FTI Consulting Public Affairs Snapshot – Rishi’s Rescue Package: The Economic Statement
Whilst only four months since Sunak delivered his first Budget in March, the intervening period has brought more challenges than would be expected in four years. The scale of the Government’s intervention in the economy is unprecedented in peacetime. The Chancellor is, by instinct, a free-marketeer and yet he has overseen the most extensive state intervention in the economy for generations. Today Sunak laid out further, targeted support measures marking the second of three phases in the Government’s response to COVID-19.
Today’s statement did not take the form of a formal Budget. This was reportedly motivated by a desire to avoid compelling the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to produce the required analysis and forecasts until the economy has begun to stabilise. Despite its lower billing, Sunak’s statement contained a number of eye-catching but targeted measures designed to tide the economy over until the autumn. Whilst phase one of the COVID-19 response was focused on protecting lives, in phase two the Government will divert its attention towards jobs. This is intended to take the UK through to the Autumn Budget which will mark the start of phase three, focused on rebuilding the economy.