Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil measures from the Treasury to support people living in the UK as the cost of living continues to rise.
Money saving expert Martin Lewis warned on Monday that he was ‘out of tools’ to help households cope with the skyrocketing prices of fuel, food and energy as charities warn that rising costs could plunge millions into poverty.
Opposition Members of Parliament and politicians across the UK are continuing to urge Mr Sunak to address the crisis urgently, with support measures to bring down the price of fuel and energy as another record-high energy price cap looms.
Why are oil prices so high? Why oil is so expensive in the UK right now an…
Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has also called on the Chancellor to take further action, saying “this is not a time to be ducking the considerable challenges we face”.
Here’s when Rishi Sunak will make his Spring Statement, how to watch it live and what to expect.
When is the Spring Statement 2022?
The Chancellor will appear in the House of Commons alongside Boris Johnson on Wednesday March 23 and is set to make the Spring Statement at around 12.30pm, after Prime Minister’s Questions at 12pm.
This will follow the Office for Budget Responsibility’s publication of an economic and fiscal forecast on Wednesday morning, as requested by Mr Sunak.
Sometimes known as a ‘mini Budget’, the annual Spring Statement is used to give an overview of how the UK’s economy is performing as a new financial and tax year begins in early April.
It also provides an opportunity for any provisional economic or fiscal measures to be introduced to address any financial burdens on citizens or the economy, but it will not see any major spending or tax changes announced – with these reserved for the annual Budget.
What could Rishi Sunak say at the Spring Statement 2022?
The Spring Statement 2022 will see the Chancellor outline further measures to support households with high living costs, with any new measures coming in addition to the ‘rebate’ on energy bills and council tax rebate announced in early February.
Among the measures open to the Treasury is a fuel duty cut, which would end the 11 year freeze to fuel duty in the UK.
Currently frozen at 57.95p, the RAC says that the 5p cut reportedly being considered by the Chancellor could save families more than £3 on the cost of filling up an average family car.
After figures from data firm Experian Catalist showed the average price of a liter of fuel at UK forecourts on Sunday to rise to 167p for petrol and 179p for diesel, the RAC have said that a bigger cut to fuel duty than 5p is required.
An RAC poll of 2,000 drivers questioned between Friday March 18 and Monday 21 March indicated that 83% want Rishi Sunak to help reduce the impact of record pump prices in Wednesday’s spring statement.
Labor has calculated the average family is facing an annual rise of £386 on the cost of petrol and is calling for a cut to be funded by a windfall tax on energy firms who have enjoyed the sky-high gas and oil prices.
Another option which has previously been dismissed by the Chancellor and Prime Minister is delaying the planned increase to national insurance, which is due to take effect in April.
While those earning less than £9,880 per year will not have to pay National Insurance or the new Health and Social Care Levy from April, those earning above this and up to roughly £50,000 will be paying more – and a higher rate of National Insurance than those earning more than £50,000.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Finance Secretary has urged Mr Sunak to follow in the Scottish Government’s footsteps by uprating benefits, after announcing a six percent increase to eight benefits in Scotland last week.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to help those most in need,” Ms Forbes said.
“We are uprating eight Scottish benefits by six per cent from April 1 as well as doubling our Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week per eligible child.
“I call again on the UK Government to follow our lead and uprate social security benefits by six per cent.”
How to watch the Spring Statement 2022
With the Chancellor’s ‘mini Budget’ announcement coming shortly after Prime Minister’s Questions, coverage of the Spring Statement will be broadcast live on BBC News, BBC Parliament and available to watch on BBC iPlayer live and on catch-up.
The event will also be broadcast live on the UK Parliament YouTube channel, as well as on Sky News on TV and YouTube.
Additional reporting by PA
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.