Comment on the forecasts for the UK Public Finances as set out in the Red Book - the UK Government's Budget Statement

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The Red Book

Once annually, on Budget Day, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers The Budget statement in the House of Commons.

Due to the nature of The Budget Statement, and both its direct and indirect effects upon business, trading and finance, the content of the Chancellor's statement is kept in strict confidence until public release. However, in an unorthodox move by the present Chancellor in November of 1999, a "Pre-Budget Report" (known as the "Green Budget") containing plans for the upcoming Spring Budget was published.

In their formal form, the Budget papers include the Financial Statement and Budget Report (FSBR), published as a House of Commons (HC) Paper, and more commonly known as the Red Book due to the traditional colour of its cover. The FSBR is essentially an analysis of the financial strategy, including both recent and planned developments in the economy, as well as a summary of the Budget tax measures.

The papers accompanying the Budget statement are typically not released until the Chancellor sits down at the conclusion of his/her speech.

Accompanying the Budget Report is usually a collection of Press Notices - numbering up to about 50 in total - from the Treasury, the Inland Revenue, HM Customs and Excise and other government departments, each adding flesh to the Budget proposals, on both taxation and expenditure, and aiding in explaining their background in greater detail.

The Budget Papers are made available to the general public at HM Treasury's - Budget Information centre.

The 2000 Financial Statement and Budget Report was published under the formal title "HC Paper 346".

The 1999 FSBR was published as HC Paper 298.

The 1998 FSBR was published as HC Paper 620.

Source: HCI Bulletin No. 49

UK Public Finances

UK public finances and the state of the economy are...