Chancellor reveals Budget for ‘a stronger economy for British people’

Rishi Sunak unveiled his spending plans in a Budget billed as paving the way to an ‘age of optimism’

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The Chancellor has today opened his red briefcase revealing the Autumn Budget and the Spending Review aimed at “building a stronger economy for British people” as he said.

Today’s post-pandemic Budget announcement comes amid fears the UK faces a gloomy winter of shortages, soaring energy bills and growing inflation.

Rishi Sunak said inflation will rise further mainly driven by two global forces, the increase in demand for goods and the global demand for energy.

The Chancellor expected that this pressure on global prices will take months to ease and that the government alone “can not solve it overnight”.

However, he said the UK’s economy is expected to return to pre-Covid levels earlier than previously predicted, at the turn of the year.

Those who fly furthest will pay the most

The Chancellor said: “We are also making changes to reduce emissions from aviation. Most emissions come from international rather than domestic aviation, so we are introducing from April 2023 a new ultra long haul band in Air Passenger Duty covering flights of over 5,500 miles with an economy rate of £91.”

He explained that less than 5% of passengers will pay more but “those who fly furthest will pay the most.”

Rishi Sunak also said that flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty from 2023.

Net Zero Strategy 

In his Autumn Budget Statement, the Chancellor said: “Our ambitious Net Zero Strategy is also an innovation strategy. Investing £30 billion pounds to create the new green industries of the future.

“We have just issued our second green bond, making us the third-largest issuer of sovereign green bonds anywhere in the world.”

The investment includes £380 million for the offshore wind sector and £6.1 billion to deliver the Transport Decarbonisation Plan by boosting the number of zero emission vehicles, helping to develop greener planes and ships and encouraging more trips by bus, bicycle and foot.

A £3.9 billion pot will decarbonise buildings, including £1.8 billion to support tens of thousands of low-income households to make the transition to net zero while reducing their energy bills.

Local transport will also receive a chunky injection of funds, offering local authorities the chance to build more modern infrastructure.

Fuel duty freeze

The Chancellor has confirmed that the planned rise in fuel duty will be cancelled. He said he is “not prepared to add to the squeeze on families and small businesses.”

The freezing will mean that the average tank of fuel will cost around £15 less per car, £30 less for vans and £130 less for HGVs compared to pre-2010 plans.

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