Mini-Budget latest: Kwasi Kwarteng announces tax cuts worth £45bn

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, addresses the House of Commons this morning Credit: Jessica Taylor /AFP

Kwasi Kwarteng today unveiled a package of tax cuts worth £45 billion as he set out his plan to boost economic growth. 

The Chancellor stunned Westminster as he scrapped the 45 per cent additional rate of income tax - but that was just one of many major changes. He also:  

  1. Axed a planned increase to corporation tax
  2. Cut National Insurance from November 6
  3. Announced a permanent cut to stamp duty

Mr Kwarteng also lifted a cap on bankers' bonuses, brought forward a 1p cut to the basic rate of income tax by one year to 2023 and confirmed energy bills will be frozen at £2,500.  

The unveiling of the "Plan for Growth" prompted the pound and the FTSE 100 to both fall sharply amid concerns the proposals will drive up debt and fuel inflation. 

​​Follow the latest updates below.

That is all for today...

Thank you for joining me for today's politics live blog. 

I will be back early on Sunday morning for the start of the Labour Party's annual conference in Liverpool. 

Which taxes do the public hate the most? 

The British public hate income tax and fuel duty more than any other levies, an exclusive poll for The Telegraph shows.

Respondents to a survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies said which taxes they believe should be cut.

The most popular were income tax and fuel duty, which almost half (48 per cent) of respondents said should be reduced. A cut in National Insurance attracted the support of 43 per cent, while 38 per cent backed a cut in VAT.

The most popular taxes were levies on plastics and capital gains tax, which only 7 per cent and 9 per cent respectively thought should be abolished. Eight per cent of respondents said no taxes should be reduced.

Tory MP: Tax cuts for rich are 'wrong' 

Centre for Policy Studies welcomes growth plan 

The Centre for Policy Studies think tank has welcomed the Government's new "Plan for Growth". 

Robert Colvile, the think tank's director, said: ‘This Government has been bold and ambitious in pursuing a pro-growth agenda – not just for now, but over the long term.

"The challenge now is for the Government to ensure not just that we get through the current crisis, but that supply side reform translates into real improvement in people’s prosperity and living standards, whatever you earn and wherever you live."

'Chancellor doesn't have a clue' 

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, labelled today's fiscal statement "the billionaire's budget". 

He said: "This was the billionaire’s budget, showing the Conservatives are completely out of touch with families struggling to pay the bills.

“They have no plan for people facing soaring prices or for high streets on the brink of collapse. The Chancellor showed today he doesn’t have a clue.

“Handing money to banks and the richest corporations while refusing to support those struggling to make ends meet is the behaviour of a pantomime villain, not a government serious about fairness and prosperity.”

PM: 'Growth is key'

'The very rich will pay tens of thousands less'

Tax cuts will not be 'self-financing' 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has warned future tax rises or spending cuts will be needed to pay for increasing debt.

Deputy director Carl Emmerson estimated that even once the energy support package expires in two years, the Government will be borrowing £110 billion a year, meaning debt continuing to rise.

He told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “It could be that the Government gets lucky and the growth comes along … but at the moment where we’re standing it looks like these tax cuts won’t be sustainable and that other tax rises or spending cuts will be needed to pay for them.

“These tax cuts alone will not deliver sufficient increases in growth to make them self-financing.”

'Politically unjustifiable'

Lisa Nandy, Labour's shadow levelling up secretary, labelled the Chancellor’s tax plans "extraordinary” and said they represented a “perfect storm” ahead of a difficult winter.

She said: “It was an extraordinary announcement. To make a political choice to hand a tax cut worth £55,000 to people who earn over £1 million a year at a time when most people are struggling is politically unjustifiable, but, worse than that, as Rachel Reeves said, this is the end of levelling up and the return of trickle-down economics – it doesn’t work.”

How think tanks have responded to the 'mini-Budget'

Here is how some of the big think tanks in Westminster have responded to Kwasi Kwarteng's announcements: 

  • Ryan Shorthouse, chief executive of Bright Blue: “After twelve years of running the country, the Tories desperately need to establish a record of delivery quickly if they want to cling on to power. Knowing this, the Prime Minister and Chancellor are going for broke.”
  • John Macdonald, director of strategy at the Adam Smith Institute: “The Chancellor said it loud and clear—this Government is serious about letting people keep more of their own money. Cancelling the NICs hike is a welcome return to principle —it might not be the most well targeted measure, but a Conservative Government should never have raised taxes in the face of a cost of living crisis in the first place."
  • Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies: "This is a complete reversal of policy compared with the government as it was just a few months ago. This was like an entirely new government coming into office... the risks here are obvious, putting upwards of £40 billion into the economy when the Bank of England is really worried about inflation... is really very risky. This is a huge economic experiment which carries with it lots of risks as well as, we hope, the potential upside in terms of economic growth  that the Chancellor spoke so much about." 

Government borrowing to 'increase by £411bn' 

The combined effect of a deteriorating economic outlook, the energy support package and today's tax cuts will see government borrowing increase by £411 billion over the course of the next five years, according to the Resolution Foundation. 

The think tank said that "debt is on course to rise in every year reflecting the largest permanent loosening of fiscal policy on record". 

Torsten Bell, the Resolution Foundation's chief executive, said: "This may not have been a Budget, but the Chancellor has certainly blown the budget with the biggest package of tax cuts announced since the ill-fated Barber Budget of 1972." 

'Almost half of tax cut gains go to top five per cent of earners'

Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said the tax cuts announced by Kwasi Kwarteng today are "heavily focused on the very highest income households". 

He told Sky News: "45 per cent of the gains next year will go to the top five per cent. Somebody who earns £1 million will see a £55,000 tax cut." 

The Resolution Foundation said that the top five per cent of earners will be £8,560 a year better off. Meanwhile, 12 per cent of the tax cut gains will go to the poorest half of households which will be, on average, £230 better off. 

Pound and FTSE fall 

The pound and FTSE 100 have both fallen sharply amid concerns Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax-cutting "mini-Budget" will drive up debt and fuel inflation.

Sterling slumped 2pc against the dollar to just above $1.10, the weakest since 1985 and threatening its lowest on record. It’s on track for its biggest daily loss since May.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 also tumbled 2pc as this morning’s mini-Budget spooked markets. The domestically-focused FTSE 250 is trading at its lowest since November 2020.

You can follow the latest economic reaction to the "mini-Budget" over at The Telegraph's business live blog here

Unison criticises 'mini-Budget' 

Unison has accused the Government of launching an "all-out offensive to make the wealthiest even richer".

Christina McAnea, the union's general secretary, said: "The Government has ditched levelling up for an all-out offensive to make the wealthiest even richer.

"In the middle of a huge cost-of-living crisis, this isn't the time for economic experiments that are doomed to fail. 

"There are masses of essential jobs that need filling. The best way to deal with 300,000 vacancies across health and care is to give staff a wage rise that tops inflation. Threats to unions are attacks on employees simply trying to win better pay.

"Choosing to side with city bankers over struggling families queueing at food banks won’t go down well with all those feeling deep despair. The country and its teetering public services deserve much better."

'A risky breath of fresh air'

Jeremy Warner, assistant editor of The Telegraph, has offered his verdict on the "mini-Budget": 

In one bound, the Tories have transformed themselves from the fiscal conservatism of the Cameron/Osborne era into a Reaganite show of fiscal incontinence and Thatcherite derring-do economic reform. Call it a kind of liberation, if you like, but like all liberations, it carries with it a high degree of risk. Risk that voters will see it as a rich man's charter, and will, as Labour expects, turn against the new regime's tax cutting, deregulatory zealotry. 

And risk that it won't generate the growth the Government hopes for, and will therefore put the public finances on a path to oblivion, requiring extreme austerity at some stage in the future.

But it was also a breath of fresh air after the fiscally constipated Budgets that have ruled ever since the financial crisis – high political and economic risk, no doubt, but a seemingly determined attempt to get the economy out of what Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, called "a vicious cycle of stagnation" by unashamedly putting wealth-creating enterprise back centre stage.

You can read the full piece here. 

'This is a class war Budget'

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour MP, labelled Kwasi Kwarteng's plan a "disgrace". 

He said that "this is a class war Budget, this is an ideological Budget, this is about taking from the poor and giving to the rich,  it is about lining the pockets, it is about them and us". 

He said: "That party over there have said 'we do not care about ordinary people in this country, we care about piling on debt, we will make ordinary people pay while our chums in the City get rich'." 

Mr Kwarteng rejected the claim as he said: "Bringing forward the 1p cut in the basic rate helps people. That is not class war." 

Government borrowing to increase by £72bn 

Government borrowing will increase by £72 billion as a result of Kwasi Kwarteng’s "mini-Budget", according to official Treasury documents.

The Debt Management Office’s net financing requirement has been revised upwards from £161.7 billion in April to £234.1 billion.

It will be funded through additional gilt sales of £62.4 billion and net Treasury bill sales of £10 billion.

Plan will 'embed unfairness' 

Rebecca Evans, the finance minister in the Labour Welsh government, said the "mini-Budget" will "embed unfairness" across the country.

She said: "Today’s announcements show the UK Government is heading in a deeply worrying direction, with misplaced priorities leading to a regressive statement that will embed unfairness across the United Kingdom.

“Instead of delivering meaningful, targeted support to those who need help the most, the Chancellor is prioritising funding for tax cuts for the rich, unlimited bonuses for bankers and protecting the profits of big energy companies.”

CBI: '15 years of anaemic growth cannot be repeated'

The CBI business group has largely welcomed the plans announced by Kwasi Kwarteng, labelling them a “turning point for our economy”.

Tony Danker, CBI director general, said: “Like Covid, the energy crisis has meant Government has had to spend massively to protect people and businesses. That means we have no choice but to go for growth to afford it.

“Today is day one of a new UK growth approach. We must now use this opportunity to make it count and bring growth to every corner of the UK. Fifteen years of anaemic growth cannot be repeated.

Mini-Budget: How will your tax bill change?

Lib Dems: Government 'totally out of touch'

Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat's Treasury spokeswoman, said: “This statement was an admission of failure from a Conservative government that is totally out of touch with the British people. It is not a plan, but a recipe for disaster that will leave families suffering from soaring prices while banks and oil and gas companies rake in huge profits.

“Instead of a real plan to grow the economy, the Conservatives are reheating the same old failed policies and lifting the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

"Handing billions of pounds of tax cuts to banks and multinational companies will do nothing to help people get a GP appointment when they need it, give our children a better education; and make our streets safer."

 

Scrapping top rate of income tax to cost £2bn

Scrapping the additional rate of income tax will cost the Treasury about £2 billion a year, according to official Government figures. 

It is thought about 600,000 people will benefit from getting rid of the 45p rate and that the average tax saving will be about £10,000 each. 

Veteran Tory MP: 'Fortune favours the brave, but not the foolhardy'

Sir Roger Gale, the veteran Tory MP, has said Kwasi Kwarteng's fiscal statement appears to be "very high risk indeed". 

He tweeted: "Fortune favours the brave, but not the foolhardy. Without the support of an OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility) Kwazi Kwarteng’s not-so-mini budget is certainly brave but also looks very high risk indeed. I trust that the promised detailed figures will underpin his calculations."

Nicola Sturgeon: 'Super wealthy laughing all the way to the bank'

Stamp duty calculator: How much could you now save? 

SNP: 'It's a plan for recession' 

The Chancellor’s economic plan is a “plan for recession” which will not provide any reassurance to ordinary people, the SNP’s Treasury spokeswoman has said.

Alison Thewliss told the Commons: “It is a plan for recession, for debt on an unsustainable trajectory and almost inevitable public-sector cuts to come.

“Actively choosing to permanently cut taxes and spend eye-watering sums to patch up a failed energy market while inflation soars, interest rates are hiked and recession looms, it will not create growth, it’ll create economic chaos.

“Nothing he has said today will provide any reassurance and give hope to ordinary people, folks struggling to get by in broken Britain.”

How much are the tax cuts worth?

Kwasi Kwarteng's total package of tax cuts will cost £45 billion, according to figures published by the Treasury. 

That's the total figure by 2026/27. 

Government estimates also indicate that tax cuts in 2023/24 will be worth nearly £27 billion.

Tax cuts much bigger than expected

Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the "mini-Budget" was “50 per cent bigger in terms of tax cuts than perhaps we were expecting”.

He told the BBC: “With £45 billion of tax cuts and a slowing economy, which means we’ll be borrowing more than we were expecting to be the case when the [Office of Budget Responsibility] last did its forecasts, adding this to our most recent forecasts, we can expect borrowing getting to over £120 billion in three years’ time.”

'Most socially divisive Budget in a generation'

John McDonnell, Labour's former shadow chancellor, has condemned what he described as "the most socially divisive Budget in a generation".

"The cut of the 45p rate benefits the richest one per cent in our society," he told the Commons, hitting out at Kwasi Kwarteng's "attack" on those on benefits.

He added: "In the 1960s the dash for growth created catastrophe in our economy, the Barber boom of the 70s created unemployment, and the Lawson boom eventually created chaos. The only benefit [was] each of these engineered booms resulted in the fall of a Tory Government."

But Mr Kwarteng hit back that all he could remember was the financial crisis of 2008 - "which Labour presided over".

IFS boss: 'Biggest tax cutting event since 1972'

What does the 45p tax decision actually mean?

The current income tax system is split into four bands: Personal allowance, basic rate, higher rate and additional rate. 

People pay zero per cent on income up to £12,570 - the personal allowance. 

Between £12,571 and £50,270 people pay the 20 per cent basic rate. 

The higher rate of 40 per cent then applies to income between £50,271 and £150,000. 

The additional rate of 45 per cent kicks in on income over £150,000. 

Kwasi Kwarteng's plan will see the additional rate - the top rate of income tax - abolished from April 2023, leaving the higher rate as the top rate. 

'It is all based on an outdated ideology'

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, accused the Government of replacing levelling up with “trickle down”.

Ms Reeves told the Commons: “What this plan adds up to is to keep corporation tax where it is today, and take national insurance contributions back to where they were in March. Some new plan.”

She added: “It is all based on an outdated ideology that says if we simply reward those who are already wealthy, the whole of society will benefit. They have decided to replace levelling up with trickle down.

“As President Biden said this week, he is is sick and tired of trickle-down economics. And he is right to be. It is discredited, it is inadequate and it will not unleash the wave of investment that we need.”

Labour: Plan is a 'menu without prices'

Responding to Kwasi Kwarteng's "Plan for Growth", Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow chancellor, described it as a "menu without prices". 

She said: “The Chancellor has confirmed that the costs of the energy price cap will be funded by borrowing, leaving the eye-watering windfall profits of the energy giants untaxed.

“The oil and gas producers will be toasting the Chancellor in the boardrooms as we speak while working people are left to pick up the bill.

“Borrowing higher than it needs to be, just as interest rates rise. And yet the Chancellor refuses to allow independent economic forecasts to be published, which would show the impact of this borrowing on our public finances and growth, and on inflation.

“It is a budget without figures, a menu without prices. What has the Chancellor got to hide?”

Kwasi Kwarteng's plan at a glance

Kwasi Kwarteng's "Plan for Growth" at a glance: 

  • 45p additional rate of income tax to be scrapped
  • Basic rate of income tax to be cut to 19p one year early
  • Cut to stamp duty - none paid on first £250,000 property value
  • Corporation tax hike scrapped 
  • National Insurance increase reversed 
  • Cap on bankers' bonuses to be lifted

Basic rate of income tax to be cut earlier than planned

Kwasi Kwarteng's last big announcement was that he is bringing forward a planned cut to the basic rate of income tax by one year. 

He told MPs: "I can announce today that we will cut the basic rate of income tax to 19p in April 2023 – one year early."

Chancellor abolishes additional rate of income tax

A major announcement. 

Kwasi Kwarteng tells the House of Commons that he is getting rid of the additional rate of income tax which is currently set at 45 per cent. 

He said: "I’m not going to cut the additional rate of tax today, Mr Speaker. I’m going to abolish it altogether. 

"From April 2023, we will have a single higher rate of income tax of 40 per cent. This will simplify the tax system and make Britain more competitive. It will reward enterprise and work. It will incentivise growth. It will benefit the whole economy and whole country."

Chancellor cuts stamp duty 

The Chancellor said: "Home ownership is the most common route for people to own an asset, giving them a stake in the success of our economy and society.

"So to support growth, increase confidence, and help families aspiring to own their own home, I can announce that we are cutting stamp duty. In the current system, there is no stamp duty to pay on the first £125,000 of a property’s value. We are doubling that – to £250,000."

Chancellor confirms NI hike reversed

Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Yesterday, we introduced a Bill that means the Health and Social Care Levy will not begin next year, it will be cancelled.

"The increase in Employer National Insurance Contributions and dividends tax will be cancelled. And the interim increase in the National Insurance rate, brought in for this tax year will be cancelled. And this cut will take effect from the earliest possible moment, November 6th." 

Beer, cider and wine duty rise scrapped

Kwasi Kwarteng said that "at this difficult time, we are not going to let alcohol duty rates rise" in line with the RPI measure of inflation. 

He said: "So I can announce that the planned increases in the duty rates for beer, for cider, for wine, and for spirits will all be cancelled." 

VAT-free shopping for tourists

Tourists visiting the UK will be able to benefit from VAT-free shopping, the Chancellor has announced. 

Kwasi Kwarteng told the House of Commons: "Britain welcomes millions of tourists every year, and I want our high streets and airports, our ports and our shopping centres, to feel the economic benefit. So we have decided to introduce VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors." 

Kwasi Kwarteng scraps corporation tax hike 

Kwasi Kwarteng told the House of Commons that "high taxes reduce incentives to work, they deter investment and they hinder enterprise". 

He then confirmed that the Government is scrapping the planned corporation tax increase. 

He said: "The UK’s corporate tax rate will not rise to 25 per cent - it will remain at 19 per cent. We will have the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G20." 

Government scraps cap on bankers' bonuses

Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed the Government is scrapping the cap on bankers' bonuses.

Mr Kwarteng said: "We need global banks to create jobs here, invest here, and pay taxes here in London, not Paris, not Frankfurt, not New York.

"All the bonus cap did was to push up the basic salaries of bankers, or drive activity outside Europe. It never capped total remuneration, so let’s not sit here and pretend otherwise. So we’re going to get rid of it." 

Kwasi Kwarteng sets out crackdown on strike action

Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed the Government will reduce people's benefits if they "don’t fulfil their job search commitments".

The Chancellor also set out a plan to tackle strike action. He said the Government will legislate to ensure there are always minimum service levels. 

He added: "We will legislate to require unions to put pay offers to a member vote, to ensure strikes can only be called once negotiations have genuinely broken down." 

Chancellor pledges overhaul of EU laws

Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs that the planning system for major infrastructure projects is "too slow and fragmented" as he pledged to speed it up. 

The Chancellor said that "in the coming months, we will bring forward a new Bill to unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws that constrain our growth". 

Energy bills plan 'will cost £60bn' in first six months

The Government's energy bills support package will cost about £60 billion over the next six months, the Chancellor said. 

Kwasi Kwarteng told the House of Commons: "The total cost of the energy package, for the six months from October, is expected to be around £60bn.

"We expect the cost to come down as we negotiate new, long term energy contracts with suppliers."

OBR forecast published this year 

The Office for Budget Responsibility will publish a full economic and fiscal forecast before the end of this year, Kwasi Kwarteng has said. 

There will then be a second forecast published in the new year. 

Chancellor targets annual growth of 2.5 per cent

Setting out his aims for economic growth, Kwasi Kwarteng said that in the "medium term" he wants the economy to increase by 2.5 per cent annually. 

The Chancellor said that tax cuts will "turn the vicious cycle of stagnation into a virtuous cycle of growth".

Energy plan 'will reduce inflation by 5 per cent'

Kwasi Kwarteng told the House of Commons: "The consensus amongst independent forecasters is that the Government’s energy plan will reduce peak inflation by around five percentage points." 

Kwasi Kwarteng sets out energy plan

The Chancellor started his fiscal statement by setting out his plan to tackle rising energy bills. 

He told the House of Commons: "People will have seen the horrors of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. They will have heard reports that their already-expensive energy bills could reach as high as £6,500 next year.

"Mr Speaker, we were never going to let this happen. The Prime Minister has acted with great speed to announce one of the most significant interventions the British state has ever made. People need to know that help is coming. And help is indeed coming."

He said the Government's new Energy Price Guarantee will freeze bills at about £2,500 for typical households. 

Kwasi Kwarteng now on his feet 

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, is now on his feet in the House of Commons. 

The Commons is packed to hear about his "Plan for Growth". 

Huge day for Liz Truss 

Liz Truss promised tax cuts during the Tory leadership campaign and today is the day when she will finally deliver what she promised. 

It is a huge day for the Prime Minister. Her "Plan for Growth" will set the UK economy on a new course and whether it succeeds or fails in the coming months will determine her political future. 

She could enter the 2024 general election campaign as a conquering hero or as a busted flush. The journey starts today. 

Liz Truss leaves 10 Downing Street this morning Credit: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Kwasi Kwarteng arrives in Parliament

Kwasi Kwarteng's motorcade has now completed the short journey from Downing Street to the Palace of Westminster.

The Chancellor will be on his feet at the despatch box in the House of Commons in about 10 minutes' time. 

'More rabbits than Watership Down'

These big fiscal events are famous for big surprises, with chancellors always keen to pull a rabbit from the hat. 

Will Kwasi Kwarteng do the same today? 

One Government source has told Beth Rigby, the political editor of Sky News, that they expect there to be "more rabbits than Watership Down". 

Pictured: Kwasi Kwarteng leaves No 10

Kwasi Kwarteng has now left No 10 and is making his way to the House of Commons. 

He walked out of No 10 holding his "Plan for Growth 2022".  

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, is pictured leaving Downing Street this morning Credit: Aaron Chown /PA

Cabinet ministers leave No 10 

Cabinet has now concluded and senior ministers are now leaving No 10. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes.

The ministerial Range Rovers are waiting outside the famous black door to take Kwasi Kwarteng to the House of Commons. 

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Business Secretary, is pictured in Downing Street this morning Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe /Bloomberg 

When will the Government tackle rising public sector debt? 

Public sector debt continues to climb well above £2 trillion. The Government's recently announced energy support package will only add more to that as ministers borrow the cash to freeze people's bills. 

The question of how and when the Government will look to reduce the debt mountain is on many people's lips in Westminster. 

Simon Clarke, the Levelling Up Secretary, said this morning that the plan is to pay down the debt when economic growth leads to bigger tax receipts. 

He told BBC Breakfast: “The prescription here is that we get a better underlying growth that unleashes the tax receipts that will allow us to both grow the economy and also to get on top of that debt.”

Mr Clarke said that stagnating growth makes it “very hard to manage the burden of our debt and the challenge of funding our public service”.

'The legislative equivalent of digging a hole and filling it back in again'

Pat McFadden, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, accused the Government of “flip-flopping and chaos” over the decision to axe the National Insurance hike just a matter of months after it was introduced. 

He told BBC Breakfast: “It will be the third change in National Insurance in six months. It is the legislative equivalent of digging a hole and filling it back in again.”

Labour: Economic plans are an 'enormous gamble'

Pat McFadden, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said that what the Government is due to announce this morning is not in reality a plan for growth - as ministers have repeatedly claimed. 

“What today looks like is the Government taking an enormous gamble with the public finances by taking a series of measures and putting it all on borrowing, and calling it a plan for growth,” he told BBC Breakfast. 

Simon Clarke rejects 'trickle-down economics' claim

Liz Truss's decision to scrap a planned increase to corporation tax and to reverse the National Insurance hike for everyone has prompted suggestions that she is engaging in so-called "trickle-down economics". 

Simon Clarke, the Levelling Up Secretary, rubbished those suggestions this morning, labelling them "nonsense".

“This whole term trickle-down is such a nonsense and is itself a centre-left mischaracterisation of what this Government is all about," he told Sky News. 

"We need to grow the economy because a more successful economy is good for everybody." 

What will be in the 'mini-Budget'?

Things we are certain about: 

  • The National Insurance hike, only rolled out in April this year, will be reversed, effective from November 6. This was confirmed yesterday afternoon. 
  • A planned corporation tax increase - put in the diary when Rishi Sunak was chancellor - will be scrapped. 

Things which could happen: 

  • There have been reports that stamp duty could be cut in a further attempt to drive economic growth. 
  • A scheduled 1p cut to income tax - currently penciled in for 2024 - could be brought forward. 
  • The Treasury is said to have considered slashing VAT across the board from the current rate of 20 per cent to 15 per cent.

How this morning will play out

The Cabinet is meeting in 10 Downing Street early this morning. 

Kwasi Kwarteng will present the final version of his fiscal statement to his colleagues and they will give them their backing. 

The Chancellor will then head to the House of Commons. He is due to start his statement at about 9.30am.

Pictured: Kwasi Kwarteng arrives at Downing Street

Kwasi Kwarteng arrives at Downing Street this morning Credit: Peter Macdiarmid /London News Pictures Ltd

Tax calculator: How could the 'mini-Budget' affect you?

'What the markets want to know is whether the UK economy is going to grow'

The lack of an Office for Budget Responsibility forecast to accompany today's fiscal statement (see the post below at 07.49) could well spook the financial markets. 

This is because they will not be able to read what the independent assessment is of the impact on the public finances of the Government's new policies. 

Simon Clarke, the Levelling Up Secretary, claimed this morning that the main thing which the markets will be worried about is whether the UK economy is going to grow. 

He told Sky News: "What the markets want to know is whether the UK economy is going to grow and that is something which the Chancellor is setting at the absolute heart of our strategy, that the UK wants to get back to those levels of trend growth that we used to enjoy and critically catch up with other parts of the world where dynamic economies are surging ahead." 

No OBR economic forecast today

Budgets are accompanied by independent economic forecasts which are put together by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

But because today's fiscal statement is not being classed as a Budget, and because of how quickly it has come about, the OBR will not be publishing a forecast - we will have to wait until later in the financial year for the modelling to be released. 

Simon Clarke, the Levelling Up Secretary, said that "given this is a short notice event they would not be able to complete the usual quality of analysis that they would offer". 

Mr Clarke told Sky News: "This is an attempt to kickstart growth, it is delivered at short notice and at great speed, we have been working on it with huge rapidity over recent days, but it is not something which the OBR can model to their usual standards but they will be doing so in due course." 

Mini-Budget will be a 'game-changing' moment

Simon Clarke, the Levelling Up Secretary, is on the morning media round for the Government as he sets the scene ahead of Kwasi Kwarteng's "mini-Budget". 

Mr Clarke was told during an interview on Sky News that the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank had described Liz Truss's strategy for achieving economic growth as "a gamble at best". 

He replied: “No, it is not. It is about asserting that if we want to get back to the trend growth that this country enjoyed before the 2008 financial crisis, the 2.5 per cent average that we used to see, then we need to get back to the measures that we know work and which of course we saw during the 1980s and the 1990s helped to stimulate a period of huge prosperity in the British economy. 

“That is to say making sure that alongside clearly a major programme of government investment that we focus on the real drivers of growth and that is to say reducing the burden of tax facing both businesses and families. 

“That is something which the Prime Minister put at the heart of her leadership campaign this summer and today we are going to see that translated into action through what I think will be a really important and game-changing financial statement.”

Good morning 

Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog. 

There is a big day ahead in Westminster as Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor, takes centre stage to deliver his eagerly-awaited "mini-Budget". 

The Chancellor will announce billions of pounds of tax cuts and increased Government spending in a moment which will likely define Liz Truss's administration. 

Mr Kwarteng is expected to start his fiscal statement in the House of Commons at about 9.30am and I will be on hand to guide you through the key developments.