The Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is likely to present his fiscal statement to MPs on Friday 23 September, although this is not confirmed.
As parliamentary time is hugely limited by the Queen’s funeral and then the party-political conference season, the Chancellor has only a few options to update MPs and the country on a number of pressing issues, from how the energy bill support will be financed and whether the promised reversal of the 1.5% National Insurance contributions (NICs) hike will go ahead.
The energy bill support will kick in from 1 October for households with little detail available as yet about the plans to help business with soaring energy bills. Yesterday there were indications that detailed plans for business will not be available before the beginning of November, although any measures will be backdated to the beginning of October for businesses, important as the support will only last for six months.
It is worth noting that any changes to NICs would not be instant as they would require the third update of the year to HMRC systems and PAYE software. Some experts are indicating that a minimum of two to three months would be required to ensure a smooth transition to the lower rate. It is also not clear whether the NICs reversal will include employer NICs on top of the employee changes.
The autumn should see a full Budget so it gives the Chancellor some leeway as he could limit any announcements next week and hold them for late October or early November, whenever a Budget is scheduled. This would also give the Office for Budget Responsibility the time to produce a full economic forecast, which takes around 10 weeks to produce.