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Budget Responsibility and National Audit (Fiscal Mandate) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This House of Lords Library briefing provides background information in advance of the second reading of the Budget Responsibility and National Audit (Fiscal Mandate) Bill in the House of Lords on Friday 9 September 2016.

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The Budget Responsibility and National Audit (Fiscal Mandate) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Kramer (Liberal Democrat). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 24 May 2016, and is scheduled to have its second reading on 9 September 2016.

The Bill would amend the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011. The Act provided that the Treasury must prepare a Charter for Budget Responsibility and that the Charter must include a fiscal mandate to show how the Treasury’s objectives, in relation to fiscal policy, would be attained. The Bill contains two clauses. Clause 1 would provide that, in preparing the fiscal mandate under section 1(2)(b) of the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011, the Treasury must have regard to:

  • the need for continued investment in infrastructure;
  • the need to ensure that the fiscal mandate does not have a substantially negative impact on intergenerational fairness; and
  • the need to ensure that the economy of the United Kingdom remains competitive.

Clause 1 of the Bill would also ensure that, in considering the above provisions, the Treasury “must consult independent experts”. Clause 1 states that the meaning of “infrastructure” would be taken in accordance with section 1(2) of the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012; therefore “water, electricity, gas, telecommunications, sewerage or other services; railway facilities (including rolling stock), roads or other transport facilities; health or educational facilities; court or prison facilities, and housing”. Clause 1 defines the term “intergenerational fairness” as “the overall wealth of future generations”. Clause 2 states that the legislation would be applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Lords In Focus LIF-2016-0049

Author: Mary Santo

Topics: Economic policy, Economic situation, Public expenditure, Taxation

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.