Budget Day

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Budget Day

April 9
As a general term, Budget Day refers to the day on which a government official presents the budget for the following year. In England, however, there is a tradition of having the Chancellor of the Exchequer carry the dispatch box containing papers relating to the government's revenues and expenditures for the coming year from the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London to the House of Commons on April 9.
The word "budget" originally referred to a leather wallet or bag, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer carried the government's financial papers in such a bag. The expression "to open one's budget" meant "to speak one's mind." Eventually the word came to stand for the contents of the bag, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was said to be "opening the budget" when he presented his annual statement to the House of Commons. The modern meaning of the word dates from the mid-18th century.
CONTACTS:
Parliament of the United Kingdom Information Service
House of Lords
London, SW1A 0PW United Kingdom
44-20-7219-3000; fax: 44-20-7219-0620
www.parliament.uk
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 60
DictDays-1988, p. 16