Rishi Sunak pushes back crucial autumn budget to 17 November

Watch: Jeremy Hunt delays Halloween budget to November 17

New prime minister Rishi Sunak has pushed back the government's planned fiscal statement until 17 November.

The spending plan, to get the public finances back on track, had been previously slated for 31 October.

The full "autumn statement" will be delivered by chancellor Jeremy Hunt and accompanied by separate forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Read more: FTSE slips further as fiscal plans delayed again

The OBR forecasts were notably lacking in Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng's disastrous mini-budget.

The statement will "contain the UK’s medium-term fiscal plan to put public spending on a sustainable footing, get debt falling and restore stability", the Treasury said.

Rishi Sunak pushed back the autumn budget announcement. Photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls
Rishi Sunak pushed back the autumn budget announcement. Photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

Hunt told broadcasters on Tuesday: "I want to confirm that it will demonstrate debt falling over the medium term which is really important for people to understand.

"But it’s also extremely important that that statement is based on the most accurate possible economic forecasts and forecasts of public finances.

"And for that reason the prime minister and I have decided it is prudent to make that statement on 17 November when it will be upgraded to a full autumn statement."

Sunak said the delay will give him time to make the "right decisions" on managing the economic crisis.

In a readout from Tuesday morning's Cabinet meeting, the PM 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."

Read more: Bank of England wasn't fully briefed before Liz Truss's disastrous mini-budget, Cunliffe reveals

The chancellor added he discussed the move with Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, adding he (Bailey) "understands the reasons for doing that and I’ll continue to work very closely with him".

The former government under Truss had been forced to bring forward the publication of the fiscal plan in the wake of the turmoil which erupted after then chancellor Kwarteng’s now-scrapped mini-budget tax cuts.

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