The annual financial statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, commonly called 'the budget'1, is the most important business of ways and means2. In his speech on that occasion, the Chancellor informs the House of Commons with regard to the financial results of the previous year, reviews the general economic state of the country and makes an estimate of the probable income and expenditure of the coming year, announces the government's longer term expenditure plans, explains the intentions of the government with regard to the continuance, the increase or the reduction of existing taxes, and sets out the proposals
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