Emergency budget: What is an emergency budget and when was the last one, as Labour puts pressure on Rishi Sunak?

Labour has continued to put the pressure on the Conservatives for an emergency budget.

Boris Johnson has faced fresh Tory demands to cut taxes and bring forward a summer support package to help the most vulnerable households. MPs voted 312 to 229, majority 83, to approve the Queen's Speech and give the go-ahead to a legislative programme which includes implementing measures to boost energy security and regenerate areas across England.

However, the sixth and final day of the Queen's Speech debate once again saw calls from the Prime Minister's own backbenchers to change course and respond to cost-of-living increases as inflation hit a 40-year high. Despite the Tory pressure, Labour's amendment calling for an emergency budget was defeated by 312 votes to 229, majority 83, while Liberal Democrat and SNP proposals were also rejected.

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Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves had earlier branded the Government "out of touch" and "out of ideas" as she called for an emergency budget to help struggling households.

"We need an emergency budget with a windfall tax to keep energy bills down,” she continued. “We need a government that takes growth seriously."

Here’s what you need to know about an emergency budget, including when the last one was.

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What is an emergency budget?

Labour Party Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, and Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner attend prime minister's questions in the House of Commons in London on May 18th, 2022. Photo: JESSICA TAYLOR / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP via Getty Images.

An emergency budget reacts to a national economic blow or crisis, such as the credit crunch or oil crises in the past. Many supporters of an emergency budget argue that the cost of living crisis that has been developing in recent months calls for such a budget.

The type of emergency budget to suit the current climate would include policies and plans to alleviate the impact of the current cost of living difficulties faced by British households across the country. One suggested measure is a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, with money going towards energy costs for UK households.

When was the last UK emergency budget?

The last budget to be called an emergency budget was the May 2010 budget of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition of the time. Its purpose was to reduce the national debt accumulated under the Labour government.

Additional reporting by PA.

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