Chancellor Rishi Sunak reveals date of next Budget

Chancellor Rishi Sunak reveals date of next Budget

The next Budget will be held on 3 March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

He said it would “set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs”.

A budget had been expected to take place in Autumn, but this was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Sunak also announced that the furlough scheme, which subsidises the wages of workers hit by the virus, will be extended from March to April 2021.

Governments usually use the Budget to outline the state of the country’s finances and propose tax changes.

This will be Mr Sunak’s second budget since he became chancellor.

The budget will come at a difficult time for the UK economy as it faces the fallout from the pandemic.

Official forecasts have predicted the biggest economic decline in 300 years with the UK’s national income expected to shrink by 11.3% in 2020 and not return to pre-crisis levels until the end of 2022.

Government borrowing will also rise to its highest level outside of wartime – and unemployment is predicted to increase to 2.6 million, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this year, Mr Sunak warned that “our economic emergency has only just begun.”

He said that, although the high levels of borrowing were justified in order to deal with the virus, “the situation is clearly unsustainable over the medium term.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has warned that tax rises of more than £40bn a year are “all but inevitable” to stop debt from spinning out of control.

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