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The speed of the news cycle and market reactions make it seem that Mini-Budget is something that has already happened, but my understanding is that this should still be subject to a vote in parliament. However according to the House of Commons website, no votes have taken place since the 6th of September.

Given we're now in party conference season, is the mini-budget subject to a vote? And if so, when is it likely to take place?

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    Might be worth noting that the government are calling this a "fiscal event", not a budget (mini or otherwise). Perhaps this is an attempt to change the thing by changing the name of the thing. In other words, budgets need a vote but this "fiscal event" thing we just invented doesn't. It seems that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) doesn't have to review a "fiscal event" and give their thoughts on what it will actually result in. See also - "these aren't POWs or criminals, they are 'enemy combatants' so none of the rules apply".
    – Eric Nolan
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 9:15
  • @EricNolan I asked about that here, the only answer says the difference is semantic, but I've not accepted so far, because my feelings run similar to yours and the low level of votes/interaction on the Q/A leaves me lacking confidence.
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 9:17
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    I'm not finding much information on the recent mini budget. The House of Commons Library describes it as a fiscal statement. Even with a regular budget, most of the provisions don't come into force until a Finance Bill is passed, often some months later. As I understand it, it will have to be voted on eventually, but not clear when. I hope someone can provide a proper answer. EDIT: And as if by magic...
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 9:31

2 Answers 2

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For the most part, any changes to taxes and spending require an Act of Parliament. For a normal Budget, this is done in the form of a Finance Act, which typically implements everything that the Chancellor announces in his speech (and possibly other measures as well).

As with any other Act, this starts as a bill, and is mostly (see below) subject to the same procedure in the Commons as any other bill. However, being a money bill, the Lords have limited powers to delay or amend it, so its passage in the Lords tends to be relatively quick.

However, a unique part of a normal budget - and also this mini-budget - is the use of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968. This allows specified tax changes to come into force on the day of the Budget speech - often at 6pm that evening.

This requires a single vote on a resolution, which happens after the Chancellor finishes his speech. This resolution has the full force of law - but the Act requires that the contents of the resolution are included in a bill which must have its second reading in the Commons within 30 sitting days, and that bill must then become an Act in that session of Parliament. In the highly unlikely event that this fails to happen, then the tax changes are reversed.

In the particular case of this mini-budget, only one change had immediate effect:

Ways and Means: Provisional collection of taxes

Motion made and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 51(2)), That pursuant to section 5 of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968, provisional statutory effect shall be given to the following motion:-

Stamp duty land tax (reduction)

That—

(1) Part 4 of the Finance Act 2003 is amended as follows.

[Details of the stamp duty changes]

And it is declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution should have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968.—(The Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

Question agreed to.

The Commons is currently on recess for party conference season, so the 30-day clock hasn't started yet. This resolution, along with the other tax changes, will be implemented in one or more bills after that. One of the those - the Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill - is already scheduled to go through all its Commons stages on 11 October 2022.


To pick up another part of the question:

no votes have taken place since the 6th of September.

"Votes" in this context only refers to divisions - i.e. votes where MPs actually walk through the Aye or No division lobbies and get counted. The vast majority of votes in the Commons are voice votes, where no counting happens.


One other detail which didn't fit into the above description: for any bill (whether or not it's a money bill) which contains sections that authorise taxes or expenditure, those sections have to be voted on separately as part of the passage of the bill through the Commons. This is in addition to the normal procedure for bills.

For a normal Budget, these resolutions occur at the end of the multi-day debate on the Budget. For example, for the 2021 Budget, there were some 57 tax-related resolutions, plus a separate one authorising expenditure in 5 named areas.

The Mini-Budget will require resolutions like these, but these have not yet happened.

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Not just one vote in Parliament but several.

Mr. Kwarteng has already moved a bill to implement the cut in national insurance, which received its first reading in the Commons on 22nd September, and is scheduled for second and third readings on 11th October: it's likely that there will be contested votes on both the second and third readings.

The current rates of income tax are enshrined in section 1 of the Finance Act 2022, so changing them will require further primary legislation, and therefore first, second, and third readings in the Commons; again, both the second and third readings are likely to be the subject of contested votes. No bill for this purpose has yet been moved.

(The above are both "money bills", so under section 1 of the Parliament Act 1911, they don't need to be passed by the House of Lords.)

The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority can (under the Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Act 2018) freeze the energy price cap without a vote in Parliament, but they have to give the energy companies 28 days' notice, and it may be too late for that, in which case a further act of Parliament may be needed to remove the notice requirement. That wouldn't be a money bill, and so would need first, second, and third readings in both Commons and Lords.

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