Chancellor of The Exchequer

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the Treasury in other nations. The position is considered one of the four Great Offices of State and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the Prime Minister. It is the only office of the four Great Offices not to have been occupied by a woman.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now always Second Lord of the Treasury as one of the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Treasurer. In the 18th and early 19th centuries it was common for the Prime Minister to also serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons; the last Chancellor who was simultaneously Prime Minister & Chancellor of the Exchequer was Stanley Baldwin in 1923. Formerly, in cases when the Chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench would act as Chancellor pro tempore. The last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman in 1834.

The Chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in English and British history, one which originally carried responsibility for the Exchequer, the medieval English institution for the collection of royal revenues. The Exchequer dates from the time of Henry I. The Chancellor controlled monetary policy as well as fiscal policy until 1997, when the Bank of England was granted independent control of its interest rates. The Chancellor also has oversight of public spending across Government departments.

The office should not be confused with those of the Lord Chancellor or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, both Cabinet posts, the Chancellor of the High Court, a senior judge, or the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, a defunct judicial office.

The current Chancellor of the Exchequer is George Osborne.

Read more about Chancellor Of The Exchequer:  Roles and Responsibilities

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Famous quotes containing the words exchequer and/or chancellor:

    Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the poor.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    No woman in my time will be Prime Minister or Chancellor or Foreign Secretary—not the top jobs. Anyway I wouldn’t want to be Prime Minister. You have to give yourself 100%.
    Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925)