It’s budget week – one of the biggest events in the parliamentary calendar each year. While we will leave analysis of the contents of the budget to other commentators, today we are posting a special Budget guide on the process – where the practice of a budget came from, how it is approved, and what will happen next.

Why is it called a budget anyway?

The word ‘budget’ in its original form referred to the leather bag carried by the Chancellor of the Exchequer containing Government papers relating to expenditure. Over time the word came to mean the budget papers that set out the Government’s financial priorities for the coming year. This week the 2018-2019 budget will be handed down by the Treasurer.

What will happen on Tuesday?

On Tuesday in the Legislative Assembly, the Treasurer, the Honourable Dominic Perrottet MP, will introduce a collection of appropriation bills. A collection of bills like these which relate to the same subject and are intended to be considered together as a group are called ‘cognate bills’. The Treasurer will then table the budget papers and give his speech. The budget papers will be available from 12 pm on the NSW Budget website.

In past years, where the Treasurer has been a member of the Legislative Council, the Council has had to pass a formal resolution to authorise the Treasurer to attend the Legislative Assembly for the purposes of giving his or her speech.

If the budget is introduced in the Assembly, what will happen in the Council?

Later the same day, the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, the Honourable Don Harwin, will table the budget papers in our House and move a motion to ‘take note’ of the budget estimates. This motion is the means by which the House debates the policies on which the budget is based. The bills themselves will be debated later in the week once agreed to by the Assembly.

The Budget Estimates committee inquiry process

It is expected that the Opposition will initiate the budget estimates inquiry process with hearings scheduled for 30 August to 7 September 2018, and reports to be tabled toward the end of the year. You can read more about the budget estimates process here.

To find out more about the Budget process…

Watch the process live on Tuesday on the Parliament’s website, follow the commentary on Twitter using the hashtag #nswpol, or read more about practice in the House here.