The scope of Ways and Means

36.1The fundamental rules of financial procedure which reserve the right of initiative to the Crown and require that new charging proposals be authorised by resolution of the House apply to the business of Ways and Means (‘charges upon the people’) as they do to proposals for new expenditure (‘charges upon the public revenue’). But, whereas in the case of expenditure those rules are set out explicitly in the standing orders, in the case of Ways and Means they are based largely on the established practice of the House. Another difference is that, for historical reasons, referred to in para 33.14, a Ways and Means resolution is not recommended by the Crown; but it can be moved only by a Minister and, once moved, it has the same limiting effect upon amendments relating to taxation as a Money resolution recommended by the Crown has upon amendments relating to expenditure, whether such amendments are offered by private Members or by Ministers. This effect is explained in paras 36.4436.46.

A further consequence of the rule requiring Ways and Means to be initiated by a resolution moved by a Minister is that instructions offered by private Members for the purpose of initiating or increasing charges in relation to Finance Bills and other bills imposing taxation are out of order.1


  1. 1. Parl Deb (1894) 24, c 1218; ibid (1901) 95, c 755.