If it is the Autumn, it must be a fiscal event

Simon Goldie, Director of Advocacy

There was a time when the Budget took place once a year. As part of this tradition, certain conventions were adhered to: the Chancellor must stand outside No. 11 holding up a red case, the Chancellor must never disclose the Budget content beforehand, and unlike other Whitehall departments, HM Treasury (HMT) got legislative space annually for a Finance Bill. 

We now have fiscal events (the Chancellor speaking) twice a year. The press appear to be pre-briefed on most of the main announcements. HMT get more of the legislative timetable than it used to. The one constant is that on the actual Budget Day, the Chancellor does stand outside Downing Street and holds up a red case. 

This year the Autumn Statement (fiscal event) will take place on Wednesday 22 November and in the Spring of 2024, we will have a Budget. We knew there would be an Autumn Statement this year because HMT asked us to feed into the process over the summer. And we did with a series of short policy papers and our draft Autumn Statement submission. We will have also formally sent in our submission. None of it will be a surprise to HMT officials or Ministers as we speak to them regularly and make sure that they are aware of our thoughts on a range of issues. These include simplifying the tax system, including leasing in full expensing, and supporting our members on the Government’s net zero goals by creating a Green Finance Guarantee.  

As well as those conversations combined with the circulation of briefing notes and policy papers, it is important to formally submit views into the Whitehall machine. Those submissions will be reviewed and responded to. They lead to Ministerial meetings and further discussions. This was how we achieved the commitment to work with us on the inclusion of leasing full expensing in the last Budget. 

If you would like to read our Budget submission, you can access it here

Whether we ever return to one fiscal event a year, or as some have suggested none, is unlikely.  

Published 06 Sep 2023

Become a member

What are the benefits of becoming an FLA Member?