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Estimates days

Estimates days are a chance for you to debate and agree the Government’s spending plans. Usually, three days are set aside each session for this purpose.

Two estimates days take place in the summer to consider the main estimates and one takes place in the spring (normally early March) for the supplementary estimates. If you want to speak in an estimates day debate, you should write to the Speaker’s Office in advance.

Each day usually features debates on two different subjects. You can submit a bid to the Backbench Business Committee for a debate on a subject related to a department’s spending. The Backbench Business Committee then proposes the subjects to the Liaison Committee, which formally recommends them to the House. The subjects will be announced in Business questions and appear in the Future Business section of the Order Paper, along with motions to approve the estimate of the relevant department.

An estimate selected for debate can be amended but you can only propose a reduction to the estimate. Amendments to increase spending are not allowed. You can submit amendments through the Table Office.

The estimates not selected for debate can’t be amended.

Once the estimates have been agreed, they’re put into legislative form through a Supply and Appropriation Bill.