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Chancellor of the Exchequer in United Kingdom

Definition of Chancellor of The Exchequer

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Chancellor of The Exchequer : The minister who, as political head of the Treasury, is responsible for government monetary policy, raising national revenue (particularly through taxation), and controlling public expenditure in the UK. Each year he presents to Parliament a Budget (usually in March) proposing changes in revenue and taxation and a statement (in November) proposing government expenditure.

Chancellor of the Exchequer in the History

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the minister in charge of economic and financial matters. It is one of the most powerful positions in government and is seen as second only to the Prime Minister. The relationships between Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have often been strained, notable examples include Major and Lamont, and Blair and Brown respectively. Norman Lamont was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer after Major left the post to become Prime Minister. Much of his time in this position was defined by the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). He was eventually sacked after his relationship with Major had become increasingly sour – although he officially resigned after refusing a demotion from his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He famously threw Major’s last letter to him straight in the bin without reading it.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Meaning, as used in the UK Parliament

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the government’s chief finance minister and one of the most senior members of the Cabinet. They are responsible for setting levels of taxation and public spending across the UK and announce changes to these each year in the annual Budget statement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has overall responsibility for HM Treasury.

History of the Chancellor of the Exchequer

The following commentary about Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Churchill Era is produced by the Churchill College (Cambridge): Cabinet Minister in charge of the Treasury, with responsibility for the nation’s finances.

Meaning of Chancellor of the Exchequer

The following is an old definition of Chancellor of the Exchequer [1]: A high officer of the crown, who sometimes sat in court, sometimes in the exchequer chamber, and, with the regular judges of the court, saw that matters were conducted to the king’s advantage. His chief duties now concern the management of the royal revenue. Under the Judicature Act of 1873, he is deprived of his judicial functions. See Exchequer.Lord chancellor. The presiding judge in the court of chancery. In the courts of the Roman emperors he was a chief scribe or secretary, afterward invested with judicial powers and supervision over other officers. From the empire the name passed to the church: every bishop had a chancellor, the principal judge of his consistory. And when the modern kingdoms were established, almost every state preserved its chancellor, with different jurisdictions and dignities. In all of them he had supervision of such instruments of the crown as were authenticated in the most solemn manner. When seals came into use he had the custody of the king’s great seal. The office is created by delivery of the king’s great seal into the custody of the nominee. He becomes a privy counsellor by his office and prolocutor of the house of lords by prescription. He appoints all justices of the peace. Being formerly an ecclesiastic, presiding over the king’s chapel, he became keeper of the king’s conscience, visitor to all hospitals and colleges of the king’s founding, and patron of certain of the king’s livings. He is the general guardian of all infants, idiots, and lunatics; he superintends all charitable uses. These powers belong to him apart from the extensive jurisdiction he exercises in his judicial capacity in the court of chancery. See Chancery; Woolsack. Vice chancellor. One of a class of equity judges who held court independently of the lord chancellor, but whose decisions were reviewable in his court. They perhaps originally acted in his place. 2. In the United States, the judge of a court of equity. As a judicial title, in use in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Jersey. See Chancery. 3. A person sitting as a judge in equity; as in saying that a circumstance in a case would cause a ” chancellor ” to hesitate to enter a decree in favor of a particular person. See Title, Marketable.


Notes and References

  1. Concept of Chancellor of the Exchequer provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)


See Also

  • Budget (Finance Bill)

Further Reading

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  • Article Name: Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Chancellor of The Exchequer In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of [...]

This entry was last updated: April 3, 2017


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