Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce tax cuts alongside a range of other announcements in his autumn statement today.

It is also believed that a number of welfare reforms will be announced, with the aim of pushing benefit claimants back into the workplace.

But what else should we expect from the autumn statement?

This is everything you need to know.

St Helens Star:

When is the autumn statement?

It is the Chancellor’s main opportunity to make tax and spending announcements outside of the Budget and Mr Hunt will set out his plans in the Commons at around 12.30pm on Wednesday.

What to expect from the autumn statement?

The Treasury has already signalled a series of measures that will be in the speech, including a £320 million plan to help unlock pension fund investment for technology and science schemes, reforms to speed up planning for energy infrastructure and cut bills for those living near pylons, a drive to increase public sector productivity and a new “back to work” agenda to get people off welfare and into jobs.

Will there be tax cuts?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that now his goal of halving inflation has been met, the Government can work on reducing the tax burden. Measures are likely to include tax breaks for business investment, but Mr Sunak has also said he wants to “reward hard work” – which hints at cuts to income tax or national insurance.

Can the Government afford tax cuts?

The tax burden is at a 70-year high after the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, but national debt is still around 97.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the size of the economy, and the Government has borrowed almost £100 billion so far this financial year.

But this budget deficit is lower than forecast and – crucially for Mr Hunt – he is expected to have some “headroom” in order to meet his “fiscal rules” of having debt falling in five years and for borrowing to be less than 3% of GDP in that year.

The figure will be disclosed in the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts published alongside the statement, but reports suggest it could be as much as £20 billion, freeing up Mr Hunt to cut taxes in the run-up to the general election next year in an effort to keep the Tories in office.