Prior announcement of the date
of the Pre-Budget Report
3. In the last Parliament, our predecessors drew
attention to the advantages that would arise for the House of
Commons from earlier notice of the date of the Pre-Budget Report.
The House received 18 days' notice of the 2005 Pre-Budget Report,
which is shorter than the notice periods in 2003 and 2004.
Mr Jon Cunliffe, Second Permanent Secretary, Macroeconomic Policy
and International Finance, HM Treasury, explained the Treasury's
international commitments, including those arising from the United
Kingdom Presidencies of the European Union and the G7/8, which
made an early announcement of the date of the 2005 Pre-Budget
Report "quite difficult".
Although the Treasury was faced with unusual circumstances
in 2005, the House of Commons is entitled to reasonable notice
of the date of the Pre-Budget Report. We recommend that the Treasury
should announce the date of the Pre-Budget Report at least four
weeks before the statement is due to be made and, in any case
where this target is not met, give an account of the reasons.