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Pills and potions

20 May 2008 / Richard Curtis
Issue: 4159 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Finance Act 2008 , Companies , Income Tax , VAT
As Parliament's consideration of the Finance Bill starts in earnest, RICHARD CURTIS looks at its 'ways and means'

The word bougette is French for little bag and a pamphlet of 1733 satirically depicted Robert Walpole who was the then Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer (now there's a novel idea) as a quack doctor opening up a little bag (his 'budget') containing potions and pills. The more things change…

The term 'the Budget' thus came to be applied to the annual review of the nation's finances. For 300 years until 1967 when it was abolished proposals for raising taxation originated in the Committee of Ways and Means where they were initiated by a Government minister - but what happens today and how does the Budget progress through Finance Bill to Finance Act 2008?

Spring fever

With the exception of the period from 1993 to 1996 the annual Budget statement comprising a review of the current economic situation followed by...

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