Kwarteng to hold mini-budget next Friday

Fiscal event will set out new PM’s tax-cut plans and give further details on energy price-cap
Kwasi Kwarteng in Downing Street Photo: Alamy

By Adam Payne

16 Sep 2022

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will use a mini-budget on Friday next week to set out the new government's plans for tax cuts and how the energy cap freeze will work, after the Queen's death caused delay to the anticipated event.

A senior government source confirmed to Civil Service World’s sister title PoliticsHome that Kwarteng would deliver the fiscal event on 23 September, before MPs leave Westminster to attend party conferences.

Labour’s annual gathering is taking place in Liverpool, while the Conservatives will head to Birmingham.

Parliament does not usually sit on a Friday,  but ministers have been scrambling to ensure the mini-budget, promised by Truss during her leadership campaign, could go ahead before conference recess after the death of Queen Elizabeth put all government and parliamentary business on hold for 10 days.

MPs and peers had expected to rise again from next Thursday until October 17 for the annual party conference season.

However, in order to accommodate Kwarteng's fiscal announcement, parliament will break up for the conference period later than planned to make up for time lost during the period of national mourning.

In a further move to create more time for government and parliamentary business, MPs will return from conference recess on 11 October, House authorities confirmed yesterday — a week earlier than originally planned.

Truss is under pressure to set out details of her government's plan to freeze the energy cap as soon as possible amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, but the Queen's death has brought British politics to a standstill, making it trickier.  

Many MPs are believed to want the chance to swear the oath to the King when the House of Commons sits again next week. Senior MPs including Truss and Labour leader Keir Starmer took part in a swearing in ceremony on Saturday, but others are not required to do this.

Wednesday's session, which will begin at 10am, will first see members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet offered the opportunity to take the oath, with other ministers next on the list, followed by MPs based on the year they were elected.

After becoming prime minister this month, Truss announced that she would keep average household energy bills at £2,500 for two years and provide equal support to businesses for six months.

Businesses have been warned, however, that they face waiting until November before receiving the support as it is more complex than helping households, the Financial Times reported.

Kwarteng is also expected to confirm the government's plan to reverse the recent National Insurance rise when he delivers his mini-budget.

Adam Payne is political editor of Civil Service World's sister title PoliticsHome,  where a version of this story first appeared

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