Introduction to public expenditure and Supply

34.1This chapter is concerned with the procedure, known as Supply, under which most expenditure of the Government and a number of independent or parliamentary bodies is proposed, authorised by the House of Commons through legislation, and, subsequently, once incurred, reported back to the House.

The chapter explains the main varieties of Estimates and the form in which they are presented; the procedure for voting Estimates; how the Supply and Appropriation Bills authorise the use of resources and the issue of sums out of the Consolidated Fund, and the means by which the actual expenditure incurred is subsequently reported back to Parliament. The chapter also considers exceptional grants and legislation authorising such grants. Of the other kinds of expenditure, that on ‘Consolidated Fund standing services’ has been mentioned at para 33.11, while the authorisation of novel expenditure by legislation introduced specifically for that purpose forms the subject of Chapter 35.