Key Facts: Reports suggest that Sajid Javid, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, will delay the government’s Budget until after 31st October. This is due to the degree of uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations.
What Caused This? Sajid Javid initially intended to hold a pre-election giveaway Budget in the latter weeks of October, but recently reconsidered this decision. The uncertainty about whether the UK will leave with a deal is what encouraged Javid to delay the statement; he was concerned that all of the government’s attention would be on securing a Brexit deal instead.
The Bigger Picture: The statement will allegedly include new fiscal rules, as well as the confirmation of a big infrastructure programme. It has now been decided that such plans will remain confidential until ‘Britain’s EU future is clearer’.
Although Javid had warned people of a ‘dramatic financial intervention at a highly sensitive moment in British politics’, it appears that delaying the statement will be beneficial, regardless of the Brexit outcome. It enables the government to pay more attention to negotiations, whilst providing Javid with the opportunity to stage ‘significant fiscal intervention to prop up the economy’ if the UK fails to establish a deal.
The Financial Times states that it is likely that the new release date will occur after the general election. Currently, the government does not hold a majority in the House of Commons, making it difficult to pass Budget measures. The Chancellor also believes that ‘it might be better to have the Bank of England go first’, suggesting that the delaying of the statement will lead to a more detailed and well-considered outcome.