Chancellor Rishi Sunak will leave Downing Street clutching that infamous red briefcase today as he prepares to outline the UK’s spending commitments. The Chancellor usually makes the Budget statement on a Wednesday after Prime Minister’s questions and any urgent questions, oral statements or points of order.
When is the Budget?
The Budget, or Financial Statement, is a statement made to the House of Commons by the Chancellor on the nation’s finances and the Government’s proposals for changes to taxation.
Rishi Sunak’s budget will be delivered on March 11.
The budget is expected to take place at about 12.30pm – straight after PMQs.
The speech usually lasts about an hour, so we can expect it to be over by 1.30pm.
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Britain doesn’t normally have a budget at this time of year.
That’s because the budget is normally done in November – while in March we see a spring statement.
However, the 2019 budget was delayed due to the general election, so it was pushed back to March instead.
So this year, the spring statement has been replaced by the budget this March – which means we’ll get another budget in its original slot later in the year.
The Parliament.uk website says: “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.
“By contrast, most UK taxes including all indirect taxes, petroleum revenue tax and taxes on capital are ‘permanent’.
“In election years, after a change of Government, a Budget will usually be introduced by the incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, even if the outgoing Chancellor has already delivered one.
“In the 2016 Autumn Statement it was announced that, following the 2017 Spring Budget, Budgets will be delivered in the Autumn rather than in March or April of each year.”
The last budget was in October 2018, when it was delivered by Philip Hammond, who stepped down in theist election.
Why do they have the red box?
According to Parliament.uk, the reason behind the box is because the word budget comes from an old French word ‘bougette’ meaning little bag.
“The distinctive red Budget Box which Chancellors used to carry their speech from 11 Downing Street to the House of Commons was in use for over one hundred consecutive years.
“The wooden box was hand-crafted for William Ewart Gladstone around 1860. It was lined with black satin and covered with scarlet leather.
“Lord Callaghan was the first Chancellor to break with tradition in 1965 when he used a new box. In July 1997 Gordon Brown became the second Chancellor to use a new box for the Budget.
“George Osborne used the Gladstone Box for his first Budget in 2010 but used a new box in 2011.
“Traditionally the Chancellor is photographed on Budget day on the steps of 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, holding up the Budget Box.”
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