Mini-budget expected next Friday to reveal details of new PM’s fiscal plans

Politics

The government will deliver a mini-budget on 23 September, Sky News understands.

It is expected that details of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s plans to help households and business amid the cost of living crisis will be revealed.

The new PM had vowed to hold an “emergency budget” during the Conservative Party’s leadership race “to get our economy growing and offer immediate help to people struggling with their bills”.

Two days after becoming PM, Ms Truss announced she would introduce an energy price guarantee (EPG) to restrict bills to £2,500 for two years from October – about £500 higher than now, but £1,000 less than Ofgem’s incoming price cap rise.

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But the Resolution Foundation think tank said the lack of targeted interventions meant money was not going to those who needed it most.

In the first major policy announcement of her premiership, Ms Truss added that a six-month scheme for businesses, schools and hospitals will provide equivalent support over the winter.

More on Cost Of Living

However, there is currently no cap on energy costs for businesses and a specific figure on support has not been given due to differences in how the wholesale energy market operates compared to the retail market.

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Businesses are hoping that Ms Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will outline the specifics of how the plan will be funded during the fiscal event as cost of living pressures continue to bite.

Leaders have expressed concern in recent days about the lack of clarity over the equivalent support for companies, which are also struggling with rising bills.

On Tuesday, hundreds of businesses urged the chancellor to offer details about the support they’ll receive.

The letter was signed by 300 companies and written by Kate Nicholls, the CEO of UK Hospitality.

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PM announces household energy cap

She welcomed the support that would be given to households as part of Ms Truss’s policies to tackle the hike in costs.

But, the CEO added: “Businesses must see action too, or more of the population will need direct support”.

The letter said “urgent, substantial action” was needed, such as:

• A business rates holiday for all hospitality premises with no caps applied

• The deferral of all environment levies

• The reinstatement of a generous Time to Pay scheme from HMRC

• The reintroduction of a trade credit insurance scheme for energy

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Ed Conway looks at how much the energy plan could cost

The timing of the fiscal event had been highly constrained, with Parliament currently suspended while the country is in a 10-day period of national mourning following the death of the Queen, and Ms Truss expected to fly to the United States for the UN General Assembly following the monarch’s funeral on Monday.

The Commons is also due to enter party conference recess at the end of next week.

But the Speaker of the House of Commons has suggested that the upcoming recess period should be cut short due to parliamentary business being put on hold due to the period of mourning.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said it is his “hope” and “expectation” that the conference break will be slimmed down.

On Wednesday, Downing Street promised more details about the support that would come next week alongside a pledge to backdate energy costs for businesses if there is a delay to getting the complex new scheme off the ground.

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