former Prime Minister Liz Truss, it’s not yet known how many of those policies he will stick to in this role.
It was reported on November 1 that Mr Hunt is looking to fill the black hole of up to £60 billion in public finances through a combination of 50 per cent tax rises and 50 per cent public-spending cuts.
According to a Treasury source, Mr Hunt sought advice for the Autumn Budget from ex-chancellor George Osborne, who was responsible for the period of austerity following the 2008 financial crisis. Whether this is a sign that Mr Hunt will follow similar measures remains to be seen.
Here’s what we do know about the Autumn Statement so far, as well as the areas expected to be addressed.
When is the Autumn Statement?
Hunt will deliver the statement to MPs on Thursday, November 17 from 11:30am.
How to watch it live
The Autumn Statement will be broadcast live on most major news channels, including BBC Two during Politics Live.
It will also be available online at Parliament Live TV.
The speech is expected to last about an hour.
What is Jeremy Hunt expected to say in the Autumn Statement?
It’s expected the statement will focus on areas such as benefits and pensions, as well as addressing the rising cost of living and inflation.
The Prime Minister and ChancellorJeremy Hunt on Monday agreed to freeze the thresholds at which people start to pay the different rates of income tax and national insurance, according to The Telegraph.
Mr Hunt is looking to fill the shortfall through a combination of 50 per cent tax rises and 50 per cent public spending cuts, the paper said.
It quoted a Treasury source as saying: “It is going to be rough. The truth is that everybody will need to contribute more in tax if we are to maintain public services.”
When Mr Sunak was chancellor, he promised that benefits would match inflation but there’s no way of knowing whether Mr Hunt’s policies will be in line with this. There have been reports that the government may raise benefits in line with earnings instead.
In the Prime Minister’s opening speech, Mr Sunak promised to deliver on the Conservative manifesto, which stated that the pensions triple-lock would remain in place, meaning that pensions would rise in line with inflation.
Pressure is also on the Government to offer measures to begin after the energy-bill price cap, which will end in April. If no action is taken, energy bills will rise sharply for most UK households in the spring.
Throughout the year, mortgage rates have been increasing. Mr Hunt may well offer some insight into lending and mortgage rates, as well as on any planned tax cuts.
When running against Liz Truss in the leadership race, Mr Sunak pledged to cut the basic rate of income tax from the current 20 per cent down to 19 per cent in April 2024, and then to 16 per cent by the end of the next Parliament. It’s not yet confirmed whether he intends to stick to these plans.