Glossary: A to Z on the Budget

Budget 2013: A glossary
A to Z of Budget terms Photo: Reuters

'Bedroom tax': The nickname given by campaigners to the controversial changes to housing benefit. Those living in social housing who are deemed to have a spare bedroom will be asked to downsize or face a cut in benefits from April. But there are exemptions.

Budget: The Budget is a statement made every year by the government on how it is going to get the money it needs to spend on the country.

CPI / RPI: The Consumer Prices Index and the Retail Prices Index measure the changes from month to month in the cost of a representative "basket" of goods and services bought by consumers within the UK.

Credit crunch: Refers to the situation where banks and other lenders cut back their lending at the same time, due to fears about borrowers ability to repay.

Credit rating: An assessment given to debts and borrowers by a ratings agency based on their creditworthiness.

Deficit: The gap between what the government gets into their coffers, and what they spend. At the moment they are spending a lot more than they get in - so have to borrow from the financial markets to make up the shortfall. So, the deficit is a bit like money you spend on your credit card that you don't have.The debt is your credit card bill that rolls up, with interest, if you never pay it off.

Duty: A type of tax charged on certain items such as cigarettes and alcohol.

Fuel Duty: Tax imposed on the sale of fuel.

GDP: Gross Domestic Product, a measure of a country's economic productivity.

Inflation: The general level of goods and services prices going up.

Interest rates: The rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender.

OBR: Office for Budget Responsibility. It was formed in May 2010 to make an independent assessment of the public finances and the economy, the public sector balance sheet and the long term sustainability of the public finances.

ONS: Office for National Statistics. It produces economic statistics that measure the UK economy in different ways.

Red Briefcase: The suitcase traditionally contains the Chancellor's Budget speech. Before going to Parliament to deliver the statement, the Chancellor holds up the red box outside No11 to waiting photographers.

VAT: Value Added Tax is a sales tax on good and services that goes to the government