Here are 10 quick and easy facts that will make you sound like a veteran political expert.
1. The Government outlines its tax and economic predictions for the coming year in its annual Budget.
2. The Treasury is legally bound to announce two economic forecasts a year. Since 1997, the Chancellor has presented a Budget in the spring and a pre-Budget report in the autumn. The pre-Budget report provides a progress report on what has been achieved so far, an update on the state of the economy and sets out the direction of government policy in the run up to the spring Budget.
3. The origins of the Exchequer go back to the Norman period. The word "exchequer" comes from the Latin "scaccarium" meaning a chessboard.
4. George Osborne will today use what is believed to be the first red Budget box, made for former Chancellor William Gladstone in around 1860. The previous box was commissioned by Gordon Brown in July 1997 and was made by industrial trainees.
5. By tradition, Chancellors "refresh" themselves with alcoholic drink during Budget speeches. This privilege does not extend to other MPs or to any other occasion.
6. The Chancellor traditionally makes a broadcast to the nation during the evening of Budget day. The broadcast lets him outline his intentions and ideas to the public. Opposition parties have an opportunity to respond on their own broadcasts during that week.
7. Budget speeches have lasted anything from 45 minutes to over four hours. As soon as the Chancellor returns to his seat, information is made available to members of parliament, the public and the press.
8. Most taxes, including all indirect taxes, petrol tax and taxes on capital are permanent. On the other hand, income tax, corporation tax and advanced corporation tax are annual taxes and must be renewed in each year's Budget. This annual review gives the House of Commons the opportunity to review the imposition of these taxes and, if necessary, increase them.
9. Annual taxes and most other tax changes announced in the Budget are legislated in the annual Finance Bill.
10. Budget resolutions are tabled at the end of the Chancellor's statement and they are voted on at the end of the Budget debate. If passed they can then take effect. In recent years the Budget debate has lasted for five days.
First mentioned in Cridland Report
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