When is the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2023?

Quick answer – November 22nd, 2023

Mark Your Calendar! Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will be making his annual Autumn Statement on November 22. Let’s delve into what this annual financial update means for UK citizens, and why some Tory MPs are nudging Mr. Hunt to give us all a tax break.

What’s an Autumn Statement Anyway?

Before we go any further, let’s put some context around what the Autumn Statement is. Think of it as a ‘mini-budget’—it’s an annual spiel given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the House of Commons. This tradition started back in 1975, thanks to a law that said the government needed to give us two economic updates every year. The more famous sibling, the Spring Statement, usually takes the stage in March. But unlike a traditional budget which mostly talks about taxes, the Autumn Statement has a broader scope.

Here’s what it includes:

  1. Anticipated spending by the UK government (are we fixing more roads or buying more missiles?).
  2. How the government plans to rake in money (usually through taxes).
  3. Oh, and income tax and corporation tax are always part of the act since those need yearly renewal by law.
  4. Some nifty facts and stats about the UK economy (are we booming or dooming?).

Jeremy Hunt has also requested an economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which will be presented side-by-side with the statement. Neat, right?

Pressure Points: Tax Cuts and Defence Spending

Jeremy Hunt is feeling the heat from his own party. Some Tory MPs are pushing for tax cuts before the next general election. Their logic is simple: lower taxes usually make people happier, and happier people might just vote for you. However, the Chancellor also has to weigh this against the country’s other needs, like defence.

Speaking of defence, Grant Shapps, the new Defence Secretary, will be eyeing this Autumn Statement closely. His predecessor, Ben Wallace, left the position with a call for more military funding. So, expect some heated debates over how many pounds should go into missiles and how many into your pockets.

Autumn vs Spring: A Seasonal Rundown

You might wonder how the Autumn Statement differs from its Spring counterpart. Well, while both are about the country’s finances, they each have their unique selling points. The Spring Statement is mostly a tax affair. It details all things related to taxation, the kind that affects your paycheck and grocery bills.

The Autumn Statement, on the other hand, usually dishes out fewer tax specifics but gives us a broader picture. It talks about the OBR’s forecasts (like, is the economy going to grow or shrink?) and also spells out broader spending targets for various government departments.

By the way, this wasn’t always the case. Up until 2017, the main budget was announced in spring. They switched it to autumn to give MPs enough time to debate and pass all the necessary laws before the new fiscal year kicks in on April 6.

A Flashback to 2022: A Year to Remember (or Forget)

Last year’s Autumn Statement was, well, a bit of a rollercoaster. It was a wild time with three chancellors and three prime ministers in just three months! Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted that the UK’s reputation had taken “a bit of a knock” abroad. The focus then was on combating rising inflation, which had soared to 11.1% in October 2022, a rate not seen since 1981. Households across the country felt the pinch, making the Autumn Statement a high-stakes event.

Final Thoughts: Why You Should Care

It’s easy to think all this political jargon and financial mumbo-jumbo is just for MPs in suits or Wall Street types. But the reality is, what gets announced in the Autumn Statement affects us all. It impacts how much money gets taken out of your paycheck, whether your local hospital gets an upgrade, or if your child’s school can afford new textbooks.

So come November 22, tune in to find out what’s in store for the UK’s wallet—and yours.