Are you ready for the Chancellor's Budget statement on the state of the economy, public finances, & the Government's performance against it's economic target? In layman's terms, its an end of year school report written by the pupil him/herself. So will it be naughty George, enthusiastic Nick, or darling David?
Longest and shortest in recent memory
The longest budget speach since 1990 was given by Conservative Norman Lamont in 1993 (1hr 53 min...yawn). The shortest in 2007 by Labour's Gordon Brown as 51 minutes.
Your bets please.
"The longest Budget speech is believed to have been by William Gladstone on 18 April 1853, lasting four hours and forty five minutes." Flashbacks to Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent
"Chancellors are allowed to refresh themselves with alcoholic drinks during their Budget speech - no other Member of Parliament can do this!"
So where did it all start?
The Chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in British history, dating back to Henry I, not long after the Norman invasion of Britain, and originally carried responsibility for the collection of royal revenues -Wikepedia
Unsurprisingly, "the word “budget” derives from the term “bougette” – a wallet in which either documents or money could be kept." HM Treasury.
"The Budget box or 'Gladstone box' was used to carry the Chancellors speech from Number 11 to the House for over 100 consecutive years. The wooden box was hand-crafted for Gladstone, lined in black satin and covered in scarlet leather." Hmm?! Scarlet!
The Government is required to produce a Budget Report (Budget) each financial year by The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 . The contents of the Budget are specificed by The Charter for Budget Responsibility.
The Budget is presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Parliament and the country, and its primary role is to show and explain how the Government will control public finances through the mediums of taxation, public borrowing, and public spending; the Budget sets out "how much tax the Government will collect, how much the Government will borrow and how much the Government will spend"
The Budget is based inter alia on an official forecast which is provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
What happens next?
Traditionally, the Leader of the Opposition replies to the Chancellor's Budget speech, rather than the Shadow Chancellor. A case of pulling rank?
"This is usually followed by four days of debate on the Budget Resolutions (the basic parts of the Budget that renew taxes), covering different policy areas such as health, education and defence.
"The Chancellor's speach sets out the "key" objectives, issues, and political sound bytes, but the devilish detail is published by HM Treasury (on their website) and many practicalities are set out by HMRC - it is left up to tax experts, and us the taxpayers to work out and experience the practical consequences and unforseen ramafications.
To the Budget George...
You can purchase your own souvenir (more French) copy of the Budget 2012 from HMSO for £45 - no increase in price announced by the Chancellor - or you can download it from http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2012_documents.htm
More to follow on separate page http://tinyurl.com/7sn4246
Date : Wed, Mar 21st, 2012