The government is now expected to deliver its Autumn statement on November 17, two weeks later than planned.
In a Twitter post, HM Treasury said prime minister Rishi Sunak and chancellor Jeremy Hunt have agreed the delay. The statement will contain the UK’s medium term fiscal plan to “put public spending on a sustainable footing, get debt falling and restore stability”. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast will also be released on November 17.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said the new date is likely to be the time for a decision on increases to alcohol tax. Former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng had announced a freeze on duty, however new chancellor Hunt scrapped Kwarteng’s plans.
“With wine duty rates potentially seeing a double whammy hit, the result will be hugely burdensome for businesses and introduce unmanageable price rises which will decrease consumer demand significantly,” the WSTA said.
The WSTA has also joined forces with the British Beer and Pub Association as well as the Scotch Whisky Association to pen a letter to Hunt, calling for the cancellation of tax hikes on alcoholic drinks.