a long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. a little boy loved to come and lay around it everyday. he climbed to the tree top, ate the apples, took a nap under the shadow... he loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him. time went by.the little boy had grown up and he no longer played around the tree everyday.
one day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad. "come and play with me," the tree asked the boy.
"i am no longer a kid, i don’t play around trees anymore." the boy replied,"i want toys. i need money to buy them." "sorry, but i don’t have money...but you can pick all my apples and sell them. so, you will have money." the boy was so excited. he grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. the boy never came back after he picked the apples. the tree was sad.
one day, the boy returned and the tree was so excited. "come and play with me" the tree said. "i don’t have time to play. i have to work for my family. we need a house for shelter. can you help me?" "sorry, but i don’t have a house. but you can chop off my branches to build your house." so the boy cut all the branches off the tree and left happily.
the tree was glad to see him happy but the boy never came back since then. the tree was again lonely and sad.
i am sad and getting old. i want to go sailing to relax myself. can you give me a boat?" "use my trunk to build your boat. you can sail far away and be happy." so the boy cut the tree trunk to make a boat. he went sailing and never showed up for a long time.
finally, the boy returned after he left for so many years. "sorry, my boy but i don’t have anything for you anymore. no more apples for you..." the tree said."i don’t have teeth to bite" the boy replied. "no more trunk for you to climb on" "i am too old for that now" the boy said. "i really can’t give you anything ... the only thing left is my dying roots" the tree said with tears. "i don’t need much now, just a place to rest. i am tired after all these years." the boy replied. "good! old tree roots is the best place to lean on and rest. come, come sit down with me and rest." the boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled with tears...
it's the time of year when the british taxpayer1 finds out how much the cost of beer, cigarettes and petrol - amongst other things - will go up in the coming twelve months.
the budget is the annual financial statement and review of the levels of taxation2. the budget speech includes a statement of the government's medium-term financial strategy and the short-term economic forecast.
taxes are used by the government to try to control the british economy as well as to raise revenue to meet expenditure3 for the year.
however, people are mainly interested in how changes in taxes and benefits will affect them. for example, if income tax goes up they will have less money, but parents may be happy because child benefit has risen.
the budget speech is prepared and delivered by the finance minister, known as the chancellor4 of the exchequer5, or simply 'the chancellor' for short.
a number of traditions surround the budget speech. for example, the chancellor gets to his feet in the house of commons at 12:30 pm. he is heard uninterrupted by members of parliament.
according to tradition, the chancellor is allowed to drink alcohol during the speech, though these days water is preferred.
the statement lasts about an hour. afterwards, the leader of the opposition6 gets a chance to respond and criticise7 the government's plans. four days of general debate follow.
this year's budget is the first since gordon brown became prime minister. alistair darling, his replacement8 at the treasury9, makes his first budget speech since becoming chancellor.
medium-term financial strategy
short-term economic forecast
chancellor of the exchequer
house of commons
members of parliament
leader of the opposition