Budget Act

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The budget of a corporation is determined by a budget law.

In the Federal Republic of Germany , a budget law is drawn up by both the federal government and the states ; the counterpart at the municipal level is called the budget statute . The budget for a single budget year is usually determined by a budget law . However, some countries in particular regularly submit double households for two budget years. However, a separation according to financial years must also be carried out in the case of a double budget ( annuality principle ). Statutory regulations that are to last beyond a budget year are not made in the Budget Act. This is usually outsourced to an accompanying article law , the Household Law .

The federal German budget law is introductory regularly as follows:

"§ 1 Determination of the budget - The federal budget for the financial year x attached to this act is determined in terms of income and expenditure at y euros."


The particular importance of the budget law lies in the budget sovereignty of parliament .

By establishing the budget, the executive is empowered to undertake the income and expenditure provided for in it. In addition, the Budget Act usually contains the authorization to take out loans ( credit authorization ) and guarantees , e.g. B. guarantees to take over. The executive is bound by the legal requirements with regard to its income and expenditure.


Parliament usually reaches the limit of its capacity when debating the budget . The reason for this is that, according to the relevant budgetary principles, every income and every expenditure of the state administration must be shown in the budget. This leads to extremely extensive templates. For example, the draft of the Federal Budget Act 2006 with all individual plans comprises more than 1100 pages. Almost every parliament therefore sets up a special committee , the Committee on Budgets . In this body , the individual plans are discussed in advance and changes are proposed to the plenary session of Parliament, which are mostly accepted there without individual discussion. Instead, the budget deliberations in parliament are often used as an opportunity for a general settlement of the opposition with the government .

If the parliament refuses to approve the government's budget law, the question arises whether the executive should still be able to act. In the Federal Republic of Germany, this budget conflict has been decided in favor of the executive both for the federal government and for the states. For the federal government, Article 111 of the Basic Law provides for the right to provisional or emergency budget management. This tradition in Germany can be traced back to the brutal resolution of the Prussian budget conflict in 1862 according to Otto von Bismarck's application of the gap theory .

The US administrative bodies, on the other hand, are not authorized to spend without a valid budget. In the event of a budget conflict, government activities there come to a standstill ( government shutdown ).


The Austrian equivalent of the German Federal Budget Act are the Federal Financial Framework Act (BFRG, for a time frame of four financial years) and the Federal Financial Act (BFG, for a single financial year). The Austrian federal budget corresponds to the German federal budget.

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Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Draft law of the federal government on the establishment of the federal budget for the budget year 2016 (budget law 2016) BR-Drucksache 350/15 of 14 August 2015