Budget set for 11 March
7 Jan 2020
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has announced that the first post-Brexit Budget will take place on Wednesday 11 March 2020, and will focus on ‘delivering world-class public services and leveling up the whole country’
7 Jan 2020
It will also be Javid’s first Budget as Chancellor, after the Budget originally scheduled for 6 November last year was cancelled due to the ongoing Brexit discussions and delays, and the decision to hold a pre-Christmas election which meant Parliament had to be dissolved.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now made clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 January with no further delays.
Announcing the 11 March date, Javid said the Budget will prioritise the environment, and build on recent announcements to boost spending on public services and tackle the cost of living.
It is expected to include significant infrastructure investment, and the Treasury said at the Budget, the Chancellor will update the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility with new rules, taking advantage of low interest rates to invest, while keeping debt under control.
The Chancellor said the Budget would ‘deliver on the government’s promises on tax, to help tackle the cost of living for hard-working people’ and also ‘make good on the commitment to level up and spread opportunity, including by investing billions of pounds across the country.’
Javid said: ‘With this Budget we will unleash Britain’s potential – uniting our great country, opening a new chapter for our economy and ushering in a decade of renewal.’
The Chancellor is set to provide an economic update to Cabinet colleagues later today before updating Parliament during Treasury oral questions.
Feeling as if the Budget has taken a back seat in parliamentary discussions, Chris Sanger, head of tax policy at EY, said: 'With so much focus on delivering Brexit, the Budget may seem to be of secondary importance, but traditionally the first Budget of a government with a healthy majority is one in which the Government takes the uncomfortable decisions, hoping that positive results will arrive by the time of the next election.
'Past examples of such policies have included Labour’s windfall tax on the privatised industries and the Coalition’s increase in the rate of VAT to 20%.
‘This year’s Budget might be different, with the focus on increasing spending, particularly outside of the south east of the country. With a feeling of renewal as parliamentary stalemate overcome, the Chancellor may not want to divert attention to tax rises just yet. However, any spending will eventually need to be paid for and the Chancellor may yet decide that he should take the unpopular decisions now.’
In the Treasury's questions the Chancellor was asked if the budget in March would be a budget for the climate emergency, to which the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clark, said: ‘The government has a clean growth strategy, we’re very clear that clean finance lies at the heart of the UK’s offer to the world.
‘That goes for the private sector as well as the public sector, we need to bring together the whole strength of the country to make a truly radical offer.’
Sajid Javid added: ‘Increasing productivity is the best way to boost wages to improve living standards and enhance prosperity.
‘We have worked hard to build a stronger fairer economy dealing with the deficit, helping people get into work and cutting taxes for families and businesses, and we will continue to invest responsibly including investing billions more in infrastructure creating a new national skills fund and boosting investment in Research and Development.
‘We will invest to unleash the potential of our whole country so that no place is left behind.’