Treasury to delay publishing OBR forecast by six weeks after 7 October delivery – UK


Treasury will not publish OBR forecast delivered to them on 7 October until 23 November

The Treasury said that Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng and the OBR discussed the “economic and fiscal outlook” as well as the process for growth forecasts.

However, they said the forecast – which they will receive on 7 October – won’t be published until 23 November. The government also said it “values” the OBR’s scrutiny.

The official readout from the Treasury said:

  • This morning the prime minister, Liz Truss, and chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, met with the OBR’s budget responsibility committee, including the chair, Richard Hughes, at No 10 Downing Street.

  • They discussed the process for the upcoming economic and fiscal forecast, which will be published on 23 November, and the economic and fiscal outlook.

  • They agreed, as is usual, to work closely together throughout the forecast process and beyond.

  • The prime minister and chancellor reaffirmed their commitment to the independent OBR and made clear that they value its scrutiny.

Here is a round-up of today’s stories from Westminster:

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  • Following a meeting with the prime minister, Liz Truss, and the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed it will deliver an initial forecast on 7 October. A spokesperson for the OBR said: “[The forecast] will, as always, be based on our independent judgment about economic and fiscal prospects and the impact of the government’s policies.” The announcement comes after a 48-minute emergency meeting at 11 Downing Street this morning.

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  • The Treasury said that Truss, Kwarteng and the OBR discussed the “economic and fiscal outlook” as well as the process for growth forecasts. However, they said the forecast – which they will receive on 7 October – won’t be published until 23 November. The government also said it “values” the OBR’s scrutiny.

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  • A Treasury minister has contradicted the UK’s independent watchdog for public finances, saying it would not have been able to produce a forecast in time for the government’s mini-budget. Andrew Griffith, the financial secretary to the Treasury, told broadcasters the growth plan put forward by Truss and Kwarteng contained “a lot of detail” and repeatedly asserted it was “40 pages long”, meaning it would have been impossible for the OBR to have produced an accurate forecast in time.

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  • The prime minister will be on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg this weekend as the Conservative party conference begins, PA Media reported. Truss will be interviewed on the weekend politics programme, which begins at 8.30am. The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, will also appear on the show.

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  • Half of the public now believe it is likely Keir Starmer will become prime minister, according to polls, reports PA Media. A poll of 1,000 adults by Ipsos found 51% think Starmer will enter No 10, up from 38% surveyed in May. More than one-third of voters (35%) said it was unlikely Starmer would become prime minister, a decrease from 50% in January.

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  • Talks aimed at ending the dispute over the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol are set to reopen after a video meeting between the foreign secretary, James Cleverly, and the European Commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič, on Friday. Šefčovič said he had a “good conversation” with Cleverly during a call on Friday lunchtime.

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  • Truss has previously suggested universal benefits, such as the state pension, should be scrapped because of the “huge expense” to taxpayers of “recycling” their money through the system – prompting fears she could go further still with her plans to cut back the benefits bill. The proposal, included in her motion to the Liberal Democrat Youth conference in spring 1995, highlighted the “enormous – and rising – cost of pensions and child benefit”, calling for a “search for realistic alternatives to universal benefits”.

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  • The Greens have kicked off their conference with a call for taxes on wealth and “dirty profits” to finance the transition to renewable energy – while warning Labour’s plans, unveiled last week, are woefully insufficient. At the gathering in Harrogate, days after a Labour conference based heavily on clean power initiatives, the Green party in England and Wales – the Scottish Greens are separate – repeatedly stressed policy differences over not just renewables but areas such as support for strikers and public ownership.

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That’s it from me, Tom Ambrose, for today. My colleague Harry Taylor will be along shortly to continue bringing you all the latest UK political news.

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The prime minister will be on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg this weekend as the Conservative party conference begins, PA Media reported.

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Liz Truss will be interviewed on the weekend politics programme, which begins at 8.30am.

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The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, will also appear on the show.

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The Treasury said that Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng and the OBR discussed the “economic and fiscal outlook” as well as the process for growth forecasts.

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However, they said the forecast – which they will receive on 7 October – won’t be published until 23 November. The government also said it “values” the OBR’s scrutiny.

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The official readout from the Treasury said:

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  • This morning the prime minister, Liz Truss, and chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, met with the OBR’s budget responsibility committee, including the chair, Richard Hughes, at No 10 Downing Street.

  • n

  • They discussed the process for the upcoming economic and fiscal forecast, which will be published on 23 November, and the economic and fiscal outlook.

  • n

  • They agreed, as is usual, to work closely together throughout the forecast process and beyond.

  • n

  • The prime minister and chancellor reaffirmed their commitment to the independent OBR and made clear that they value its scrutiny.

  • n

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Following a meeting with the prime minister, Liz Truss, and the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed it will deliver an initial forecast on 7 October.

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A spokesperson for the OBR said:

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[The forecast] will, as always, be based on our independent judgment about economic and fiscal prospects and the impact of the government’s policies.

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The announcement comes after a 48-minute emergency meeting at 11 Downing Street this morning.

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They added:

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We discussed the economic and fiscal outlook, and the forecast we are preparing for the chancellor’s medium-term fiscal plan.

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We will deliver the first iteration of that forecast to the chancellor on Friday 7 October, and will set out the full timetable up to 23 November next week.

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Read More: Treasury to delay publishing OBR forecast by six weeks after 7 October delivery – UK

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