As it happened: Budget 2014

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  1.  
    0600: Ian Pollock Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning from the pipers at the gates of dawn. Today's Budget will be a Budget for [insert your own election-winning slogan here]. We'll have full coverage.

     
  2.  
    0600: Edwin Lane Business reporter, BBC News

    And it's good morning from me too. We'll be doing our best to dig out some non-Budget news this morning as well - like the latest UK unemployment figures, out at 09:30. Also get in touch with us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter @BBCBusiness.

     
  3.  
    BUDGET 06:03:
    bingo

    George Osborne will deliver a Budget for a "resilient" economy later, the BBC has learned from Treasury sources. BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Osborne will focus on what he sees as the UK's historic economic weaknesses, particularly the need to increase manufacturing output and boost exports. There might also be a cut to duty on bingo - clearly a weak spot in the UK economy.

     
  4.  
    OUTRAGE! 06:06: Radio 5 live

    Rob Wood of Berenberg Bank commits heresy on Wake Up to Money. He says it's a bit hard to get excited by the Budget! How very dare he. Actually, he is referring to the fact that so much is announced in advance, for instance in the preceding Autumn Statement, and through various leaks.

     
  5.  
    NEW POUND COIN 06:10:
    New pound coin

    We're going to have a new pound coin! Lovely. A bit like the old thruppenny bit. I can remember when thruppence was the cheapest fare on the London Underground.

     
  6.  
    NEW POUND COIN 06:15: Radio 4

    Political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue tells Today's Evan Davis that he's just about young enough not to remember the thruppenny bit. Evan is presenting the programme from the check-in area of Newcastle airport this morning - which he says is a good place to judge the health of the economic recovery.

     
  7.  
    BUDGET 06:23: Radio 4

    Political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue's tip is to look out for the growth figures and forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) later. He says there are suggestions they will be better than even the chancellor could have hoped for.

     
  8.  
    NEW POUND COIN 06:29:

    The question is this: Is the new pound going to be worth less than the old thruppenny bit? I doubt it, but if we have the time we will check the figures.

     
  9.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 06:40:
    job centre

    The latest unemployment figures are also due out later. They are expected to show that unemployment fell again. Yesterday employment minister Esther McVey was given a slap on the wrists by the UK Statistics Authority for suggesting that unemployment has fallen by 400,000 since the coalition government came to power. It's actually fallen by 7,000 or risen by 12,000 depending on when you start from.

     
  10.  
    YELLEN 06:43: BBC World News
    Janet Yellen

    The newly installed boss of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, will speak after chairing her first Fed meeting today to discuss the winding down of the massive US stimulus measures. Her words can move global financial markets, says the BBC's Michelle Fleury in New York. The Fed still isn't expected to raise interest rates until at least mid-2015, despite falling unemployment.

     
  11.  
    PRODUCTIVITY 06:47: Radio 4

    Simon Jack joins Evan Davis in Newcastle airport. He has been finding out why productivity has been rising faster in north-east England compared with other parts of the UK. James Ramsbotham from the North East Chamber of Commerce tells him: "We still make things in this part of the country" and says the region has been feeling the recovery sooner than other parts of the country.

     
  12.  
    KEY POINTS
    • George Osborne delivers his Budget
    • Huge changes for savers and prospective pensioners
    • Personal tax allowance to rise to £10,500 in 2015
    • Annual Investment Allowance for businesses increased
    • New Isa with an annual tax-free savings limit of £15,000
    • Fuel duty frozen, bingo duty halved and a penny off a pint of beer
     
  13.  
    ZARA 07:01:
    Zara store

    The Spanish clothes firm Inditex, which owns the Zara chain, has published full-year results. It said its profits rose by just 1% last year to 2.4bn euros (£2bn). Its sales rose by 5% to 16.7bn euros.

     
  14.  
    PADDY POWER 07:06: Radio 5 live
    Oscar time

    Betting firm Paddy Power says it didn't expect the level of criticism it received for its recent and controversial Oscar Pistorius "money off if he walks" advert. A spokesman denied it had trivialised domestic violence against women. "It was one ad in one newspaper on one day. I don't think there's an apology coming - criticise us for bad taste, which is fine."

     
  15.  
    BUDGET 07:15: BBC Breakfast
    Breakfast

    Steph McGovern on Breakfast sums up the point of the Budget for George Osborne: "The aim is to keep Britain moving without spending too much - austerity is still the key to this."

     
  16.  
    BUDGET 07:23: Radio 4

    Robert Peston is on Today telling us there will be "at least one fairly big populist personal tax reform" in the Budget later. "The countdown to the election will have begun," he says. But he warns us not to get too excited. "The pace of austerity will continue and for every giveaway [George Osborne] will announce he will have to take money back."

     
  17.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Simon Jack Business correspondent, BBC News
    Newcastle airport

    tweets this picture: "Today team in Newcastle airport for NE perspective on budget"

     
  18.  
    SMITHS INDUSTRIES 07:30:

    Engineering group Smiths Industries (it makes airport scanners and medical devices, among other things) has seen its annual profits fall by 4% to £215m. "We made good progress in our businesses that serve commercial customers, while those with significant government and healthcare exposure continued to face challenging trading conditions," the firm said.

     
  19.  
    TOYOTA 07:35:
    Toyota

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting the US Justice Department may reach a $1bn (£600m) settlement with Toyota, ending a four-year criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker's disclosure of safety problems. The paper quotes unnamed sources, and Toyota declined to comment.

     
  20.  
    RUSSIANS 07:42:
    Usmanov

    Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, a big shareholder in Arsenal, has sold his shares in Apple and Facebook and instead bought up a chunk of Chinese tech firm Alibaba. Apparently its in response to US sanctions on Russians related to the Ukraine crisis. Usmanov hasn't been sanctioned, but he's worried the measures might widen to him at some point.

     
  21.  
    CAB DRIVERS 07:49:
    Taxi sign

    How do you get a sense of the state of the economy across the country? Ask a cab driver. That's what the BBC did in several cities across the country. Watch the video here.

     
  22.  
    BANK OF ENGLAND 07:57:
    Mark Carney

    The Financial Times this morning is still leading on the "radical" shake-up at the Bank of England later. Governor Mark Carney said the appointment of two new deputies was part of his mission to create "one bank", ridding the institution of its many decision-making silos.

     
  23.  
    NEW POUND COIN Via Twitter Chancellor George Osborne
    Red box and new pound coin

    tweets: "Today I will deliver a Budget for a resilient economy - starting with a resilient pound coin"

     
  24.  
    BUDGET 08:08: Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor

    blogs: "There will, I am told, be an eye-catching measure that is likely to dominate the headlines. I expect it to be in the territory of personal taxation. I am told the Treasury thinks it is jolly clever. But more than that I know nothing. Sorry."

     
  25.  
    NEW POUND COIN 08:15: Radio 4

    Won't the introduction of a new pound coin cause massive upheaval? That's the question for Andrew Mills, director of circulation for the Royal Mint, on Today. He says vending machine operators will be consulted, but it will probably cost £15-20m to introduce it over a number of years. On the design he says: "We think it's suitably British." Quite so.

     
  26.  
    NEW POUND COIN 08:32: Radio 5 live

    More from Andrew Mills, director of circulating coins at the Royal Mint. Talking to 5 live he says: "We believe it will be the world's most secure coin", referring to its new anti-forgery features. The Mint will also be running a competition to get the public's opinion about what should be on the back of the coin.

     
  27.  
    NISSAN 08:33: Radio 4
    Nissan Qashqai

    Evan Davis has been taking a look around the Nissan car plant in Sunderland, where they make the Qashqai, as part of his trip to the North East. It's an industrial success story. Kevin Fitzpatrick, vice president for manufacturing at Nissan, tells him that Nissan chooses to make cars here only because it makes business sense and the plant continuously challenges its performance and tries to improve it.

     
  28.  
    LIDL AND ALDI 08:49:

    German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi are no longer a sideshow to the UK's food retail sector, and are "winning the hearts of Maidstone mums", the Guardian claims this morning.

     
  29.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 08:55:

    The FTSE 100 is down slightly, 20 points lower at 6,586. The German Dax index is down 13 at 9,230. And in France, the Cac 40 index is down 18 at 4,295.

     
  30.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "Unemployment figures out at 9.30am. Worth noting - despite all the predictions, we never did reach Mark Carney's 7% target..@bbc5live"

     
  31.  
    BUDGET 09:04:
    Anthony Reuben

    The BBC's statistics guru Anthony Reuben has Budget fever. The hat's not BBC issue I should stress, he bought it himself.

     
  32.  
    BUSINESS RATES 09:19: BBC News Channel
    Budget

    Entrepreneur Sarah Brown from Pai Skincare says she'd like to see some action on business rates in today's Budget. "They are crippling for small, young manufacturers like us that are trying to prosper," she says. "They are a tax on expansion."

     
  33.  
    BUDGET 09:30: BBC News Channel

    Andrew Sentance, former MPC member says this is the best economic backdrop to a Budget that George Osborne has seen since at least 2010. But he says the UK's budget deficit is still high, so the chancellor still won't have room to make any giveaways.

     
  34.  
    BUDGET 09:31:

    As is now the tradition with the Budget and Autumn Statement, much of what will be announced later by George Osborne will have already been announced or leaked. We've rounded up everything we know so far on one handy page. Take a look at it here.

     
  35.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 09:33: Breaking News

    UK unemployment rate remains unchanged at 7.2%, the Office for National Statistics says. The number of unemployed people fell by 63,000 to 2.33 million between November and January.

     
  36.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 09:38:
    Job centre

    The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in February fell by 34,600 to 1.17 million, according to the ONS.

     
  37.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT Via Twitter

    Following the announcement that the number of unemployed fell by 63,000 to 2.33m, Prime Minister David Cameron tweets: "Another significant fall in unemployment is a sign our #LongTermEconomicPlan is working, providing security & chances #ForHardworkingpeople."

     
  38.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 09:45:

    The ONS unemployment figures show that average earnings increased by 1.4% in the year to January. That suggests wage growth is picking up, but it's still well below the annual inflation rate of 1.9%.

     
  39.  
    BUDGET 09:48: Via Twitter Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

    tweets: "Labour pre-empt Budget tax cut by totting up '24 Tory tax rises' & unveiling an anti @George_Osborne ad"

     
  40.  
    FACT OR FICTION? 09:49:

    Join MoneyBox's Paul Lewis at 16:00 GMT on Twitter for a myth-busting session on the Budget.

     
  41.  
    BUDGET 09:53: Roz Mercer, UK

    emails: "Energy bills are the biggest worry for the less well off. Osborne must do something to stop the endless and greedy increases in energy prices, as more people are being driven into fuel poverty. The increase in personal tax allowance needs to be bigger and the rich need to be taxed more, if only for the sake of a more equitable society, because the chasm between rich and poor grows daily."

     
  42.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 09:57:
    Esther McVey

    More reaction to the unemployment figures released earlier. Employment Minister Esther McVey says: "We now have the highest employment rate for five years, which shows that the growing economy is helping record numbers of people to find a job, turn their lives around and have the security of a regular wage."

     
  43.  
    NEW POUND COIN Via Twitter Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News

    tweets: "Want to know how the new £1 coin will be made? Here's the rare access to the Royal Mint I had last year ow.ly/uJQPz #Budget2014"

     
  44.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 10:05:

    David Freeman from the Office for National Statistics says "one key area" that the unemployment figures showed coming down was youth unemployment (people aged 16-24). "The level is down by 29,000 to 912,000 and that's the lowest we've seen since about 2011, so nearly three years," he says.

     
  45.  
    UKRAINIAN BANK 10:13:

    PrivatBank, one of the biggest banks in Ukraine, has suspended operations in Crimea "due to cash shortages and legal uncertainty" our colleagues at BBC Monitoring report, quoting the UNIAN news agency.

     
  46.  
    BUDGET Joe Dudhill, Rotherham

    emails: New legislation to stop tax avoidance and close tax loopholes is vital. Money paid in the UK and profits made in the UK should be taxed in the UK. This alone would get rid of the deficit and return the AAA rating.

     
  47.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 10:33:
    Job Centre

    Here's our news story with more detail about the unemployment figures released earlier this morning which show the number of people out of work fell by 63,000 in the three months to January.

     
  48.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT Via Twitter Hugh Pym Chief economics correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "Employment up again (Nov-Jan) - but all accounted for by self-employment - employee numbers down."

     
  49.  
    BUDGET 10:41: BBC News Channel

    Conservative MP David Ruffley, who sits on the Treasury Select Committee, tells the BBC News Channel: "What I want to see in this Budget, and I think he (George Osborne) will do it, is increase the personal allowance. We've already got the first £10,000... tax free. That's been done since 2010. The questions is, can he give some more in this Budget to hardworking people?"

     
  50.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News

    tweets: "Did you know: Chancellors can drink during Budget. Howe: G&T. Clarke: Whisky. Osborne: Water - a sober speech for austerity. #Budget2014"

     
  51.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 10:59: BBC News Channel
    Rachel Reeves

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves tells the BBC News Channel it's "welcome" that unemployment is falling but there are also "worrying signs" in the data released by the ONS, including "an increase in the number of people who are out of work for two years".

     
  52.  
    BUDGET Q&A 11:06:

    BBC Business Editor Robert Peston will answer your questions following the chancellor's budget on the BBC News Facebook page. Go to facebook.com/bbcnews at 1.30pm on Thursday.

     
  53.  
    NEW POUND COIN 11:09:

    The new pound coin will look like the old thruppenny bit. How much would one of those be worth today? Uprating 3p by RPI inflation since 1971 (when it went out of circulation due to decimalisation) tells us that three old pennies would be worth 30.66 old pennies now. And they in turn would be worth almost 13 pence. Still not much.

     
  54.  
    Kazuhiro Shino, London

    emails: The budget needs to take into account key things. Energy-related household cost increases. Rent increases - which mean in London the lowest paid workers can not live in decent accommodation in town - meaning travel costs take a huge chunk out of their income. Food prices also need to be looked at. Stale wages mean people are unable to compensate for rises in the cost of energy, rent and food.

     
  55.  
    UNEMPLOYMENT 11:14:

    More from Labour's Rachel Reeves on today's fall in unemployment: "It's four years since the government came to office - they said the economy would grow by 8% in that period - it's grown by half that. It's taken four years for the economy to start growing again so I don't think the government should be complacent and I don't think the government should be celebrating their successes as there's still a huge amount to do."

     
  56.  
    BUDGET 11:17:
    Westminster

    The BBC News helicopter has been circling over Westminster ahead of the chancellor's speech.

     
  57.  
    BUDGET 11:18:
    George Osborne

    George Osborne and his team have just emerged from Number 11 with the famous red box.

     
  58.  
    BUDGET 11:21:
    Car

    Moments later, the chancellor is on the move and heading for the House of Commons.

     
  59.  
    Simon Hopkins, Tewkesbury

    emails: For over a decade we've failed to address the absence of a living wage while there is growing excessive pay higher up. We've encouraged large business empires to prosper on the back of workers who must claim benefits to afford to work.

     
  60.  
    11:25: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    George Osborne has a "difficult balancing act"- on the one hand flagging up better economic news, while at the same time dampening down expectations there's now "loads of money to spray around".

     
  61.  
    BUDGET 11:27:
    George Osborne with the red Budget box

    Armed with the red box and ready to go, George Osborne a short time ago in Downing Street.

     
  62.  
    11:29: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    We know there's going to be something but it's not going to be a big bonanza Budget. If he gives any money away, he's going to have to claw it back from elsewhere.

     
  63.  
    BENTLEY CARS 11:31:
    Bentley Continental GTSpeed Coupe car is pictured during the media day ahead of the 84th Geneva Motor Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 4, 2014

    Bentley Motors, based in Crewe and owned by Volkswagen since 1998, is moving the manufacture of all its 12-cylinder engines from Germany to the UK. That would almost double the production of these engines at Crewe.

     
  64.  
    11:34:

    There'll be Prime Minister's Questions at its normal time of midday, ahead of Mr Osborne's speech. We'll bring you some snippets in between the rest of the Budget build-up.

     
  65.  
    BUDGET 11:39:

    Earlier this morning, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "So many families across the country are incredibly hard pressed, they're seeing their wages falling, they've faced 24 Tory tax rises since 2010. What I hope you see from the chancellor is an understanding of the difficulties families are facing and a response to make life easier and better for them."

     
  66.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter James Landale Deputy political editor

    tweets: "If you hint a rabbit is coming, it has to be great big one with floppy ears to meet expectations #parenthood #budget2014."

     
  67.  
    BUDGET 11:42: Nick Robinson Political editor

    Next year's Budget will be the one that says, "If you re-elect us at the general election, this is what you're going to get." This one, on the other hand, is George Osborne's last chance to say, here you go, we're going to put a bit more money back in your pocket.

     
  68.  
    CO-OP GROUP 11:43:

    The troubled Co-op group has delayed the publication of its annual results. They will now come out on 17 April instead of 26 March. Euan Sutherland resigned as chief executive recently and last week the group was told by Lord Myners, in a report commissioned by the Co-op, that the organisation faced collapse if it did not change the way it was run.

     
  69.  
    BUDGET 11:46: Nick Robinson Political editor

    There will be something in the Budget that we don't know about already. In part, that's because the civil service got a ticking off last year after the London Evening Standard printed virtually the entire contents of the speech before he delivered it.

     
  70.  
    11:49:
    NHS workers protesting ahead of the Budget

    Several groups of protesters have taken advantage of today's focus on Westminster to put their points across. Among them, NHS workers and prison officers.

     
  71.  
    BUDGET 11:56:

    Sarah Hewin, a senior economist with Standard Chartered, says there has been "a big shortfall" in private investment and "anything that helps businesses" in the Budget will be positive.

     
  72.  
    BUDGET 11:58: BBC News Channel

    The National Association of Estate Agents says it wants stamp duty on house purchases to be reformed. "We've been calling for a long time for a change to the divisive slab structure, where you pay larger amounts each time you cross a [tax] threshold," says president Jan Hytch.

     
  73.  
    12:00:

    Prime Minister's Questions is just about to get under way in the Commons.

     
  74.  
    BUDGET 12:01: Robert Peston Business editor

    I would be staggered if George Osborne doesn't increase tax allowances for investment. I was going to bring a hat in so I could eat it if he doesn't.

     
  75.  
    PMQs 12:04:

    Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband pay tribute to veteran politician Tony Benn who died last week.

     
  76.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:06:

    Referring to the latest unemployment figures, David Cameron tells MPs the data shows there has been 10 times more job creation in the private sector than in the public sector.

     
  77.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:07:

    Mr Miliband asks about the referendum in Crimea on Sunday after which Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty incorporating the region into the Russian Federation. The prime minister says the referendum was "illegitimate and illegal" and "if we turn away from this crisis and don't act, we will pay a very high price in the long term".

     
  78.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:08:
    PMQs

    George Osborne looks on, awaiting his moment in the spotlight.

     
  79.  
    Derek Moore, Finchampstead, Berkshire

    emails: Scrap business rates on empty buildings! If companies do not make a profit, corporation tax is not applied! Current business rates are based on 2008 property values, since then industrial properties have fallen in value.

     
  80.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS Via Twitter Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Ed Miliband calls for formal expulsion of Russia from the .g8 so if this happens he can be seen to have been pushing for it first

     
  81.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS Via Twitter Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Out of sight of cameras but spotted in the Commons gallery - Osborne family & Ken Clarke last filmed in Budget dozing #Budget2014

     
  82.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:14:

    David Cameron responds to taunts that the coalition's successive increases in the personal tax allowance is a Lib-Dem policy that he has not really favoured: "It has been an excellent move by a Conservative chancellor in a coalition government to make sure that the first £10,000 of income you earn you don't pay tax on and that benefits people earning all the way up to £100,000."

     
  83.  
    BUDGET 12:14:

    Paul Lewis, the presenter of BBC Radio 4 programme MoneyBox, tells a special edition of The World At One it has been "a remarkably leak-free Budget".

     
  84.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:15:

    Ed Miliband focused on the Crimea situation in his first batch of questions and is using his second to discuss mental health and cuts to services for those affected.

     
  85.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS Via Twitter Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets: Private-sector earnings, up 2.2% year to Jan, now rising faster than inflation, up 1.9%. Gov will pray it's start of rising living standards.

     
  86.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS Via Twitter Guardian's Michael White

    tweets: #PMQs Ed Mil goes into bat for mental health and now declining budget, Cam sounds concerned and well briefed

     
  87.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:21:

    "We want to help working families with their child care costs," asserts David Cameron. He accuses his Labour opponents of not supporting such a strategy at all.

     
  88.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS Via Twitter Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Ed Miliband saving his lines on economy for his #Budget2014 response and using #pmqs to ask about mental health and #ukraine

     
  89.  
    BUDGET 12:27:

    Isabella Hardman, assistant editor of the Spectator Magazine, tells Radio 4 people are "starting to think George Osborne could be Conservative Party leader".

     
  90.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:28:

    "We want to see more jobs making things, more jobs exporting things," says David Cameron, in response to a question about the impending creation of 100 BMW jobs in Tamworth.

     
  91.  
    PRIME MINISTER'S QUESTIONS 12:31:

    Labour's Ian Murray criticises the 1% pay increase for public sector workers announced last week. Mr Cameron says the policy is something that he was told was supported by the Labour Party.

     
  92.  
    BUDGET 12:33:

    Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle takes over in the Speaker's chair as is tradition for the Budget.

     
  93.  
    BUDGET 12:33:

    The chancellor has taken to his feet in the Commons.

     
  94.  
    BUDGET 12:34:

    Mr Osborne says "after the mess we were left, we put Britain right".

     
  95.  
    BUDGET 12:35:

    "If you're a maker, a doer or a saver: this Budget is for you."

     
  96.  
    BUDGET 12:35:
    George Osborne
     
  97.  
    BUDGET 12:35:

    "This is a Budget for building a resilient economy," says the chancellor.

     
  98.  
    BUDGET 12:36:

    Manufacturing is growing but it halved under the last government, the chancellor says. The government backs manufacturers across the entire country, he adds.

     
  99.  
    BUDGET 12:36:

    "Support for savers is at the centre of this Budget," says the chancellor.

     
  100.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post UK's political director

    tweets: Osborne mentions that the deficit is down by a third. But still almost double what he said it'd be back in 2010. #austerity #budget2014

     
  101.  
    BUDGET 12:38:

    First dig at Ed Balls draws some cheers and jeers.

     
  102.  
    BUDGET 12:38:

    He predicts growth of the UK economy in 2014 of 2.7%, and 2.3% next year, higher than previously forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

     
  103.  
    BUDGET 12:39:

    Mr Osborne says this is "the biggest upward revision to growth between Budgets for at least 30 years".

     
  104.  
    BUDGET 12:39:

    Mr Osborne says taken together, these growth figures mean our economy will be £16bn larger than was forecast just four months ago.

     
  105.  
    BUDGET 12:40:

    Abandoning his economic plan, which is working, is the biggest risk, he tells MPs.

     
  106.  
    BUDGET 12:41:

    Mr Osborne, referring to today's unemployment figures, says there was a "staggering" fall in claimants compared with a year ago.

     
  107.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Emily Maitlis, BBC News

    tweets: so confirmation that although growth is forecast for 2.7 this year - it wont be matched next year or year after - #Budget2014

     
  108.  
    BUDGET 12:42:

    The UK now has a higher employment rate than the USA - for the first time in 35 years, he says.

     
  109.  
    BUDGET 12:43:

    Mr Osborne says the IMF believes the UK is "achieving the largest reduction in both the headline and the structural deficits of any major advanced economy in the world".

     
  110.  
    BUDGET 12:43:

    He forecasts that the annual Budget deficit will disappear by 2018-19, on current trends.

     
  111.  
    BUDGET 12:44:
    George Osborne in front of the government benches

    George Osborne with the coalition government, at least literally, right behind him.

     
  112.  
    BUDGET 12:45:

    Britain will be borrowing £24bn less than forecast. "That's more than we spend in an entire year on the Police and Criminal Justice system," Mr Osborne says.

     
  113.  
    BUDGET 12:45:

    But, he adds, faster growth alone will not balance the books, more hard decisions are needed, more cuts are required.

     
  114.  
    BUDGET 12:46:

    "Growth up, the deficit set to halve, debt is lower, and the biggest single saving of all is a £42bn reduction in the interest payments we will have to make on that debt," he tells MPs.

     
  115.  
    BUDGET 12:47:

    We will continue rebuilding our foreign currency reserves, Mr Osborne says.

     
  116.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire

    tweets: George Osborne's fantasy Britain is unrecognisable to people in insecure, low paid jobs as living standards fall

     
  117.  
    BUDGET 12:48:

    Tells MPs what has already been announced - we are getting a new one pound coin, in the shape of the old thruppenny bit.

     
  118.  
    BUDGET 12:48:

    "A more resilient pound for a more resilient economy," Mr Osborne says.

     
  119.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Daily Mail Comments

    tweets: The new £1 - literally distracting the public with shiny things #budget

     
  120.  
    BUDGET 12:50:

    The old "fixing the roof when the sun is shining" line makes another appearance. George Osborne says it'll protect Britain "from future storms".

     
  121.  
    BUDGET 12:50:

    The chancellor says "Britain is not going back to square one" so all decisions in the Budget "are paid for".

     
  122.  
    BUDGET 12:50:

    There will be more cuts in public spending in the next Parliament (if the Conservatives are elected, of course - a small point he doesn't mention).

     
  123.  
    BUDGET 12:51:

    "We are continuing with pay restraint in the public sector," Mr Osborne says.

     
  124.  
    BUDGET 12:52:

    On to welfare now. "Never again" should the welfare system be allowed to spiral out of control, the chancellor says.

     
  125.  
    Tom Bradby, Political editor ITV News

    tweets: Confirms it will be a neutral budget, ie; that it will give with one hand and take with the other (mainly through spending changes).

     
  126.  
    BUDGET 12:53:

    The Speaker calls for order as Mr Osborne is jeered from the opposition benches while discussing welfare.

     
  127.  
    BUDGET 12:54:

    He outlines more plans to cap welfare payments - setting the overall limit at £119bn in 2015-16, excluding state pensions and unemployment benefits.

     
  128.  
    BUDGET 12:55:

    On tax avoidance, Mr Osborne says he is increasing HMRC's budget to stop non-compliance.

     
  129.  
    BBC Politics

    Pic: Standing room only in the House of Commons for #Budget2014 pic.twitter.com/b4xDIkzST8

     
  130.  
    BUDGET 12:56:
    Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith and Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey

    Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Employment Minister Esther McVey nod approvingly.

     
  131.  
    BUDGET 12:56:

    The chancellor says: "We will give HMRC modern powers to collect debts from bank accounts of people who can afford to pay but have repeatedly refused to, like most other Western countries."

     
  132.  
    BUDGET 12:56:

    "We are expanding the new tax we introduced to stop people avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company," Mr Osborne says. "From midnight tonight anyone purchasing residential property worth over half a million pounds through a corporate envelope will be required to pay 15% stamp duty."

     
  133.  
    BUDGET 12:57:

    Some announcements on help for the emergency services. Among them, Mr Osborne says he will be "waiving inheritance tax for those in our emergency services who give their lives protecting us".

     
  134.  
    BUDGET 12:58:

    "I will also relieve the VAT on fuel for our Air Ambulances and Inshore Rescue boat services across Britain, and provide a new air ambulance for London," Mr Osborne says.

     
  135.  
    BUDGET 12:59:

    More on tightening the noose on people owning UK homes via companies: "We are expanding the new tax we introduced to stop people avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company. We will expand the tax on residential properties worth over £2 million to those worth more than £500,000."

     
  136.  
    BUDGET 12:59:

    Mr Osborne says he will be providing a grant to the Magna Trust in commemoration of its 800th anniversary.

     
  137.  
    BUDGET Faisal Islam, Economics Editor, Channel 4 News.

    So: will all the LibDems vote for the welfare cap next week? #Budget2014

     
  138.  
    BUDGET 13:01:
    Douglas Alexander, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband

    A Mr Osborne-eye view - his opposite number, Ed Balls.

     
  139.  
    BUDGET 13:01:

    Air passenger duty will be changed. "From next year, all long haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States."

     
  140.  
    BUDGET 13:02:

    Interest rates to exporters will be cut by a third, the chancellor says.

     
  141.  
    BUDGET 13:02:

    More on exports. Mr Osborne says the government will double the amount of lending available to exporters to £3bn.

     
  142.  
    BUDGET Adam Boulton, Sky News Political Editor

    tweets: GO funds Magna Carter and draws unspoken parallel between King John "betrayed his brother" and EM (DC leads laughter, slaps thighs)

     
  143.  
    BUDGET 13:03:

    The OBR has revised down forecast tax receipts from North Sea Oil, Mr Osborne says, adding that the change is the danger of Scottish independence. "These further downgrades in the tax receipts would leave independent Scots with a shortfall of £1,000 per person," he says.

     
  144.  
    BUDGET Penny Marshall, ITV News Social Affairs Editor

    tweets: Budget welfare cap as set out and expected in Autumn statement: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/263942/35062_Autumn_Statement_2013.pdf …

     
  145.  
    BUDGET 13:04:

    On the subject of new homes, Mr Osborne confirms there will be a new garden city built at Ebbsfleet, new homes in Barking Riverside and a regeneration of Brent Cross.

     
  146.  
    BUDGET Tim Reid, BBC Political Correspondent

    tweets: Osborne introducing new allowances to support investment in North Sea

     
  147.  
    BUDGET 13:06:

    House building. People will have a new "right-to-build-your-own home." He confirms that the equity loan element of the current Help to Buy scheme (which started a year ago) will now last until 2020.

     
  148.  
    BUDGET 13:06:

    "Taken all together, the housing policies I announce today will support over 200,000 new homes for families," Mr Osborne adds.

     
  149.  
    BUDGET Robert Peston, Business Editor for the BBC

    tweets: Osborne seems rather pleased that tax receipts from North Sea oil are falling more than earlier forecasts. I wonder why? #Budget2014

     
  150.  
    BUDGET 13:07:

    A £200m pot announced to help councils repair potholes.

     
  151.  
    BUDGET 13:08:

    The Alan Turing Institute will be set up to pioneer computing research in the UK again.

     
  152.  
    BUDGET 13:08:

    "Tomorrow we introduce legislation to give new tax and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government to fund their infrastructure needs, and they can start now on work to improve the M4 in South Wales," the chancellor says.

     
  153.  
    BUDGET 13:08:

    The government will extend the grant for small businesses to support 100,000 more apprenticeships.

     
  154.  
    BUDGET 13:09:
    Vince Cable

    Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, listening intently.

     
  155.  
    BUDGET 13:10:

    On to help for business. Business rates discounts and enhanced capital allowances will be extended in enterprise zones for another three years, the chancellor says.

     
  156.  
    BUDGET 13:11:

    A big tax break: The Annual Investment Allowance for companies will be expanded to £500,000 (at a cost of £2bn), until the end of 2015.

     
  157.  
    BUDGET 13:11:

    Mr Osborne says energy costs need to be cut by investing in new sources of energy for Britain's manufacturing to be competitive.

     
  158.  
    BUDGET 13:12:

    "We are going to have a £7bn package to cut energy bills for British manufacturers," Mr Osborne says.

     
  159.  
    BUDGET Joey Jones, Reporter Sky News

    tweets: Chancellor says generous investment will cost £2bn in short term. Wonder where that comes from?

     
  160.  
    BUDGET Nick Robinson, Political Editor, BBC News

    tweets: Annual investment allowance for businesses doubled to £500,000 a year. Costs £2 billion so significant measure #Budget2014

     
  161.  
    BUDGET 13:14:

    Fuel duty rise planned for September will not take place, the chancellor confirms.

     
  162.  
    BUDGET 13:16:

    House! Mr Osborne says the number of bingo halls has "plummeted" by three quarters over the last 30 years and so bingo duty will be halved to 10%.

     
  163.  
    BUDGET 13:17:

    Fixed odds betting terminals in bookies will now be taxed at a higher rate of 25%. "We will also extend the horserace betting levy to bookmakers who are based offshore," he adds.

     
  164.  
    BUDGET 13:17:

    "Tobacco duty has been rising by 2% above inflation and will do so again today," he says.

     
  165.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Journalist Gaby Hinsliff

    tweets: Scrapping booze tax escalator; will rise only in line with inflation. Boy are we a long way now from the minimum pricing argument. #budget

     
  166.  
    BUDGET 13:19:

    Alcohol duty escalator scrapped. Mr Osborne says he will freeze duty on whisky and ordinary cider.

     
  167.  
    BUDGET 13:19:

    Beer duty will be cut by one pence, Mr Osborne says. "Pubs saved. Jobs created. A penny off a pint for the second year running," he adds.

     
  168.  
    BUDGET 13:20:

    Here's one we thought was coming. The personal allowance. In 2015, this will rise from £10,000 to £10,500, more than initially planned. "I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved," he says.

     
  169.  
    BUDGET 13:21:

    The chancellor does as he was asked by Tory MPs with an eye on the next election. "I can also confirm today that the higher rate threshold will rise for the first time this Parliament, from £41,450 to £41,865 next month, and then by a further 1% to £42,285 next year." "And because I am also passing the full benefit of today's personal allowance increase on to higher rate taxpayers - people earning 42,000, 43, 50, 60, all the way up to £100,000 will be paying less income tax because of this Budget," he adds.

     
  170.  
    BUDGET Nick Robinson, Political Editor, BBC News

    tweets: As widely predicted income tax allowance increased again to £10,500 #Budget2014

     
  171.  
    BUDGET 13:23:

    Now a key area. Savers. New pensioner bond available to anyone aged over 65, Mr Osborne says. "The exact rates will be set in the autumn, to ensure the best possible offer - but our assumption is 2.8% for a one year bond and 4% on a three year bond."

     
  172.  
    BUDGET 13:24:

    More on the pensioner bond. "Up to £10bn of these bonds will be issued. A maximum of £10,000 can be saved in each bond."

     
  173.  
    BUDGET 13:24:

    A big reform of the regime for Isas - the highly popular individual savings accounts. Cash and stocks and shares ISAs will be merged into one New ISA. The annual limit for saving in an Isa will be raised to £15,000.

     
  174.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Tom Bradby, political editor, ITV News

    tweets: These changes are pretty far-reaching and, let's remember, pensioners do vote...

     
  175.  
    BUDGET 13:27:

    Mr Osborne says that if people choose to take their pension pot early, instead of 55%, it will be taxed at a normal marginal tax rate - typically 20%.

     
  176.  
    BUDGET Steven Swinford, Senior Political Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph.

    tweets: George Osborne unveils his rabbit in the hat: Annual limit for saving in Isas will rise to £15,000.

     
  177.  
    BUDGET 13:29:

    Here's the climax. "With the help of the British people, we're turning this country around." And with that, he sits down. Just under an hour in total.

     
  178.  
    BUDGET 13:29:

    A couple of things to catch up on saving. "There is a 10 pence starting rate for income from savings," Mr Osborne says. "It is complex to levy and it penalises low income savers. Today I am abolishing the 10 pence rate for savers altogether."

     
  179.  
    BUDGET 13:30:

    Defined contribution pensions will see big changes to the tax rules governing them. The income requirement for flexible drawdown will fall from £20,000 to £12,000; the capped drawdown limit will fall from 120% to 150%; the size of the lump sum small pot will rise five-fold to £10,000; and the total pension savings you can take as a lump sum will almost double to £30,000.

     
  180.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Ros Altmann, pensions expert

    tweets: Ppl will flock to take money out of pensions now. Will bring in lots of tax revenue too. Clever

     
  181.  
    BUDGET 13:31:

    More big changes on the rules regarding how you convert a pension pot into an annual income. "We will legislate to remove all remaining tax restrictions on how pensioners have access to their pension pots. Pensioners will have complete freedom to draw down as much or as little of their pension pot as they want, anytime they want. No caps. No drawdown limits. Let me be clear. No one will have to buy an annuity."

     
  182.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Booze, Bingo, Business and Savers. That's your #Budget2014 Folks."

     
  183.  
    BUDGET 13:32:

    Now Labour leader Ed Miliband is on his feet. He says the chancellor failed to mention one key thing. "Working people are worse off under the Conservatives."

     
  184.  
    BUDGET 13:32:

    Mr Miliband says people are £1,600 worse off under the Tories since the election.

     
  185.  
    BUDGET 13:33:

    Mr Miliband says the chancellor reminded people of the gap between his rhetoric and the standards of people's lives.

     
  186.  
    BUDGET 13:34:

    Mr Miliband says the chancellor didn't mention the "24 tax rises" since the election in 2010.

     
  187.  
    BUDGET 13:35:

    The Labour leader says the one group that is better off under the current government is millionaires.

     
  188.  
    BUDGET 13:36:
    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband is unimpressed with what he's heard.

     
  189.  
    BUDGET 13:37:

    "It's same old Tories" Mr Miliband says, with Nick Clegg supporting them.

     
  190.  
    BUDGET 13:37:
    George Osborne

    An eye-roll from Mr Osborne as the Labour leader attacks his efforts.

     
  191.  
    BUDGET 13:38:

    Mr Miliband says the chancellor always promises a rebalancing of the economy but he always fails.

     
  192.  
    BUDGET 13:39:

    The deputy speaker reprimands a member of the House again. George Osborne got through his speech with little or no interruption, but Ed Miliband isn't enjoying the same peace and quiet.

     
  193.  
    BUDGET 13:42:

    Mr Miliband asks "will you rule out a further tax cut for millionaires to 40p?" and asks the prime minister to nod his head if he is.

     
  194.  
    BUDGET 13:43: Stuart Hatfield, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

    emails: When will Ed Miliband concede that it was their failure to control the banks and the debts that led to the economic recession, their failure to account for the billions that we spent on quantative easing that led to a lack of confidence in his party's ability to recover from recession?

     
  195.  
    BUDGET 13:45:

    Mr Miliband mocks the Tories rebranding themselves the "workers' party", saying five old Etonians are writing their manifesto.

     
  196.  
    BUDGET 13:47:

    Britain can do better than the Conservatives and needs a Labour government, Mr Miliband says as he finishes his rebuttal.

     
  197.  
    BUDGET 13:48:

    Reaction starting to flood in from groups affected by the announcements. The Fire Brigades' Union says the cut to inheritance tax for emergency service workers killed on duty is a gimmick. "Inheritance tax only applies to those leaving more than £325,000, so it is hard to assess how many would actually benefit," said Matt Wrack, general secretary. "Meanwhile, the families of all firefighters, including those killed at work, will be worse off as a result of government attacks on our pensions."

     
  198.  
    BUDGET 13:49:

    Here's our main news story which gives more detail about today's Budget.

     
  199.  
    BUDGET 13:50:

    The Federation of Small Businesses says: "Today's Budget offered a clear signal for businesses to grow through the increased investment allowance with a focus on manufacturing. The £7bn package to cut manufacturing energy bills will help create jobs and strengthen this key sector."

     
  200.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter James Chapman, Daily Mail, political editor

    tweets: Savings tax break means anyone with annual income of £15.5k or less will pay no tax at all #budget2014

     
  201.  
    BUDGET 13:53:

    The Lib Dems herald the rise in the personal allowances as a triumph for their policies. "Cutting income tax by £700 - by raising the tax-free allowance to £10,000 - was the top priority on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. The Budget today has confirmed that the Liberal Democrats have now been able to go even further. The tax-free threshold will rise to £10,500 next year, giving a tax cut of £800 for 25 million working people since 2010."

     
  202.  
    BUDGET 13:55: Via Twitter Sam Coates, deputy political editor, the Times

    tweets: This Budget divides starkly between pre and post election. Before April 2015 main changes are to flood spending pothole repair alcohol taxes

     
  203.  
    BUDGET 14:00: Robert Peston Business editor

    The scrapping of the requirement to take a pension annuity will be very popular with those it directly affects. But also, more broadly, and this is quite astonishing, it will actually raise money for the Treasury. It's predicted to raise more than a billion pounds a year by 2018-19. That's because if you take a large chunk of money out of your pension, you're going to have to pay tax on it.

     
  204.  
    BUDGET 14:01: Robert Peston Business editor

    I wonder what the Lib Dems feel they got out of this Budget. It does feel to me like a very Tory Budget.

     
  205.  
    BUDGET 14:03:

    Tory heavyweight Ken Clarke says the main gainers from the Budget were less well-off savers.

     
  206.  
    BUDGET 14:04: Nick Robinson Political editor

    On the matter of pension changes. I tell you what I can see with the politics of this: the sorts of people who are ageing and have a little bit of money, who are those people? It is not too cynical to say they're either the core Tory vote, the people that are disillusioned and thinking of not voting, or often the sorts of people that don't much like this government and have been tempted by Mr Farage and UKIP.

     
  207.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Peter Henley, BBC politics reporter

    tweets: "At journalists' briefing treasury spokesman says he hopes New £15k ISA will become known as NISA! #budget2014."

     
  208.  
    BUDGET Emily Maitlis, BBC Political Editor

    tweets: Has this all been about the putative grey UKIP vote - suggests @bbcnickrobinson - an invitation by tories to come back to fold #Budget2014

     
  209.  
    BUDGET 14:07:

    Green Party spokeswoman Molly Scott Cato wanted more on housing. "Here the chancellor could act swiftly to bring in rent controls which would simultaneously reduce the massive amount of public money being wasted on housing benefit. He could also raise the borrowing limits on local authorities to enable them to build houses for those on their lengthy and growing waiting lists."

     
  210.  
    BUDGET 14:09:

    For an easily digestible run down, here's our list of key points from the Budget.

     
  211.  
    BUDGET 14:10:

    In his blog, the BBC's business editor Robert calls it a "budget for business and older people". That feeling definitely seems to be shared by many other commentators.

     
  212.  
    BUDGET 14:11:

    More reaction. Ronnie Ludwig, a partner at accountancy firm Saffery Champness, says the abolition of compulsory annuity purchase with private pension savings is a "huge sea change". "Annuity rates have been falling so far and so fast that pensioners have getting fairly miserable returns on their pension savings," he says.

     
  213.  
    BUDGET 14:12:

    Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children's Society, says raising the personal allowance "may appear a positive move", but "for hundreds of thousands of working families that depend on housing benefit to top up their meagre earnings, this will gain them very little". He adds: "The vast majority of this will be deducted from their benefits, giving with one hand while taking with the other."

     
  214.  
    BUDGET 14:14:

    Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, says: "Thousands of people are about to be hit with a massive tax bill which could go back as far as 10 years. This is due to his retrospective measures to collect tax from those people who have entered into tax planning arrangements, irrespective of whether which are legitimate or not. Individuals will have to pay tax up front and only get it back if it later emerges the scheme does not break any rules."

     
  215.  
    BUDGET 14:15:
    London Evening Standard

    The London Evening Standard gives its front page reaction to the Budget.

     
  216.  
    BUDGET 14:18:

    Friends of the Earth economics campaigner David Powell says it was "dirty business as usual in this year's Budget". "Merely weeks after promising action on flooding and global warming, the best the chancellor can manage is a U-turn on his own reckless flood defence cuts, and caving in to big business lobbying on pollution tax."

     
  217.  
    BUDGET 14:21:

    More reaction to the budget, this time from Dave Prentis, leader of Unison: "The Chancellor has run out of time and ideas. His claims that people are feeling the benefits of his austerity agenda are wearing thin. The public are not fooled, they know that the gap between the rich and poor is dividing society. Unison members will see through the Chancellor's Budget for what it means - at least another four years of pain for little gain."

     
  218.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter George Eaton, New Statesman

    tweets: Notable that pensioner benefits are not excluded from Osborne's welfare cap - expect Tories will pledge to means-test them

     
  219.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Scotch Whisky As :"Delighted that the Chancellor listened to our case for scrapping unfair alcohol duty escalator and freezing whisky duty"

     
  220.  
    BUDGET 14:26:
    George Osborne holding new one pound coin

    In case you missed it earlier, this is what the pound in your pocket is soon going to look like. And by the way, those fingers belong to the chancellor.

     
  221.  
    BUDGET 14:27:

    More criticism of the budget's green credentials, from Dr Doug Parr, chief Scientist at Greenpeace UK, who says the chancellor "should not be incentivising business to become dirtier and more polluting". "The government would be better off using this money to help UK industry become a world leader in energy efficient manufacturing, increasing their profits and helping with climate change."

     
  222.  
    BUDGET 14:28:

    What does the Budget mean for you? Find out here.

     
  223.  
    BUDGET 14:31:

    Like pasties and caravans in years past, unlikely things can grab the Budget headlines. This time it could well be bingo. Here's our story on the cutting of bingo taxes from 20% to 10%.

     
  224.  
    BUDGET 14:32:

    Sarah Hewin, senior economist with Standard Chartered, says: "There is something there to address many of the concerns that people in the City have about the outlook for the UK economy. Measures to help exports, measures to support investment. There's some immediate spending on infrastructure, support for the housing sector, and of course, the Office for Budget Responsibility has raised its growth forecast for this year and for next year."

     
  225.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter London Mayor Boris Johnson

    tweets: Budget good news for hardworking Londoners - regenerating deprived estates & unlocking '000s of new homes from Barking to Brent Cross,

     
  226.  
    BUDGET 14:39:

    UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage says the primary objective of the coalition, to reduce our country's debts, has not been achieved. He says there are some "very good things" happening in our economy, but "no recession lasts forever" and the government shouldn't take too much credit for any improvements. "This government hasn't released the full potential of this country," he adds, not least because it's done nothing to tackle the impact of EU bureaucracy on private business.

     
  227.  
    BUDGET 14:40:

    The RAC says an extra £200m ("if indeed this is new money") to repair potholes is a step in the right direction, but more is needed. "We need whole stretches of road to be resurfaced regularly rather than just patching them when they start to fall apart, costing taxpayers more and more money every year," says technical director David Bizley.

     
  228.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Fraser Nelson, The Spectator

    tweets: On the TV, pundits all talking about the public finances. No one prepared for pension revolution to be the big story - for good or ill.

     
  229.  
    BUDGET 14:42: BBC News Channel

    A lot of head scratching going on at the moment. "It does seem to be more of a pension announcement than a Budget," says the Daily Mirror's associate editor Kevin Maguire.

     
  230.  
    BUDGET 14:46: BBC News Channel

    Elfyn Llwyd, from Plaid Cymru, welcomes the raising of the personal allowance and the capping of fuel duty. "But all in all I'm disappointed," he says. "There doesn't seem to be much for the small and medium enterprise sector," which, he adds, makes up 90% of Wales' workforce.

     
  231.  
    BUDGET 14:46: BBC News Channel

    Craig Woodhouse, political correspondent at the Sun, adds that the only person in the Commons who looked like he understood what was going on was the pensions minister Steve Webb. All the other MPs were very quiet.

     
  232.  
    BUDGET 14:48:

    For more on all the changes to savings, here's our news story.

     
  233.  
    BUDGET 14:49: BBC News Channel

    The BBC's John Campbell, in Belfast, says it is welcome news that a data centre will be established in Northern Ireland to encourage a cluster of hi-tech and online businesses. But he says that though the economy in Northern Ireland is recovering, it is still 10% below its pre-recession peak.

     
  234.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Tom Clark, Guardian leader writer,

    tweets: If annuity market really does disappear, long-living women cld be biggest losers

     
  235.  
    BUDGET 14:53: BBC News Channel

    Here's the first reaction from shadow chancellor Ed Balls. "For all the talk of it being a savings Budget, the saving in the economy goes down for year after year after year." Like many, he says the Budget needs further inspection. "We need to look at the detail of this."

     
  236.  
    BUDGET Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Labour's @edballsmp makes clear he's nervous of proposal to allow people not to buy annuity - may mean poorer run out of £, richer avoid tax

     
  237.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph,

    tweets: OBR says Osborne's savings reforms will *not*affect overall level of saving as pension withdrawal offsets higher ISA etc savings.

     
  238.  
    BUDGET Labour MP Gloria De Piero

    tweets: Today the chancellor did nothing to help the estimated 300,000 women employed on zero hour contracts #Budget2014

     
  239.  
    BUDGET 14:59: BBC News Channel
    Ed Balls

    "I welcome what he's done on investment," says Mr Balls, but adds that it's all come three years too late. Nick Robinson puts it to Mr Balls that he's not actually contesting the content of the Budget. The shadow chancellor's response? It's a "bit disappointing" because Mr Osborne didn't really address what matters: the cost of living crisis.

     
  240.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Ed Balls says Labour will vote for Govts £119 billion welfare cap #budget2014

     
  241.  
    BUDGET 15:01:

    John Cridland, from business lobby group the CBI, likes what he's seen today. "The Budget will put wind in the sails of business investment, especially for manufacturers," he says. "This was a make or break Budget coming at a critical time in the recovery and the chancellor has focused his firepower on areas that have the potential to lock in growth."

     
  242.  
    BUDGET 15:04:

    One thing you might have missed was the news that UK passengers on some long-haul flights are set to pay less tax following a revamp of Air Passenger Duty. Find out more here.

     
  243.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Paul Waugh, Politics Home, editor

    tweets: If people raid their pension pots + spend it on themselves or buying kids/grandkids a house, this won't be a straightforward 'Savers Budget'

     
  244.  
    BUDGET 15:09:

    More on the chancellor's decision to cap the carbon price floor. Tim Yeo MP, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, says it's a welcome step, but adds: "Freezing the price of carbon here could also eventually make dirty, polluting coal power stations more economically viable in the UK. This could potentially divert investment from some cleaner technologies including gas."

     
  245.  
    OBR 15:15:
    Robert Chote

    Robert Chote is now explaining the reasons for the Office for Budget Responsibility's economic growth revisions. One of the key factors is greater momentum in business investment. But, he adds, it's important to remember how volatile that investment is and how much estimates can still be revised. So it's "encouraging, but history could be rewritten again".

     
  246.  
    BUDGET 15:16: Nick Robinson Political editor

    It seems clear that being able to do so much for older voters with savings was what the Tories got back from the Liberal Democrats for agreeing to another costly increase in the personal tax allowance. Read more from Nick.

     
  247.  
    OBR 15:22:

    Robert Chote adds that consumer spending remains the key driver of growth, but cautions that wages rose less than expected last year and says productivity growth is still weak.

     
  248.  
    BUDGET James Chapman, Daily Mail

    tweets: Ed Balls concedes it was 'a tough speech for Ed Miliband'. Very helpful #budget2014

     
  249.  
    BUDGET Telegraph Investing

    tweets: What did you make of the #Budget2014? Here is our list of this year's winners and losers

     
  250.  
    BUDGET 15:24:
    Piggy bank

    Want to find out more about those New Individual Savings Accounts, or NISAs as they may be called? Read our story here.

     
  251.  
    BUDGET 15:26:

    Commenting on the additional funding for flood defence repairs and road damage, Nick Baveystock, from the Institution of Civil Engineers, says that while it signals a commitment to better protecting homes and businesses, the government has not provided any longer term certainty beyond the current five-year cycle.

     
  252.  
    BUDGET Guy Parckar, head of policy and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire Disability,

    tweets: Disappointingly no mention of social care in #Budget2014. Positive on housebuilding, but must be accessible/affordable for disabled people.

     
  253.  
    BUDGET 15:30: BBC News Channel
    Lord Lamont

    Lord Lamont, former Conservative Chancellor, is out on College Green. He puts things into context, saying the £3bn of export finance is "a drop in the ocean when you look at the hundreds of billions that make up trade".

     
  254.  
    BUDGET Tim Shipman, Daily Mail,

    tweets: The Budget in summary: Not so much a major rabbit, more a series of tadpoles.

     
  255.  
    BUDGET 15:32:

    Mr Osborne's Budget "passes the business test", according to the British Chambers of Commerce. "Business wanted a Budget that was disciplined, focused, and geared towards the creation of wealth and jobs - and that's what the chancellor has delivered," says director general John Longworth.

     
  256.  
    BUDGET 15:35:

    Anna Scott-Marshall, of the Royal Institute of British Architects, welcomes steps to help people build their own homes. "However, changes to Help to Buy to deliver 120,000 homes by 2020 and the introduction of the Builders' Finance Fund will fall short of providing the boost to housing supply we desperately need. The government needs to stop tinkering around the edges of the housing crisis and start taking serious steps towards solving it."

     
  257.  
    BUDGET City News

    tweets: Great for pensioners, not so great for pension providers. @Peston L&G shares down 9.66% since #Budget2014

     
  258.  
    BUDGET 15:39:

    "This was a pre-election Budget," says TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady. "It will be paid for by further years of austerity, public services brought to near collapse, public sector pay cuts and a welfare cap that bites into the safety net that any of us might need."

     
  259.  
    BUDGET 15:40:

    For more on what the chancellor had in his red box for business, see our story on tax relief and export boosts for UK firms.

     
  260.  
    BUDGET 15:41: BBC News Channel
    Vince Cable

    "The steps today will make sure that the recovery is properly balanced and properly sustained," says Business Secretary Vince Cable. "We're beginning to see the fruits feeding through but it takes time."

     
  261.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Aides insist Budget isn't a pensioners' bung. Pensions bond costs Exchequer £325m over the forecast period.

     
  262.  
    BUDGET 15:45:

    Ian Burke, chief executive of Rank, the owner of Mecca Bingo Clubs, says "the government has created a basis for renewed investment and innovation" in his industry "by bringing bingo duty into line with other forms of gaming entertainment".

     
  263.  
    BUDGET HuffPostUKPolitics

    tweets: Jeremy Hunt falling asleep during George Osborne's #Budget2014 speech

     
  264.  
    BUDGET 15:54:
    william hill share price

    One of the less headline-grabbing details the chancellor announced was a rise in duty from 20% to 25% on fixed odds betting terminals. Betting firm William Hill reckons that had this rate been applied in 2013 it would have cost the business £16m. Shares in the firm are down 8% as investors digest that.

     
  265.  
    BUDGET 15:53: BBC News Channel

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tells the BBC News Channel he is "proud" of what the Budget offers savers, workers and helping to keep energy intensive industries in the country.

    "I'm most proud of the fact that we have not only delivered the Liberal Democrat flagship policy of raising the point at which you pay income tax as of next month to £10,000... we're now over delivering on that manifesto commitment."

     
  266.  
    BUDGET 16:01: Elena Cresci for the Guardian

    blogs: We're collecting the funniest tweets about the budget, starting with Sky's political editor's red-faced selfie - suggest your own in the comments: Budget 2014: the weirdest and funniest tweets

     
  267.  
    BUDGET 16:03: Via Blog Nick Robinson Political editor

    blogs: "Politically these measures have one target - older voters with savings, many of whom will be 40p tax rate payers. A higher proportion of them will, I suspect, be Tory voters or disgruntled ex-Tory voters. It seems clear that that was what the Tories got back from the Liberal Democrats for agreeing to another costly increase in the personal tax allowance."

     
  268.  
    BUDGET 16:08: Via Twitter Paul Lewis Presenter, Money Box

    tweets: "NISA can be all cash or all shares. So if you put the max cash in for 14/15 of £5940 then on 1 July you put in another £9060." Just a reminder, for the next hour Paul is tweeting about what was new in the Budget and what wasn't, and what it means for you.

     
  269.  
    BUDGET 16:09: BBC News Channel
    Nick Clegg

    Mr Clegg says: "Whoever comes into government after the election next year will have to continue the painstaking and sometimes downright unpopular work of filling the black hole in our public finances. If you don't do that you can't create the foundations of a stronger economy, and without a stronger economy you can't create a fairer society."

     
  270.  
    BUDGET Thomas Henry Carver

    emails: I have always supported the Tory Party since leaving Labour, and find my faith has been justified. What can you do for your country not what can the country do for you, is why we are coming out of the darkness and into the light! Savings for the pensioners is right and proper, for these people have been the backbone of the country over troubled times and deserve to be treated well.

     
  271.  
    BUDGET 16:12:

    Alison Garnham, the chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, has strongly criticised the Budget.

    "Today's Budget tries to lock in austerity for millions of low-paid families, poor children, carers and disabled people," she says.

    "Announcing a cap for social security spending without a plan to address the root causes of low pay, high rents and high childcare costs simply forces the most vulnerable in society to pay the price for inaction."

     
  272.  
    BUDGET Leeroy

    tweets: Didn't really have an affect on my life. If anything, the budget benefitted me slightly. #Budget2014

     
  273.  
    BUDGET 16:19:
    Older people

    Now that all tax restrictions on pensioners' access to their pension pots are to be removed, it has ended the requirement to buy an annuity. Here's a quick guide to what annuities actually are and how they work, by our personal finance reporter Kevin Peachey.

     
  274.  
    BUDGET 16:20:

    The Association of British Bookmakers describes the new 25% rate on fixed-odds betting terminals as a "knee jerk and ill-considered tax raid".

    "This could the cost the industry an extra £75m. Thirty percent of our shops, and many are small family run businesses, make less than £300 in profit a week."

    It continues: "The government's desire to continue to soak the industry undermines our ability to continue to support horse and greyhound racing. It will cost jobs and reduce the investment we can make in the research, education and training that's needed to tackle problem gambling."

     
  275.  
    BUDGET 16:23:

    If you're trying to figure out how you're actually affected by all the chancellor's announcements today, read our piece on what the Budget will mean for you.

     
  276.  
    BUDGET 16:26:

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper tells the BBC: "I think the problem is that right across the country people are going to be worse off at the end of this Parliament than at the beginning as a result of the decisions that this government is taking.

    "I don't think that the Budget does address the cost of living crisis that people are feeling everywhere, I don't think the government gets it."

     
  277.  
    BUDGET Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor

    blogs: "What is very striking is that the new freedom to cash in, being given to those saving for a pension, is expected to raise money for the Treasury. How so? Well, those taking the money, rather than buying a low-yielding annuity, will have to pay tax at their marginal tax rate on that cash (so a tax rate of 20% if they are basic rate taxpayers)."

     
  278.  
    BUDGET 16:35:

    Shares in insurers are down sharply after Mr Osborne announced changes to annuity rules, giving pensioners the freedom to cash in as much or as little of their pension pot as they want, removing the need to buy an annuity. Resolution fell as much as 12%, Legal & General 10%. Read our market report here.

     
  279.  
    BUDGET 16:36:

    And if you're thinking, 'That's all very well, but what's an annuity?' Well, you're probably not alone. Here's a helpful guide from BBC personal finance reporter Kevin Peachey.

     
  280.  
    BUDGET 16:38:

    Here's the chancellor's budget speech in full.

     
  281.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Laura Kuenssberg BBC Newsnight

    tweets: Age UK welcomes immediate changes to pensions but warns budget does nothing for poorest pensioners

     
  282.  
    BUDGET 16:44:

    Here's the BBC's Iain Watson on the chancellor's "Essex appeal" - or his attempt to appeal to voters who may have opted for Labour from time to time, but have been attracted by Conservative policies such as Right to Buy in the past, and may even be tempted by UKIP in the future.

     
  283.  
    BUDGET 16:46:
    Nick Clegg confronted by protester on College Green

    Nick Clegg's photocall to celebrate the Lib Dems' role in raising the personal allowance was interrupted earlier by an angry protester.

     
  284.  
    BUDGET 16:49:

    Mr Osborne warned that a drop in forecast tax receipts from the oil and gas industry shows how "precarious" an independent Scotland's finances could be. However, Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney says in reply: "Increased investment in the North Sea will lead to increased production with a further 24bn barrels of oil still to come from the North Sea."

     
  285.  
    BUDGET 16:50:

    Mr Swinney adds: "This was Westminster's last chance to show it could create opportunity for Scotland and reject the diet of austerity. Once again Westminster has failed to deliver for Scotland."

     
  286.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Jess Brammar, ITV News Business

    tweets: Boss of deVere group says pensions changes "extremely dangerous & ill-conceived" leaves people more likely to be financially depndt on state

     
  287.  
    BUDGET 16:55:

    Director general of the Association of British Insurers Otto Thoresen says the changes to pensions "represent a significant challenge" for his sector. "The insurance industry has already introduced reforms to help customers get the best retirement deal, and we look forward to playing a key role in ensuring that these reforms deliver better outcomes for customers".

     
  288.  
    BUDGET 16:57:

    Ed Miliband claimed Michael Gove was "consigned to the naughty step" during the Budget speech. The outspoken education secretary last week criticised the "ridiculous" number of old Etonians in David Cameron's inner circle. But Mr Gove appeared to see the funny side of the Labour leader's jibe.

     
  289.  
    BUDGET John Bee, Reading

    emails: The increase in the ISA to £15000 is great for the middle class but for me on a pension of £9687.00 and my son on the minimum wage at £8890.00 we will never be able to save.

     
  290.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Jon Kay BBC News, West of England correspondent

    tweets: Been asking people which British icon they'd like to see on the back of the new £1 coin. Best suggestion: Usain Bolt (Jamaican)

     
  291.  
    BUDGET 17:02: BBC News Channel

    Martin Lewis, from personal finance website Money Saving Expert, says: "Increasing the amount that people can put into premium bonds generally is a good thing... increasing the number of £1m prizes is a big mistake. He's not increasing the prize fund. They give away 1.3% of everything that's in premium bonds in prizes, so if you give more people a £1m win, lots of people have to not win £25 or £50. So for the typical person with average luck they will earn less because a few people earn £1m."

     
  292.  
    BUDGET 17:04:

    Here's our story on the news that Northern Ireland is to get its first enterprise zone in Coleraine, County Londonderry.

     
  293.  
    BUDGET Roger Jarman, Exeter

    emails: Allowing pensioners to take their pot all at once instead of buying annuities is a policy with merit. However, it wasn't so long ago that the coalition was calling on pension funds to fill the investment gap as government gets smaller and smaller.

     
  294.  
    BUDGET 17:08:

    It is understood 16 firms in Wales - including Tata Steel in Port Talbot - will qualify for compensation for their high energy bills. They'll share a £240m pot announced by the chancellor.

     
  295.  
    BUDGET 17:10: Jenny Williamson, Nottingham

    emails: I am single, 47 years old and live on my own, I live in a one bedroom council flat. What does the budget do for people that are working and on basic wage?

     
  296.  
    BUDGET Via Twitter Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: "Labour say for the first time since 1870 - (that wd be Gladstone, I think) -people will be worse off at the end of a Parliament #budget2014"

     
  297.  
    BUDGET 17:13: BBC News Channel

    Sajid Javid, Treasury minister, says the changes announced will "put pensioners back in control of their finances" because they will no longer be forced to buy an annuity. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie won't say if he agrees that's a change for the better, but warns there could well be some devil in the detail of the policy.

     
  298.  
    BUDGET 17:14:

    Firms and individuals wrangling with HMRC over their use of tax avoidance schemes will have to pay the disputed sum to the government up front, but will get it back, with interest, if they ultimately win. We have more details here.

     
  299.  
    BUDGET 17:16:

    Of the news that there is to be a freeze on duties on whisky, Westminster SNP leader Angus Robertson says: "This is one of Scotland's leading industries, exporters and employers, and even with this announcement, nearly 80% of the price of bottle of Scotch whisky will continue to be tax levied by the Treasury in London."

     
  300.  
    BUDGET 17:19:
    Alan Turing

    The chancellor announced £42m will be provided over five years to set up the Alan Turing Institute, which will focus on new ways of collecting, organising and analysing large sets of data - commonly known as big data.

     

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