Kwasi Kwarteng
Kwarteng had previously said he wasn’t going to shift from the November 23 date, so that the necessary analysis could be done properly. Image Credit: AFP

London: Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng is due to bring forward the announcement of his medium-term fiscal plan as he seeks to reassure financial markets about his economic strategy.

Kwarteng, who was previously set to publish the proposal alongside a set of economic forecasts on November 23, will now announce it sooner, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan isn’t public. The exact date for publication is yet to be confirmed, one of the people said.

Kwarteng has been under pressure to flesh out his economic strategy - including independent forecasts to back the plans up - since announcing the biggest package of tax cuts in half a century on September 23. That sparked a sell-off in UK assets on concerns the British government was boosting borrowing to pay for unfunded fiscal measures.

Speaking to the Conservative Party’s annual conference on Monday, Kwarteng said he would publish the plan “shortly,” and made no reference to the timing he’d previously set out. The announcement will “set out how we plan to get debt falling as a percentage of GDP over the medium term,” Kwarteng said. “We will act in a fiscally sustainable and responsible way.”

It’s another significant concession by Kwarteng as he seeks to allay concerns about his management of the economy, coming after he backtracked on a headline promise to abolish the 45 pence top rate of tax. Kwarteng had previously said he wasn’t going to shift from the November 23 date, so that the necessary analysis could be done properly.

On September 28, executives at some of the City of London’s biggest firms told Kwarteng that he couldn’t wait until November to reassure markets about his fiscal plans.