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Autumn Budget: Live

Sunak’s statement: minute-by-minute coverage

Rishi Sunak delivers 2021 Autumn Budget

Rishi Sunak presents his Budget

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1.38pm: Chancellor ends his statement

1.32pm: Help for those on low incomes

Mr Sunak announced he is cutting the Universal Credit Taper Rate by 8%. From 63p to 55p.

1.30pm: Fuel duty rise cancelled

The planned rise in fuel duty will be cancelled. That’s a saving over the next five years of nearly £8bn. After 12 consecutive years of frozen rates, the average car driver has now saved a total of £1,900.

1.29pm: Alcohol duty rise cancelled

The planned increase in duty on spirits like Scotch Whisky, wine, cider and beer, will all, from midnight tonight, be cancelled. A tax cut worth £3bn.

Taxes on beers, wines and spirits will be simplified.

A new Draught Relief will apply a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider. It will particularly benefit community pubs who do 75% of their trade on draught.

“It’s not a freeze, it will cut duty by 5%. A long-term investment in British pubs of £100m a year.”

“That’s the biggest cut to cider duty since 1923,” he says. “The biggest cut to fruit ciders in a generation. The biggest cut to beer duty for 50 years.”

1.28pm: APD cut

In a move likely to infuriate climate campaigners ahead of the COP26 climate conference he announces that from April 2023 flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty. Uncertain how this will play in Scotland where APD is devolved.

1.20pm: Business rates cut

There will be a new one year 50% business rates discount for retail, hospitality, & leisure sectors. A tax cut worth almost £1.7bn and with Small Business Rates Relief over 90% of all these businesses will see a discount of at least 50%.

However, business rates relief is already reduced to zero in Scotland.

1.15pm: Investment allowances

“Now is not the time to remove tax breaks on investment. So I can confirm today that the £1m Annual Investment Allowance will not end in December as planned, it will be extended all the way to March 2023.”

1.10pm: Science funding

He is upping core science funding by £1.1bn, fully funding Horizon Europe, increasing Innovate UK’s budget, and funding £800m for ARIA and £1.7bn for Net Zero R&D.

1.08pm: Talent network

He announces a new Global Talent Network, to work with UK businesses and research institutes to identify and attract the best global talent in key science and tech sectors. The network will initially launch next year in the Bay Area, Boston and Bengaluru.

1.05pm: Help for culture

“To support theatres, orchestras, museums & galleries the tax reliefs for all those sectors will – from today until April 2023 – be doubled. We won’t return to the normal rate until 2024.”

1.04pm: Transport boost

A long-term pipeline of over 50 local roads upgrades.

Over £5bn for local roads maintenance, enough to fill 1 million more potholes a year.

And funding for buses, cycling and walking totalling more than £5bn.

1.01pm UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Confirms announcement in January that the Treasury will provide £1.5bn a year to regions through new UK Shared Prosperity Fund which replaces EU structural funds.

1pm: Devolved finance

Funding for Scotland will increase by £4.6 billion, for Wales by £2.5bn and for Northern Ireland by £1.6bn. He says these are the largest block grants since devolution was agreed in 1998.

12.59pm: Housing

There will be £24bn for “a multi-year housing settlement”, £11.5bn of this set aside to build up to 180,000 affordable homes, which he says is the largest cash investment in a decade.

12.46pm: Lower jobless

The OBR expects unemployment to peak at 5.2% – which means “over two million fewer people out of work than previously feared”.

It now expects gross domestic product to expand by 6.5% this year compared to the 4% forecast at the Budget in March.

12.45pm: Fiscal rules met

The Office for Budget Responsibility says the government has met all its fiscal rules.

“Borrowing down, debt down proving once again it is only the Conservatives who can be trusted with taxpayers’ money.”

12.43: Age of optimism

The chancellor predicts “an economy fit for a new age of optimism where the only limit to our potential is the effort we are prepared to put in and the sacrifices we are prepared to make”.

He adds: “That is the stronger economy of the future. And this Budget is the foundation.”

12.39: Driver shortages

Sunak promises to tackle driver shortages and plans to improve lorry park facilities.

12.34pm: Chancellor begins his statement

Sunak begins with a rousing declaration: “Employment is up, investment is growing, public services are improving, public finances are stabilising and wages are rising.”

12.32pm: Rebuke for Chancellor

Deputy Speaker, Dame Eleanor Laing tells Mr Sunak: “You have announced too much of it already. You should save it for MPs first.”

She adds she looks forward to hearing “the remainder of your announcements”.

12.20pm: Starmer isolating

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband was standing in for Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, as the Labour leader is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mr Miliband, who led the party between 2010 and 2015, joked: ‘Just like the old days… I just want to reassure both sides of the House it’s one time only that I’m back.’ 

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves will step in and respond to the Budget in the leader’s place. 



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