Sunak as new chancellor ahead of UK budget

14 Feb 2020

Rishi Sunak succeeded Sajid Javid as chancellor of the exchequer, after being forced out through a reshuffle in the cabinet. The changes come as part of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to spend in the post-Brexit period. 

Javid said that “no self-respecting minister” would be able to carry out Johnson’s order to remove his advisors, and now Sunak will be in control of a number of advisers shared between No 10 and No 11. 

“I was unable to accept those conditions. I don’t believe any self-respecting minister would accept such conditions, so therefore I felt the best thing to do was to go,” the former chancellor said.

Sunak was acting as chief secretary to the Treasury for over five months, before accepting the new role.

The new chancellor has just over three weeks to plan the budget that promises “levelling-up” and new beginnings, with the UK out of the bloc. 

In the meantime, the UK will be holding talks with the EU in order to try and reach a trade deal. The budget, however, must show how Britain will be strengthening its economy. 

The upcoming budget has to give a clear indication at the government’s plans on spending, which Johnson’s special adviser Dominic Cummings expects to be directed towards the science budget and infrastructure projects. Social care spending and the housing budget are also predicted to be part of the budget. 

The reshuffle may also lead to tax rises at the March 11th budget. The digital services tax and the International Monetary Fund are forecasted to be part of Sunak’s plans as he prepares for the budget. 

Read the latest news update: Centrica reports a £1.1bn loss in 2019