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History of the Budget and origin of the 5 April tax year end

20 March 2023 / Nikesh Sandal
Issue: 4881 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Budget/Finance Act
Little bag

Key points

  • Before the term Budget was used the chancellor’s annual statement was known as ‘opening the ways and means’ for the year.
  • The official adoption of the term Budget took place sometime between 1763 and 1764.
  • When the Gregorian calendar was adopted the tax year end was extended from 24 March 1753 to 5 April 1753.

The term ‘Budget’ derives from the French word bougette meaning ‘little bag’ in which the chancellor of the exchequer keeps his papers. A history of the red despatch box first used by William Gladstone in 1860 has been covered almost annually by the media and so instead I shall review selected key words phrases and dates integral to the history of the Budget.

Before the Budget was in fact referred to as the Budget the annual statement made by the chancellor was simply known as opening the...

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