A plan or estimate of expenditure for a future period of time.
It may be linked to a statement of the financial resources for carrying out a programme of activities or for running a service during a defined period of time or for a specific purpose.
Some budgets are linked to the nature and volume of the services to be provided; some to the cost of the inputs for a facility; others are largely derived from the size of the budget in the previous year.
Some budgets are adjusted for inflation and in relation to planned developments; some are open-ended with no upper limit on expenditure, their size determined entirely by the cost of the services provided; other budgets are capped to avoid overspending if the demand for services increases. In periods of economic restraint, budgets may include requirements for cuts on previous levels of expenditure.