Each autumn, the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes a Budget statement to the House reviewing the nation’s finances and setting out the Government’s taxation plans for the next year. The Budget also includes forecasts for the economy by the Office for Budget Responsibility. The statement starts the annual Budget cycle, through which the House of Commons approves the Government’s taxation plans.
The Budget statement is accompanied by the Budget report and the Budget resolutions, which set out specific proposals for taxation to be included in the Finance Bill and are available from the Vote Office as soon as the statement has finished.
Four days of debate usually follow the statement. If you want to speak in the Budget debate, you should write to the Speaker’s Office in advance. At the end of the Budget debate, the House is asked to agree the Budget resolutions. Some may have immediate effect. Then the Finance Bill is introduced.
The Budget and the Finance Bill are annual events, in part because income tax and corporation tax are annual taxes which have to be renewed by legislation each year. Occasionally, there might be two Budgets and Finance Bills in the same year. For example, in election years, after a change of Government, a Budget will usually be introduced by the incoming Chancellor, even if the previous Chancellor has already delivered one.
After each Budget statement, the Treasury Select Committee usually conducts an inquiry into the Government’s proposals, gathering evidence from witnesses and publishing a report, which the Government respond to.