Red Budget Box Makes Its Final Outing


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The 150-year-old red budget box will be used for the last time next week.


The red budget box has been used by Prime Ministers for 150 years

The box is being "retired" by the National Archives so it can be preserved for future generations because experts say it is now too fragile to be handled regularly.

Keeper of the public records Oliver Morley said: "We've have had a close look at the box and given the fragile state it's in, we believe now is the time to 'retire' the box from public life.

"If it isn't retired, it may end up being destroyed completely."

The red budget box was first used by William Gladstone in 1860 and has been used by every chancellor since apart from James Callaghan and Gordon Brown.

Mr Brown had a new budget bag made by young craftsmen but his successor Alistair Darling returned to using the original.


Former chancellor Alistair Darling with the budget box

When Norman Lamont was chancellor in the early 1990s, the box he waved at photographers outside Number 11 contained a bottle of whisky, while the speech
itself was carried in a plastic bag by his then-aide, William Hague.

George Osborne will be the final chancellor to hold up the scarlet briefcase outside Number 11 when he unveils the coalition Government's budget next week.

The old budget box will go on display at the Cabinet War Rooms in London.

The National Archives has commissioned a replacement using traditional techniques and materials.



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That box/case could tell a few stories,and with regret our budget box in Ireland will be telling alot more in time :eyebrow: