UK fiscal statement delayed to Nov. 17, says finance minister Hunt

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt exits Number 10 Downing Street on the day of a cabinet meeting, in London, Britain, October 26, 2022. Photographer Hannah Mckay

By Reuters

Britain has postponed the announcement of a plan to repair the country’s public finances to Nov. 17 for it to reflect the “most accurate possible economic forecasts,” finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday.

“Our number one priority is economic stability and restoring confidence that the United Kingdom is a country that pays its way, and for that reason, the medium term fiscal plan is extremely important,” he said of the fiscal statement, previously scheduled for Oct. 31.

“It’s also extremely important that statement is based on the most accurate possible economic forecasts and forecasts of public finances.”

Hunt, who was re-appointed as finance minister by new prime minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday, said the fiscal plan would now be a “full autumn statement” that will show debt falling over the medium term.

“I’m willing to make choices that are politically embarrassing if they’re the right thing to do for the country, if they’re in the national interest,” he said.

“We have a new prime minister, the prospect of much longer term stability for the economy and the country. In that context, a short two-and-a-half-week delay is the best way we will make sure that it is the right decisions we take.”