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Sunday, 7 July 2013


The word budget means a leather wallet of a kind to contain papers. In the 18th century the chancellor was said to be opening his budget when he presented his proposals.

Income tax was first brought into the UK by William Pitt in his budget of December 1798 as a temporary measure to finance the Napoleonic wars. It was abolished in 1802 during the Peace of Amiens but reintroduced in 1803 when hostilities recommenced.

The Chancellor of Exchequer William Gladstone because of public pressure abolished the tax on soap in 1853. Probably to make up for the substantial loss, he introduced in the same budget death duties.

Gladstone's 1853 Budget speech in the House of Commons lasted for 285 minutes (four hours 45 minutes), the longest continuous Budget speech ever.

In the UK, when setting off to make his speech, each Chancellor has traditionally been photographed holding up a battered budget box covered in scarlet leather; it is believed to have been made for Gladstone during his 1859–66 spell as chancellor of the exchequer.

David Lloyd George's People's Budget of April 29, 1909 was the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the public. It took a year to be passed.

The first televised Budget broadcast in the UK was made in 1953.

Harold Macmillan’s 1956 budget speech introduced premium bonds to Britain with prizes of up to £1,000.

While alcohol is usually banned in the UK Parliament, the Chancellor of the Exchequer can drink when delivering the annual budget statement.

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