Budget Basics

Published on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 11:43
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Chancellor George Osborne will make his Budget 2013 statement to Parliament on Wednesday 20 March 2013 (today) at 12.30pm.

About the Budget

The Budget is a report presented each year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Parliament and the nation. The primary role of the Budget is to control public finances by setting out how much tax the Government will collect, how much the Government will borrow and how much the Government will spend. The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 requires the Government to produce a Budget Report (which is the formal name for the Budget) for each financial year. The Charter for Budget Responsibility sets out what the Budget Report must cover.

When the Government publishes the Budget, the Chancellor gives a speech to Parliament in which he sets out the key decisions on tax, borrowing and spending, and his reasons for taking those decisions. This speech is known as the Budget Statement.

The official forecast on which the Chancellor bases the Government's Budget is provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).  The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 requires the OBR to publish two economic and fiscal forecasts for each financial year, including one published at the Budget. The OBR's duty is to examine and report on the sustainability of the public finances and it is required to do so objectively, transparently and impartially.

Source: HM Treasury

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