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7 facts you never knew about The Budget

In honour of the opening of the first Autumn Budget today Madano decided to brush up on Budget trivia with seven key facts. Admit it, everyone likes trivia …

  • The word Budget comes from the French “bougette”, a little bag, which explains why the Chancellor “opens” his Budget.
  • Only a Chancellor delivering his Budget can take alcohol in the chamber.
  • Parliamentary reporter Sir Alexander Mackintosh attended 60 Budgets between 1881 and 1941. He was quoted as saying: “Speeches get shorter as figures get bigger.”
  • The scarlet briefcase was made for Gladstone in 1860 and was used by every Chancellor since, except for James Callaghan in 1965 and 1966 who used a brown one, before the Tories returned to the original.
  • The longest Budget speech was four hours 45 minutes by Gladstone in 1853. Disraeli spoke the previous year for almost the same length of time, and also holds the record for the shortest ever Budget: 45 minutes.
  • John Major’s Budget in 1990 was the first to be televised live.
  • In his 1953 Budget Chancellor RA Butler announced that the sugar ration would be increased from 10oz to 12oz a week to help the nation make celebratory cakes for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation that year.

Madano is a strategic communications advisor to clients in regulated sectors and industries and has practice areas in Energy, Healthcare, the Built Environment and Transport.