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Budget resolutions and end of debate

Budget resolutions

At the end of the final day of the Budget debate, the House is asked to agree the Budget resolutions. These are also known as ways and means resolutions. The resolutions are specific proposals for taxation and allow the House to legislate for tax changes in the Finance Bill.

Some resolutions have immediate legal effect, although this is only provisional. The Finance Bill gives the changes permanent legal effect.

Amending the Budget resolutions

You can only submit amendments to the first Budget motion (which the Chancellor has moved at the start of the Budget debate) not to the other Budget resolutions. An amendment must relate to the subject matter of that motion. An Amendment of the law motion, which has traditionally been the first Budget motion, has a relatively broad subject matter. Amendments may not increase any of the proposed taxes, extend their application, or propose new taxes. You can discuss your proposed amendment with the Public Bill Office and submit it through the Table Office.

End of the debate

At the end of the final day of the Budget debate, the Speaker will put the question on the first motion. If an amendment has been tabled to the motion, and selected by the Speaker for the House to decide on, the Speaker will put the question on the amendment first, then the motion. The House may vote on the amendment and/or the main motion (as amended, if it’s been amended).

The Speaker will then put the questions on each of the remaining budget resolutions without allowing any further debate. Any may be voted on. The Speaker may put the question on some of the resolutions together to save time (for example, saying “The Question is, that resolutions 11-24 be agreed to”), if it has been indicated that no vote is wanted on certain resolutions.

Following the agreement of the Budget resolutions, the Finance Bill will be introduced and given its first reading. This is the same as the first reading for other bills. It’s a purely formal stage, without debate. The bill’s title is read out and a day is named for second reading. The day named will often be “tomorrow”. This is just a way of placing the bill on the list of upcoming business. It doesn’t mean the second reading will actually happen tomorrow.