HM Treasury

Public spending & reporting

Financial reporting - Parliamentary Supply Estimates

Under long-established constitutional practice it is for the Crown (the Government) to demand money, the House of Commons to grant it and the House of Lords to assent to the Grant. Estimates are the means of obtaining from Parliament the legal authority to consume the resources and spend the cash the Government needs to finance department's agreed spending programmes for the financial year (April to March).

Parliament gives statutory authority for both the consumption of resources and for cash to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund (the Government's general bank account at the Bank of England) by Acts of Parliament known as Consolidated Fund Acts and by an annual Appropriation Act. This process is known as "Supply procedure". The Main Estimates start the supply procedure and are presented by the Treasury around the start of the financial year to which they relate. The Treasury presents alongside the Main Estimates a set of Supplementary Budgetary Information tables reconciling the Estimates to departmental report tables. At various points in the year the Treasury presents, New, Revised and/or Supplementary Estimates, as appropriate, asking Parliament for approval for any necessary additional resources and/or cash or for authority to incur expenditure on new services.

After the end of the financial year (around July) the Treasury presents the Public Expenditure Outturn White Paper to Parliament, providing provisional outturn figures for public expenditure by departments.

Parliamentary Estimates publications

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