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Sunak delays fiscal statement until 17 November

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt will now deliver the statement next month

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pushed back next week’s planned Hallowe’en fiscal statement until 17 November.

It is the second time the event has been postponed and is now nearer to the original 23 November date set by Kwasi Kwarteng, which prompted criticism for being too long after the mini-budget on 23 September.

It also means that what will now be an Autumn Statement will be published after the Bank of England’s next decision on interest rates on 3 November. The governor Andrew Bailey had welcomed the opportunity to make its decision based on the contents of the statement.

However, with Mr Kwarteng’s plans now in the shredder and taxes effectively back to how they were before the budget, the government will argue that the pressure has been eased for an early statement. The new date follows publication on 16 November of the inflation figures.

The FTSE 100 turned positive after the Bank of Canada raised interest rates by a lower than expected 50 basis points lifting hopes of a less hawkish move by the Bank of England. An hour before the close of the London equities market the index was trading in a range 20-30 points higher.

In a statement, the Treasury said: “Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have agreed the Autumn Statement will be delivered on 17 November with an Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast.

“It will contain the UK’s medium term fiscal plan to put public spending on a sustainable footing, get debt falling and restore stability.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said this morning that Mr Sunak may want “a little more time” before it goes ahead.

“The Prime Minister and the chancellor know they need to work quickly on this but they also want to get it right, so we’ll see what happens to that date,” said Mr Cleverly.

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