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  Be your own chancellor
Updated 17 March 2004, 16.28

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Central government

Chancellor Gordon Brown's budget effects all of us.

Students decide what they would increase spending on and which areas they would make cutbacks in.

Learning aims

  • Learn about the importance and function of the Budget.

  • Discuss changes to funding strategies that would improve the welfare of the UK.
Read the story
Ask the class:
  • Which areas should the government spend more money on?

  • How can the government raise more funds?

  • How do you think the Budget will affect your life?
Main activity
Students make their own decisions over how central government should spend the money they get from taxing the public.

Give out copies of the

Explain to students that the worksheet is split into and expenditure and income.

1. Expenditure
They should decide what percentage of their expenditure should go to each particular area.

For example:

  • 10% to the NHS
  • 25% to Education
  • 20% to Law and Order
  • 5% to Defence
  • 10% to Child Benefit
  • 10% to Basic State Pension
  • 20% to Benefits
They should write down their reasons for giving more to some areas and less to others, making clear why they feel some things deserve more money.

2. Income
Students decide which areas they would raise taxes in to get more money.

They should decide what percentage of their income should come from each particular area.

For example:

  • 20% from the Income Tax of lower earners
  • 25% from the Income Tax of higher earners
  • 5% from Beer
  • 5% from Wine
  • 10% from Spirits
  • 10% from Tobacco
  • 15% from Petrol
  • 5% from Value Added Tax
  • 5% from Car Tax

Write down their reasons for taking more from some areas and less from others, making clear why they feel some things should be taxed more heavily.

3. Use pie-charts
You may wish to give the two blank pie-charts on the worksheet to students to colour and label with their monetary decisions for display purposes. Each sector represents 5% of the total budget.

Extension activity
Students can try their hand at making important monetary decisions online by following this link to

Recap on the main teaching points and see if the class have made similar decisions over their expediture.

Teachers' Background

The main points of Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget from 2002:


  • 1p in the pound increase in National Insurance contributions on earnings above 4,615

  • Freeze on road tax

  • Freeze on petrol duty

  • 6p on a packet of 20 cigarettes

  • Freeze on beer, spirits and wine duty

  • Duty halved for small brewers - equivalent of 14p off a pint in time for this summer's World Cup

  • Increase in tax on alcopops to the same rate as spirits

  • Bingo exempted from tax

Health spending

  • 43% rise in NHS spending over next five years - equivalent of 40bn

  • Health spending to increase by 7.4% a year

  • Extra 1bn in 2002/3 for NHS through cash savings elsewhere

  • Commitment to continue funding NHS out of general taxation

  • Social insurance and other alternative methods of funding ruled out


  • Direct payments to secondary schools to go up to 114,000 this year

  • Direct payments to primary schools to go up to 39,300 this year


  • 280m extra for fight against crime

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
TeachersBudget 2004 worksheet
UKCelebs should pay more tax, say budget kids
PicturesHow kids would spend the Budget
Find OutOur Budget guide
ClubI got the chance to create my own budget!


Past StoriesBORDER=0
The NHS: Central government spending


BBC Links
BBC News: Be your own chancellor



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