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Article | 18 Nov 2021

Budget 2021: What is it and when will it happen


This year’s Budget will be one of the most closely watched in a generation – coming amid the pandemic and its massive economic fallout.

It will take place on Wednesday 3 March.

The choices Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes will shape our finances as a country and individually.


What is the Budget?

Each year the chancellor of the exchequer makes a Budget statement to the House of Commons, outlining the state of the economy and the government’s plans for raising or lowering taxes.

They also set out the latest forecasts for the UK economy from the official, but independent, Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).


When is it?

This year’s Budget speech will be delivered on Wednesday 3 March.

It usually starts at or around 12:30 GMT, straight after Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons.

The speech usually lasts about an hour.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer gives his response straight afterwards, then MPs debate the Budget and the Finance Bill, which puts the chancellor’s proposals into law.


What should we expect from the chancellor?

The Treasury has said “the Budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs”.

The chancellor is under pressure to address two main issues:

  • Whether the UK will begin paying off the huge debts which have been built up during the pandemic
  • How the government intends to provide support to those hardest hit by the economic fallout


How serious is the situation?

The latest figures are eye-watering. Government borrowing for this financial year has now reached £270.8bn – £212.7bn more than a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This has pushed up the national debt to £2.13 trillion – the equivalent of 99.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of goods and services produced in the economy, a level not seen since the early 1960s.

"The Treasury has said "the Budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs."

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