Chapter 6: Financial procedures

Government’s financial veto

326    Financial veto

(1)     The House will not pass a bill, amendment, or motion that the Government certifies it does not concur in because, in its view, the bill, amendment, or motion would have more than a minor impact on the Government’s fiscal aggregates if it became law.

(2)     In addition, the House will not make a change to a Vote that the Government certifies it does not concur in because, in its view, the change would, if made, have more than a minor impact on the composition of the Vote.

(3)     In this Standing Order, and in Standing Orders 327 and 328, motion means a motion that, if passed as a resolution of the House of Representatives, would have the force of law.

327    Financial veto certificate

(1)     A certificate by the Government not concurring in a bill, amendment, or motion on the ground that, in its view, the bill, amendment, or motion would have more than a minor impact on the Government’s fiscal aggregates must state with some particularity the nature of the impact on the fiscal aggregate or aggregates concerned and the reason why the Government does not concur in the bill, amendment, or motion.

(2)     A certificate by the Government not concurring in a change to a Vote on the ground that, in its view, the change would have more than a minor impact on the composition of the Vote must state with some particularity the nature of the impact on the composition of the Vote and the reason why the Government does not concur in the change.

(3)     A certificate is given by delivering it to the Clerk.

(4)     Any certificate may be debated on the House’s next consideration of the bill, amendment, motion, or Vote.

(5)     The Government may withdraw a certificate at any time by notifying the Clerk in writing.

328    Application of financial veto rule to bills and motions

(1)     A certificate relating to a bill may be given only when the bill is awaiting its third reading.

(2)     The certificate may relate to the bill as a whole or to a particular provision or provisions of the bill.

(3)     The Speaker will not put any question for the third reading of a bill to which such a certificate relates unless the House has first amended the bill to remove any provision that the Government has certified that it does not concur in.

(4)     A certificate relating to a motion may be given before the motion is moved. Where a certificate is given, the motion is out of order and no question is put on it.

329    Application of financial veto rule to amendments to bills and changes to Votes

(1)     A certificate relating to any or all of the amendments recommended to a bill by a select committee may be given before the House agrees to those amendments. Where a certificate is given, those amendments are omitted from the bill.

(2)     A certificate relating to an amendment to a bill or a change to a Vote to be proposed by a member in a committee of the whole House may be given before the question on the amendment or change is put. Where a certificate is given, the amendment or change is out of order and no question is put on it.

(3)     A certificate relating to amendments recommended to a bill by a select committee also applies to those amendments if proposed in a committee of the whole House.

330    Notice of amendment to bill or change to Vote

(1)     Any member intending to propose an amendment which may have an impact on the Government’s fiscal aggregates, or to move a change to a Vote, must give notice of the amendment or change by lodging it with the Clerk at least 24 hours before the House meets on the day on which the amendment is to be proposed or the change is to be moved. In the case of a motion to change a Vote, 24 hours’ notice is not required where the proposed change was recommended in the report of the select committee that examined the Vote.

(2)     If a member seeks to propose an amendment or move a change to a Vote without having given the required notice of it, the amendment or change is out of order and no question is put on it.

(3)     This Standing Order applies in respect of an amendment to a bill only when the bill is set down for consideration in committee on the next sitting day.

Imprest supply

331    Imprest Supply bills

(1)     All stages of an Imprest Supply Bill may be taken on the same day, and may be included in a motion for an extended sitting if the bill is to be taken together with an order of the day for an Appropriation Bill.

(2)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the first reading.

(3)     An amendment to the question for the second reading of the bill may relate to any matter concerning public affairs and is not required to be strictly relevant.

(4)     After the second reading of the bill, the House proceeds to the third reading forthwith, unless the Minister in charge of the bill requires the House to resolve itself into committee to consider an amendment.

(5)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the third reading.

The Budget

332    Budget policy statement

(1)     The Budget policy statement stands referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

(2)     The Finance and Expenditure Committee must report on the Budget policy statement within 40 working days of the presentation of that statement to the House.

(3)     The Minister of the Crown responsible for presenting the Budget policy statement to the House will attend the committee for consideration of the statement, if requested.

(4)     In place of the first general debate after the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Budget policy statement has been presented, a debate is held on the Budget policy statement and on the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on that statement. The chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee (or, in the chairperson’s absence, another member of the committee) may move a motion relevant to the report and speak first.

333    Delivery of the Budget

(1)     The main Appropriation Bill may be introduced only after the announcement of the introduction of bills on a Thursday on a day previously notified to the House by the Government.

(2)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the first reading of the Appropriation Bill and the House proceeds to the second reading forthwith.

(3)     A Minister delivers the Budget statement in moving the second reading of the main Appropriation Bill.

334    Budget debate

(1)     The debate on the Budget is taken ahead of all other Government orders of the day.

(2)     An amendment to the question for the second reading of the bill may relate to any matter concerning public affairs and is not required to be strictly relevant.

335    Budget papers and Estimates

(1)     After delivering the Budget or introducing an Appropriation Bill, or at any time prior to that time on the same day, a Minister may present the Estimates or any other papers relating to the Budget or the bill.

(2)     Such papers are published under the authority of the House.

336    Economic and fiscal reports

(1)     The following reports stand referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee:

(a)     fiscal strategy report:

(b)     economic and fiscal update:

(c)     half-year economic and fiscal update:

(d)     statement on the long-term fiscal position:

(e)     investment statement.

(2)     The committee must, within two months of the delivery of the Budget, report on the fiscal strategy report and the economic and fiscal update presented to the House on the day the Budget was delivered.

(3)     The committee must report on the statement on the long-term fiscal position within six months of the presentation of that statement.

(4)     The committee must report on the investment statement within two months of the presentation of that statement.

(5)     A debate on the statement on the long-term fiscal position, or on the investment statement, is held in place of the first general debate after the committee’s report on that statement is presented. The chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee (or, in the chairperson’s absence, another member of the committee) may move a motion relevant to the report and speak first.

Estimates

337    Referral of Estimates

(1)     Following delivery of the Budget, the Estimates stand referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

(2)     The Finance and Expenditure Committee may—

(a)     examine a Vote itself, or

(b)     refer a Vote to any subject select committee, or

(c)     examine some of the appropriations contained in a Vote itself and refer the remainder to any subject select committee, or

(d)     refer the appropriations contained in a Vote to two or more subject select committees.

338    Examination of Estimates

(1)     Each select committee to which a Vote is referred examines the Vote and—

(a)     determines whether to recommend that the appropriations in respect of the Vote be accepted, and

(b)     may recommend a change to the Vote.

(2)     All committees must report to the House on their examinations of the Estimates within two months of the delivery of the Budget.

339    Estimates debate

(1)     The consideration in committee of the main Appropriation Bill is the Estimates debate. The Estimates debate is a consideration of the appropriations being sought by the Government in each Vote in the main Appropriation Bill.

(2)     During the Estimates debate, Votes are considered as determined under Standing Order 350. As each Vote is reached, the question is proposed that the Vote stand part.

(3)     A motion may be moved to change a Vote. Such a motion must specify the appropriation or appropriations within the Vote that it proposes to alter.

(4)     At the conclusion of the total time for the Estimates debate the remaining Votes and provisions of the main Appropriation Bill and any amendments proposed by the Minister in charge of the bill that are notified on a Supplementary Order Paper are put as one question. There is no amendment or debate on the question.

340    Third reading of main Appropriation Bill

(1)     The debate on the question for the third reading of the main Appropriation Bill must be completed within three months of the delivery of the Budget.

(2)     The debate on the third reading of the main Appropriation Bill may include reference to the content of the fiscal strategy report and the economic and fiscal update presented to the House on the day when the Budget was delivered and the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on those documents.

(3)     The debate on the third reading of the main Appropriation Bill may be taken together with the debate on the second reading of an Imprest Supply Bill.

Supplementary estimates

341    Examination of Supplementary Estimates

(1)     Following the introduction of an Appropriation (Supplementary Estimates) Bill, any associated Supplementary Estimates stand referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee. The committee may examine a Vote itself or refer it to any subject select committee for examination.

(2)     Each select committee to which a Vote is referred examines the Vote and—

(a)     determines whether to recommend that the appropriations in respect of the Vote be accepted, and

(b)     may recommend a change to the Vote.

342    Passing of bill

(1)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the first reading of an Appropriation (Supplementary Estimates) Bill.

(2)     The debate on the second reading of an Appropriation (Supplementary Estimates) Bill may be taken together with the debate on the second reading of an Imprest Supply Bill.

(3)     After the second reading of an Appropriation (Supplementary Estimates) Bill, the House proceeds to the third reading forthwith, unless—

(a)     the Minister in charge requires the House to resolve itself into committee to consider an amendment, or

(b)     a change to a Vote has been recommended by a select committee and is in order, in which case the House resolves itself into committee to consider that change.

(4)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the third reading.

Annual taxing provision

343    Debate on annual taxing provision

(1)     When a committee of the whole House considers a bill that includes an annual taxing provision, the committee considers the annual taxing provision as a separately debatable provision.

(2)     In this Standing Order, annual taxing provision means a clause or provision, or group of clauses or provisions, that sets or confirms rates of income tax in respect of a specified tax year or other period.

Annual review

344    Allocation of responsibility for conducting annual reviews

(1)     As soon after the commencement of the financial year as it thinks fit, the Finance and Expenditure Committee allocates to a subject select committee (or retains for itself) the task of conducting an annual review of the performance in the previous financial year and the current operations of each department, Office of Parliament, Crown entity, public organisation or State enterprise.

(2)     When the annual report of each department, Office of Parliament, Crown entity, public organisation or State enterprise is presented to the House, its annual review stands referred to a select committee as allocated by the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

345    Select committees to conduct annual reviews

(1)     The Finance and Expenditure Committee must, within one week of the first sitting day in each year, report to the House on the annual financial statements of the Government as at the end of the previous financial year.

(2)     Each select committee must, within one week of the first sitting day in each year, conduct and finally report to the House on an annual review of the performance and current operations of every department and Office of Parliament allocated to it.

(3)     Each select committee must, within six months of the relevant annual report having been presented, conduct and finally report to the House on an annual review of the performance and current operations of every Crown entity, public organisation or State enterprise allocated to it.

346    Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill

(1)     An Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill is an Appropriation Bill containing provisions solely concerned with the confirming or validating of expenditure incurred in respect of any previous financial year.

(2)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the first reading or the second reading of the bill.

347    Annual review debate

(1)     The consideration in committee of the Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill is the annual review debate. The annual review debate is the consideration of—

(a)     the financial position as reflected in the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the annual financial statements of the Government for the previous financial year, and

(b)     the annual reviews of the performance in the previous financial year and the current operations of departments and Offices of Parliament.

(2)     When the annual review debate commences, the question is proposed that the report of the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the annual financial statements of the Government for the previous financial year be noted.

(3)     The committee then proceeds to consider reports of select committees on annual reviews as determined under Standing Order 350. As each report is reached, the question is proposed that the report be noted.

(4)     At the conclusion of the total time for the annual review debate, the provisions of the bill and any amendments proposed by the Minister in charge of the bill that are notified on a Supplementary Order Paper are put as one question. There is no amendment or debate on the question.

(5)     The annual review debate must be held no later than 31 March.

348    Passing of Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill

(1)     When the report of the committee of the whole House on the Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill is adopted, the bill is set down for third reading forthwith.

(2)     There is no amendment or debate on the question for the third reading.

349    Consideration of annual reviews of Crown entities, public organisations, and State enterprises

(1)     Consideration of the annual reviews of Crown entities, public organisations, and State enterprises may be set down as a Government order of the day in the charge of a Minister. Consideration is given in committee to the performance in the previous financial year and the current operations of Crown entities, public organisations and State enterprises.

(2)     When the order of the day is reached, the House resolves itself into committee, and the committee considers annual reviews of Crown entities, public organisations, and State enterprises as determined under Standing Order 350.

(3)     As each annual review is reached, the question is proposed that the report of the select committee on the annual review be noted.

Determination of votes and annual reviews for debate

350    Determination of Votes and annual reviews for debate

(1)     The Government may select any day (other than a Wednesday on which Members’ orders of the day take precedence) for the Estimates debate, the annual review debate, or the debate on the annual review of Crown entities, public organisations and State enterprises.

(2)     The Government determines which Votes or annual reviews are available for debate on a particular day and how long in total is to be spent on the debate that day. This information is to be included on the Order Paper.

(3)     The Business Committee may determine the order in which the Votes or annual reviews are to be considered on a particular day and how long is available for considering each or any of them.