Downing Street delays fiscal statement following Sunak appointment

The fiscal statement was due to take place on October 31, but will now be delayed until November 17

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The planned October 31 fiscal statement will be delayed to November 17, Downing Street has said.

The medium term fiscal plan will now be published as an autumn statement – alongside a new set of economic forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Mr Hunt informed ministers of the decision at the first meeting of Rishi Sunak’s new Cabinet in Downing Street on Wednesday morning.

According to a Cabinet readout: “The Chancellor updated the Cabinet on the timing of the fiscal event.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt
Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning
Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning

"The Prime Minister and the Chancellor agreed that the fiscal event would now take place on the 17 November, and would be an Autumn Statement.

“He 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.”

Mr Hunt said it is “prudent” to delay his fiscal announcement to November 17 and said it would be “upgraded to a full autumn statement”.

The Chancellor told broadcasters: “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 November 17 when it will be upgraded to a full autumn statement.”

Mr Hunt said he discussed the move with Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey on Tuesday night, adding he “understands the reasons for doing that and I’ll continue to work very closely with him”.

The Chancellor added: “I’ve demonstrated in the short time that I’ve been Chancellor that I’m willing to take decisions very quickly and I’m willing to make choices that are politically embarrassing if they’re the right thing to do for the country, if they’re in the national interest.

“Now we have a new Prime Minister and the prospect of much longer-term stability for the economy and the country.

“In that context a short two-and-a-half week delay is the best way we will make sure that it is the right decisions we take.”

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid said the move to postpone the Chancellor’s fiscal announcement was “sensible”.

Welcoming the move, he said: “Very sensible decision to delay and upgrade to a full Autumn Statement.”