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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented the spring 2020 budget to the House of Commons on 11 March 2020. The Finance Bill is intended to give lasting statutory effect to the tax measures announced in that budget.

The bill falls within the category known formally as “bills of aids and supplies”, in which “aids” refers to taxation and “supplies” refers to government expenditure. The House of Commons has a special role in such bills, known as “financial privilege”. This means, in practice, that only the Commons can initiate such bills and Lords consideration is limited. In particular, the House of Lords may not amend such bills. While the Lords will have a debate at second reading, later stages will go through formally, without debate.

Although the budget deals with public spending as well as taxation, the procedure by which Parliament scrutinises and approves government expenditure is separate to the Finance Bill.


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