Ways and Means resolution

A public bill which, if passed into law, would levy taxes or other charges (traditionally known as “charges upon the people") requires a ways and means resolution. Such resolutions are dealt with after the Bill has received second reading. These resolutions may not be debated if they are moved immediately after second reading. Otherwise, they may be debated for up to 45 minutes.

The committee on a bill cannot consider the sections of the bill which would levy taxes or other charges unless the Commons has agreed to the necessary ways and means resolution.

Some bills are founded on ways and means resolutions which the House agrees to before the bill is introduced. The most usual example is the annual Finance Bill, which is based on a set of Resolutions which are agreed at the end of the Budget debate, after which the Finance Bill is brought in on the resolutions. Other recent bills founded upon a ways and means resolution include the HGV Road User Levy Bill of Session 2012-13. The Commons agreed a resolution that provision might be made for charging a duty of excise known as HGV road user levy, and the bill was brought in once the resolution had been agreed.

Ways and means resolutions, like money resolutions, are only considered in the House of Commons, because the Lords does not have the power to alter the financial decisions of the House of Commons.

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