The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021(SR21) to Parliament on Wednesday 27 October 2021.
The Autumn Budget and SR21 take place as the country focuses on recovering from a period of unparalleled global economic uncertainty and challenge to move towards a more promising future.
With the economic recovery underway and emergency support winding down, the Autumn Budget and SR21 set out the government’s plans over the rest of the Parliament. The SR21 sets departmental budgets up to 2024/25.
At the heart of these plans is the government’s ambition to level up, reducing regional inequality so that no matter where in the UK someone lives, they can reach their full potential, find rewarding work and take pride in their local area.
The optics of the Autumn Budget were that taxpayers’ money will be spent where it makes the most difference to people’s daily lives: creating high-wage and high-skilled jobs, reducing NHS waiting lists, putting more police on the streets, upgrading roads and railways, and building new homes, hospitals and schools.
The pandemic has demonstrated the risk of unforeseen shocks and there remains uncertainty around the path of the virus. The Chancellor admitted the months ahead will be ‘challenging’. He said: ‘The Budget does not draw a line under COVID’ but he declared it will pave the way for a ‘new economy post-COVID’.
Mr Sunak said employment is up and investment is growing, outlining that the UK is ‘recovering faster than major competitors’. He announced he would prepare the country for an ‘age of optimism’.