Spring Statement 2022 – Watch live as Rishi Sunak delivers mini budget including changes to fuel duty & Universal Credit

RISHI Sunak will lay out plans to help families through the cost of living crisis in his Spring Statement in around 15 minutes time.

Brits will be hoping the Chancellor unveils a host of measures that will ease worries about household bills when he speaks in the House of Commons.

The Spring Statement will immediately follow Boris Johnson's latest appearance at Prime Minister's Questions, which is currently underway, so it's likely the Chancellor will begin his statement around 12:30pm.

The Chancellor is under pressure to tackle issues like the energy price cap increase and soaring petrol prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Measures such as a £150 council tax rebate are already in place, but a previously announced increase in National Insurance contributions also looks likely to get the green light today.

Drivers could also be in line for a cut to fuel duty of at least 5p with the Chancellor expected to slash the hated 57.95p levy — the first cut since 2010 and a 11-year freeze.

And hopes are rising that he may also slash the Universal Credit taper rate even further to help the lowest paid get another tax cut.

You can follow minute-by-minute updates on the latest Spring Statement announcements, developments and reaction over the course of the day on our live blog below.

  • Lynsey Barber

    What to read next…

    Here's everything you need to know so far:

    • Rishi is expected to slash fuel duty by 5p per litre
    • Income tax thresholds could be tweaked in a boost for low-paid workers
    • Mr Sunak has faced calls to U-turn on the planned 1.25% national insurance rise, but there appears to be little appetite for this within government
    • Workers on Universal Credit could get a boost from a further cut to the taper rate
    • The chancellor will take to the floor of the House of Commons at around 12.30 today

    Is Rishi scrapping VAT?

    On insulation, he could.

    Rishi Sunak is set to scrap VAT on home insulation to drive down bills, sources tell The Sun's politics team.

    The price of wall, floor or loft installation will be slashed in a fresh bid to encourage people to upgrade their homes to stop heat escaping.

    More than 19million homes are rated band D or below for energy efficiency, meaning their leaky properties don't hold heat well enough and people are forced to whack up their heating for longer.

    Some four million properties are in need of cavity wall insulation and 5.5million need it in their lofts, according to research from the Conservative Environment Network.

    What do Sun readers want from the Spring Statement?

    Adrian, 33, from South Normanton, Derbyshire says: “Rishi should come to an ex-mining community like ours and see how things are.

    "People are struggling everywhere. Fuel duty coming down will help.

    "It’d be great to see more money pumped into the NHS but he should postpone the 1.25 per cent National Insurance rise until next year.”

    Louise Maddison, 50, faces a stark choice between eating and heating as her money runs out at the end of each month.

    She said: "A rise in Universal Credit is essential. Where else will people find the money?”

    And mum-of-three Jodi Westmacott and partner Claire Simmons work full-time and need two cars, spending £100 a week on petrol.

    The Newport pair want fuel duty cut by more than 5p.

    Others are wanting help for fuel bills and a wage boost – here's what they told The Sun.

    • Lynsey Barber

      Who is Rishi Sunak?

      Rishi Sunak is one of the youngest MPs to ever hold the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer.

      He was elevated to one of the top jobs in Parliament in February 2020.

      It was just four weeks before a Budget was due to be delivered (previous holder of the position Sajid Javid resigned) but that was soon the smallest problem on his plate.

      Within weeks the country had gone into lockdown because of coronavirus.

      His handling of the economy during the pandemic has earned him the label of next Prime Minister among some in politics.

      Here's everything you need to know about the "superstar" (as former chancellor George Osborne called him).

    • Lynsey Barber

      Rishi's lucky tie

      Our eagle-eyed political reporter Jack Elsom has spotted that the Chancellor is wearing the same tie as his previous Budget speech in Autumn last year.

      Does he have a lucky tie? Or maybe he's trying to show that he's frugal…

    • Lynsey Barber

      'Brink of a personal finance precipice'

      Martin Lewis has called on the Chancellor to act to help millions of Brits struggling with rising bills.

      The money saving expert and campaigner said in a tweet directed at Rishi that the country is "on the brink of a personal finance precipice"

      He urged the chancellor: "Today you, only you, have the tools to pull it back. To save lives. To improve living standards. To reduce millions' anxiety This is what builds a legacy and makes a great Chancellor. Pls seize the chance."

      In recent weeks Martin has been brought nearly to tears as he's been unable to help many people with rocketing energy bills.

      At the weekend he said that he was almost out of tools to help hard-up households.

      Here's why energy bills are going up plus some things you CAN do now before bills rise next week.

    • Lynsey Barber

      Petrol prices

      The cost of fuel has shot up in recent months and millions of drivers are hoping that the Chancellor will ease the pain of filling up at the pumps.

      That could come in the form of a fuel duty cut of 5p.

      Our political and environment correspondent Natasha Clark tweets that they have hit another record high:

    • Lynsey Barber

      How are prices rising?

      Prices are rising on average by 6.2%, but certain items are going up by more.

      Here's the rates for clothing, utility bills, food and drink.

    • Lynsey Barber

      Will there be a boost to benefits in the mini-budget?

      Rishi Sunak could make big Universal Credit change that gives low paid workers wage boost

      He could slash the Universal Credit taper rate even further to help the lowest paid get another tax cut. 

      In what was a huge win for The Sun's Make Universal Credit Work campaign, the Chancellor slashed 8p from the hated in-work penalty last year.

      It meant Brits in work and on benefits saw up to a £1,000 a year boost, and helped nearly half a million workers.

      And speculation is mounting he could go even further tomorrow.

      The taper is currently set at 55p for every pound that Brits on the flagship benefits system earn over their work allowance – but The Sun has long campaigned for this to be reduced to 50p.

      The Chancellor also could raise the amount of money that can be earned before the effective tax kicks in.

      The monthly Work Allowance is set at £293 if your Universal Credit includes Housing Support, and £515 if it doesn't.

      Mr Sunak has also been urged to increase benefits by more, though this is unlikely to happen.

      They will rise within weeks by 3.1% which is the inflation rate for September, but that was before prices rocketed.

      Inflation is currently at 6.2% the latest figures released today show.

      That means that although benefit payments are going up, it's not as much as prices, meaning you could feel worse off over all.

    • Lynsey Barber

      An increase in National Insurance thresholds?

      The Chancellor is also reportedly considering raising the threshold at which people start paying National Insurance.

      Workers who are employed currently pay national insurance when they earn more than £184 a week, or £9,568 a year.

      Self employed people pay the tax when they make a profit of £6,515 annually.

      Raising those thresholds could give a tax break to hundreds of thousands of low income workers.

      In an interview with the BBC on Monday, Mr Sunak avoided answering questions on whether the threshold will be hiked.

      But all will be revealed shortly as we inch closer to the Spring Statement.

    • Lynsey Barber

      'A stronger, more secure economy'

      The chancellor has tweeted that he will "deliver a Spring Statement that builds a stinger, more secure economy for the United Kingdom".

    • Lynsey Barber

      More energy bill help?

      The government has already announced two schemes in response to rising energy bills.

      In February ministers revealed a plan to give all households a £200 energy bill rebate.

      However, that isn't a grant and will have to be repaid in instalments.

      Plus no one will get it until October, and bills are rising by nearly £700 on average next month.

      Millions of households (four in every five) are being handed a £150 council tax rebate in April, to help cover rising energy costs.

      But that was before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has added further pressure on already rising wholesale energy prices.

      Families, charities and energy experts are hoping that more help will be revealed in today's Spring Statement.

      It's not clear exactly what the extra help could look like.

      But The Sun has previously reported that one option could be doubling the £200 energy bill rebate to £400.

    • Lynsey Barber

      Delay to National Insurance rise?

      Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 1.25 percentage point National Insurance rise last year that is due to come into effect in April.

      It's adding hundreds of pounds on to the tax bills of some UK workers each year.

      So delaying this tax hike would ease the burden, for now.

      However ministers have denied this and said that they will push ahead with the increase.

      The Chancellor insisted it was his "mission" to cut taxes for everyone as soon as he could, but has not indicated he is going back on plans.

      How much more you'll pay from April depends on how much you earn.

      If the rise goes ahead, someone on a £20,000 a year salary would pay an extra £130.45 a year.

      A worker earning £30,000 annually would pay £255.45 more, while those a salary of £40,000 would see payments rise by £380.45.

    • Lynsey Barber

      What to expect from the Spring Statment

      Before Rishi Sunak stands up in the House of Commons to deliver his Spring Statement, here's everything we know so far…

      On top of a cut to fuel duty, we could see Mr Sunak announce:

      • A delay to the National Insurance rise
      • An increase to National Insurance thresholds
      • More energy bill help

      How much would a cut to fuel duty save you?

      A 5p cut to fuel duty could save drivers on average £2 on the cost of filling up the average car.

      Of course, exactly how much will depend on the car you drive, how often you fill up and how much you pay for petrol.

      You don't need to wait for a cut to duty to save though – here's four easy ways to cut down your petrol bills by hundreds of pounds a year.

      • Lynsey Barber

        What will Rishi Sunak announce in the Spring Statement?

        The short answer is, we don't know for certain, but The Sun's ace politics team have the inside scoop.

        Drivers could be in line for a cut to fuel duty today of at least 5p.

        There's been an 11-year freeze on the 57.95p levy, and a cut today would be the first since 2010.

        Drivers paid an astonishing £24billion in fuel duty last year.

        The Sun's Keep It Down crusade has campaigned for over 12 years to slash the rate.

        Filling up an average family car is above £100 for the first time due to rocketing oil prices.

        A cut to fuel duty would help ease the cost of filing up for millions of motorists.

        Other measures expected today could also include:

        • RAISING the threshold workers pay National Insurance to ease the pain of April’s raid on wallets.
        • ABOLISHING VAT on insulating homes to help drive down the cost of heating and go green.
        • EARMARKING more cash to arm Ukraine against Russia.
        • ANNOUNCING a planned 1p cut to Income Tax to come in next year.

        You can read all the Spring Statement predictions that could be in Rishi's speech here.

        When is the Spring Statement?

        Rishi Sunak will deliver his Spring Statement to the House of Commons just after midday.

        The speech has also been dubbed a 'mini budget'.

        The chancellor usually delivers major plans for spending in the Budget in Autumn – announcing things like tax hikes or cuts, and changes to the minimum wage, for example.

        In the spring it's usually a lighter affair, but there are some beefier announcements expected because of the unusual circumstances at the moment.

        The cost of living crisis is squeezing millions of Brits and Mr Sunak is being urged to act.

        Help for households

        The latest inflation data piles more pressure on the Chancellor to announce help for households struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.

        Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell points out, the latest inflation data does not reflect the developments in Ukraine.

        Inflation at a glance

        You can see the spike here, where prices are rising at a faster rate than in previous years.

        What is inflation?

        Inflation is a measure of how much the price of goods, such as food or televisions, and services, such as haircuts or train tickets, has changed over time.

        The rate of inflation is published each month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and this measures how much prices have changed on average over the past year.

        So if an item of clothing cost £10 a year ago and inflation is now at 6.2%, then the price of that item would now be £10.62 as it has risen by 6.2%, or 62p.

        If you apply this to everything you pay for, the extra cost can really start to add up.

        It means you're spending more of your money on essentials, and you'll have less cash to spare and many people are feeling the squeeze.

        Inflation is rising

        Just this morning new figures show that the cost of living hit a new high.

        Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that inflation has soared to 6.2%.

        That's up from last month when it was 5.5%.

        Inflation is now at its highest level since March 1992.

        It's a blow for households who are already struggling with the rising cost of food, bills and other essentials.

        • Lynsey Barber

          Spring Statement day is here!

          Rishi Sunak will deliver his mini budget today and will hopefully revealing fresh help for hard-up households struggling with the cost of living crisis.

          We’ll be here live blogging the announcements as they happen and explaining what they mean for you and your money through the day.

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