|The business of Parliament takes place in two Houses:
the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Their work
is similar: making laws (legislation), checking the work
of the government (scrutiny), and debating current issues.
The House of Commons is also responsible for granting
money to the government through approving Bills that raise
taxes. Generally, the decisions made in one House have
to be approved by the other. In this way the two chamber
system acts as a check and balance for both Houses.
The Commons is publicly elected. The party with the
largest number of members in the Commons forms the government.
Members of the Commons (MPs) debate the big political
issues of the day and proposals for new laws. It is
one of the key places where government ministers, like
the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, and the principal
figures of the main political parties, work.
The Commons alone is responsible for making decisions
on financial Bills, such as proposed new taxes. The
Lords can consider these Bills but cannot block or amend
Members of the House of Lords are mostly appointed by
the Queen, a fixed number are elected internally and
a limited number of Church of England archbishops and
bishops sit in the House.
The Lords acts as a revising chamber for legislation
and its work complements the business of the Commons.
The House of Lords is also the highest court in the
land: the supreme court of appeal. A group of salaried,
full-time judges known as Law Lords carries out this
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