The Spring Memorandum

In the ‘Spring Memorandum’, the minister of Finance reports on the progress made in government expenditure and revenue. In combination with the Budget Memorandum and the Autumn Memorandum, the Spring Memorandum offers an overall statement of the state's finances.

The debate on the Spring Memorandum is held at the end of June or the start of July, shortly before the summer recess. The minister of Finance has to submit the Spring Memorandum to the House of Representatives by 1 June at the latest. In the debate on the Spring Memorandum, the MPs and the minister often also look ahead to the next Budget Memorandum. Windfalls, shortfalls and changes in policy over the year can lead to adjustments in the estimates contained in the budget. These are incorporated into supplementary budget bills.

Supplementary budget bills

If a minister needs more money than he has been allocated by parliament, he has to propose a supplementary budget bill, for instance when expenditure exceeds the estimates. Supplementary budgets are updated versions of the budgets, which need to be scrutinised and passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Major changes in policy are seldom put forward, however. The House and the Senate deal with supplementary budget bills as with any other bill. The House can amend them, the Senate cannot.