The Budget and the Finance Bill

36.33The consideration of the annual financial statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and of the ensuing resolutions is the most important business of Ways and Means. Since the introduction of the ‘unified Budget’ in 1993 (see para 33.29 ), the Chancellor's statement has included details of the Government's plans for public expenditure as well as taxation. But the subsequent proceedings of the House, and the formal proposals which the House is called upon to approve, are concerned predominantly with the taxation provisions of the Budget.

The Chancellor's statement1 surveys the state of the economy, reports on economic and fiscal forecasts prepared by the Office for Budget Responsibility and outlines proposed changes to taxation and expenditure. The Budget documents described at para 33.30 prepared by the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Treasury are made available immediately at the conclusion of the Budget statement, as are the terms of the Budget resolutions.2

The resolutions which usually form the core of the Chancellor's proposals are the resolutions for the continuance, during the forthcoming financial year, of income tax and corporation tax, and the imposition of any new duties or increases of permanent duties necessary for the purpose of adjusting the revenue to the expenditure of the year; and upon these and any other necessary resolutions, the bill is introduced which gives legislative effect to the Government's tax proposals.


  1. 1. For a Budget statement delivered in answer to an urgent question, see HC Deb (1988–89) 149, cc 293–309.
  2. 2. See eg HC Deb (1967–68) 761, c 251; ibid (1987–88) 129, c 993, etc. When an error was found in the text of the Budget resolutions made available to the House, the House was informed and a corrected text provided, HC Deb (2002–03) 403, c 296.