According to the Financial Times, Hammond has told colleagues he wants to reposition away from ‘gimmicks and micromanagement’ and return it to a fiscal forecasting role.
However, the statement this year will go ahead as planned on 23 November and expectations of indications of post June Brexit vote policy are high.
Prime Minister Theresa May has already indicated she wants to end the Treasury’s imperial grip on Whitehall and is returning Number 10 back into the engine room of government.
Meanwhile, in early October, the Institute for Government, Institute for Fiscal Studies and Chartered Institute of Taxation all wrote a letter to Hammond calling for earlier consultation on tax changes and to resist the temptation to use the Autumn statement to announce a raft of policy changes.
Previous chancellor George Osborne was forced to climb down on proposals for tax credit cuts and a pasty tax, badged ‘costly errors and embarrasing u-turns’, as outlined in the trade bodies’ letter.
Chancellors have been obliged to offer two economic updates a year since 1976.