Fall 2021 budget live: updates as Rishi Sunak announces government spending

Rishi Sunak will present his autumn budget today, outlining fiscal and spending plans as the UK braces for an “economy fit for a new era of optimism”.

His speech, scheduled for around 12:30 p.m., will accompany the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast which is expected to shed light on the impact on the economy of the supply chain crisis, labor and labor shortages. rising prices.

After 18 months of heavy spending, Sunak will have the opportunity to restore his conservative credentials by crafting a plan to get borrowing under control.

But as he confirms an increase in the ‘national living wage’ to £ 9.50 from April and the end of the wage freeze he has imposed on public sector workers, the devil will be in the details.

Ministers have so far declined to say whether the increase for state employees such as teachers, nurses and police will be an increase in real terms by being greater than inflation.

A number of announcements have already been made ahead of the budget, including additional capital funding of £ 5.9 billion to help the NHS clear the backlog created by Covid-19, but questions remain about the number of years that long waits will persist.

But with a cost-of-living crisis looming, critics will wonder how much its budget will help workers, with national insurance increasing 1.25% and the reduction in universal credit as inflation rises.

And how far the Chancellor goes to lend his support to regions like the Northeast will be seen as a key test of the government’s seriousness about its promise to “level” the nation.

Labor urged Mr Sunak to use the budget to “create a more resilient economy and take the strain off workers.”

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