A pre-election Statement

Putting the Autumn Statement 2023 in context

The Chancellor unveiled a much bigger-than-expected tax-cutting package in his Autumn Statement 2023, along with promises of more to come. Having been handed a forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility that showed a cumulative improvement in borrowing of nearly £90 billion, the Government has chosen to spend almost all of it, mainly on permanent tax giveaways. But this is a gamble. Not only will this leave the Chancellor with very low levels of headroom against future shocks, it rests on the back of implausible spending plans post-election.

In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the Autumn Statement 2023 in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy choices and new tax and benefit measures announced will affect UK households.