What is the Autumn Statement, and how is it different to the Budget?

The speech will be will be Chancellor Philip Hammond's first opportunity to outline his priorities for taxes and spending in the wake of the Brexit vote

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The Independent Online

Chancellor Philip Hammond will outline his priorities for taxes and spending in the wake of the UK vote to leave in the EU in his first Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

It will be the Chancellor first major economic speech since the Brexit vote in June.

Here is what you need to know:

What is the Autumn Statement?

The Autumn Statement is the second of the two big economic statements made by the government every year - the first being the Budget which happens in the Spring.

The statement was first introduced in 1976 after an act of Parliament decreed that the Government must publish two economic updates per year.

This year the Autumn Statement takes places on Wednesday November 23, right after Prime Minister’s Question.

The main speech takes about an hour and will be followed immediately by a response from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

How is different from the budget?

Good question. Traditionally the spring Budget has outlined taxation plans while the Autumn Statement has been focused on financial forecasts and spending.

Although the distinction became blurred under George Osborne and some taxations plans are now announced in the Autumn Statement, we won't know about the details, such as duties on alcoholic drinks or cigarettes.

For Philip Hammond the main difference between the two statements comes to refreshments.

The Chancellor is officially allowed to have an alcoholic drink during the presentation of the Budget, but it is not the case during the Autumn Statement.

Why should I care?

This year's Autumn Statement  is Mr Hammond’s first opportunity to outline his priorities for taxes and spending in the wake of the Brexit vote, based on the updated economic projections provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). It is also the first statement since Theresa May became prime minister in July.

This means it will be our first look at what post-Brexit might look like.

So what is the chancellor going to say?

We won’t know for sure until tomorrow.

Many expect him to announce policies which could help "just about managing" families including freezing fuel duty and reducing the burden of childcare costs.

He is also set to find extra investments for Britain's roads and other infrastructure projects.

More about what we know on the content of his speech so far here.

Where can I watch it?

BBC Two will cover Mr Hammond’s speech live with an extended version of Daily Politics beginning at 11.30am.

The programme will also be broadcast online via BBC iPlayer and at parliamentlive.tv.

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