What is an Autumn Statement?
Autumn Statements were introduced in 1975 to comply with a new law that required the government to publish two economic forecasts a year. The government website defines the Autumn Statement as an update from the Chancellor to MPs on the government’s taxation and spending plans for the economy based on the latest economic forecast.
Prior to 2010, these forecasts were done by the Treasury. Since that time, they have been produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The norm used to be that the Chancellor would make two fiscal statements a year to Parliament, in the spring and autumn, with one being the formal Budget – the timing of which has changed back and forth over time.
The most recent budget was presented in October 2021 by then-Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, followed by what he dubbed a Spring Statement in March 2022. Kwasi Kwarteng deemed his 23 September ‘mini-budget’ a fiscal statement, but he controversially turned down the OBR’s offer to provide a forecast on which to base it.
There are no fixed rules on what an Autumn Statement should cover. The 2022 Autumn Statement will likely provide a lot of detail on both spending and tax plans in the short and medium-term as the Sunak government tries to instil public and market confidence in their economic strategy. Nonetheless, the Chancellor may leave some details for his Budget, likely in March 2023, which will also be accompanied by an updated forecast.