- Ireland’s Minister of Finance announced its 2013 budget December 5, 2012, and published the Finance bill on February 13, 2013.
- Singapore’s budget statement was delivered in Parliament on February 25, 2013.
- South Africa and Hong Kong both announced their budgets today, February 27.
- India’s budget will be announced tomorrow, February 28.
- The UK’s budget will be presented March 28.
Countries—such as Ireland, Singapore, and India—that have a parliamentary system of government have a budget process patterned on the UK model. Revenue provisions that are proposed in budgets in countries with a traditional British budget system generally are likely to be enacted in large part.
In contrast, the budget process in the United States does not usually lead to the revenue provisions in the administration’s budget or Congress’s budget being enacted as a "package.” Some of the provisions may be enacted in the year that they are proposed—or in later years—but at the beginning of the U.S. budget process, it is difficult to predict if and when specific provisions will be enacted.
Taxpayers in countries with a parliamentary system need to understand the details and effective dates of the finance bills that implement the annual budget because many of the provisions are likely to be enacted as proposed.
Overview of parliamentary budget process
To understand the budget process in countries with a parliamentary system of government, consider the budget system in the United Kingdom.
In the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer presents the budget, which contains all the tax measures for the year ahead. Traditionally the budget is presented in March, prior to the start of the tax year on April 6.
The statutory provisions to implement the tax measures are set out in a single bill—the annual finance bill. Amendments to the finance bill may be adopted, but typically, most provisions in the budget are enacted.
The budget process in countries following the UK model may differ in timing and details. In addition, there are obstacles to amending a budget bill in some countries. For example, an amendment to t he budget could be considered a vote of no confidence in the government.