10 UK Budgets From History
A selection of interesting Budgets from the past 300 years.
1. 1700s - the first Budget?
2. 1853 – the 4 and ¾ hour Budget speech
William Gladstone was four times Prime Minister and four times Chancellor of the Exchequer. His combined tenure as Chancellor stretched over 12 years, making him the longest serving Chancellor we have had.
In 1953 Gladstone outlined the phasing out of income tax, which was prevented at the onset of the Crimean War.
He was famous for making exceptionally long budget speeches and the 1853 Budget was the longest Budget speech ever, reaching over four hours before he finally ended with the following remarks:
Burden if we must; benefit if we may - with equal and impartial hand; and we have the consolation of believing that by proposals such as these we contribute, as far as in us lies, not only to develop the material resources of the country, but to knit the hearts of the various classes of this great nation yet more closely than heretofore to that throne and to those institutions under which it is their happiness to live.
3. 1869 – Chancellor leaves the Budget at home.
George Ward Hunt was the largest Chancellor we have had, weighing 21 stone in 1869. It was only on reaching the Commons and opening the Budget Box that he realised he had left the Budget at home.
The Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli told Queen Victoria: "he has the sagacity of the elephant as well as its form".
4. 1909 – The People’s Budget
5. 1925 – Churchill’s disastrous Budget
6. 1935 – Neville Chamberlain presents the Budget via cinema newsreel
7. 1947 – Budget leaked to the press
8. 1950 – Another austerity budget
Sir Stafford Cripps continued Britain's austerity conditions but did find capacity in the nation's finances to build 200,000 new homes. A degree of rationing was relaxed. Motorists had been allowed to drive up to 90 miles per month, this was to be doubled from June.
9. 1956 – Harold Macmillan introduces premium bonds
10. 1960 – Derick Heathcoat-Amory’s Budget speech
Derick brought the House down by saying "there are three things not worth running for - a bus, a woman or a new economic panacea. If you wait a bit, another one will come along".
He later collapsed during his speech.