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Summary

  1. George Osborne presents the 2015 budget
  2. 2015 UK growth revised up to 2.5% by OBR
  3. Chancellor pledges to end austerity by 2019/20
  4. Tax free allowance to go up to £10,800 next year
  5. New personal savings allowance for first £1,000 interest
  6. Labour leader says chancellor has 'failed working families'

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm and Sarah Weaver

All times stated are UK

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Recap: Budget day round-up

George Osborne raises his Budget box to photographers outside Number 11 Downing Street
Getty Images

Well, it's fair to say it's been a very busy day. Here's a recap of what's happened:

We're ending our coverage for the day now. Thanks for joining us - we'll be back tomorrow at 6am.

End of oil 'cash cow'

Douglas Fraser, BBC Business/economy editor, Scotland

North sea oil rig
PA

Douglas Fraser, the BBC's Business/economy editor, Scotland has

this analysis of the impact of the chancellor's measures on the Scottish oil industry.

He writes that a headline tax cut of a third - in the case of the Supplementary Charge on newer fields - "looks unusually generous in the current fiscal climate".

But he goes on: "It looks less generous when it's added to corporation tax, which runs at 30% of profits while other industries pay 20%. And it's less generous still, when you recall that the cut in supplementary charge from 30% to 20% precisely reverses the increase George Osborne announced in his 2011 Budget - to oil industry consternation.

"This was a Budget which spelled the end to the 40-year era of oil and gas being a government cash cow."

Gaby Hinsliff, political editor, Grazia

@gabyhinsliff

tweets: Tsk, you lot confused by what the Sun front page image of Osborne means. It's
this ad, aimed at Young Persons

Chancellor 'gets what he wanted'

Tomorrow's front pages
Vars

Isabel Hardmann

has blogged in the Spectator that the chancellor will be pleased with tomorrow's front pages. Yup, even THAT Sun front page, apparently.

Lord Ashcroft, pollster

@LordAshcroft

tweets: YouGov/Sun poll CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRNS 6%

'Not a giveaway'

Daniel Finkelstein
BBC

Danny Finkelstein responded to Damian McBride and defended the chancellor's performance. He said the Conservatives' election strategy was not to run the election on a giveaway Budget but rather try "to show that it has competent, consistent management" of the economy.

'A missed opportunity'

Damian McBride
BBC

Damian McBride says George Osborne hasn't done enough, today, to hand the Conservatives the election. The former advisor to Gordon Brown told BBC Newsnight, "in an election campaign ... momentum is everything".

He said: "Will this produce the 5% shift in the polls that will change the momentum and direction of the election campaign and massively put the pressure onto Labour or does it actually leave Labour thinking 'Well, we've got the argument where we want it.' And I fear for George Osborne today that he hasn't produced that shift." He went on to say it was a "big opportunity" for the chancellor but it was "a missed opportunity."

Small print

The Spectator editor Fraser Nelson says that, as ever, the story of the Budget was hidden in the small print. There are no hidden tax rises, but the story isn't really in the tax. It's about the cuts to come, the incredible jobs recovery and the games already being played for the general election campaign, he adds.

He breaks down the Budget down into ten graphs.

More borrowing?

Chris Leslie
BBC

It's shadow Treasury secretary Chris Leslie's turn to be grilled by Evan Davis now. Asked to confirm that Labour would spend more than the Conservatives if it wins the election, Mr Leslie does not address the question directly. He says Labour rejects the need for such "extreme spending cuts" planned by the Conservatives, and tells BBC Newsnight the party would not rely on borrowing in its general election manifesto. He says that getting on top of the deficit is not just dependent on cuts but also fairer taxation.

Independent front page

Independent front page
Independent newspapers

The Times front page

Via @SkyNews

Times front page
Times

i front page

Via @suttonnick

i front page
Inpho

'Right direction'

Treasury minister David Gauke on BBC Newsnight
BBC

The chancellor was making a point about deficit, wages and job "where we have got a very good story to tell", David Gauke adds. He says the government inherited a "desperate position" from Labour in 2010 "but we are now moving in the right direction".

Paying our way?

Treasury minister David Gauke
BBC

Challenged over Mr Osborne's remarks that Britain is paying its way in the world, Treasury minister David Gauke tells BBC Newsnight the government will be delivering a budget surplus in 2018-19 and that debt will be falling as a proportion of GDP from 2015-16 - the first time in fifteen years, he adds.

Daily Star front page

Via @suttonnick

Daily Star front page
Daily Star

Argument refined

James Landale

Deputy political editor

Today's Budget doesn't change the fundamental debate of British politics: George Osborne is still saying 'the economy is getting, better stick with me', while Labour is saying 'there are big cuts to come, don't risk it with him'. But the argument has been refined. The chancellor has a budget book which he says shows debt will be falling, living standards will be rising and austerity will end a bit earlier than expected - all designed to counter specific Labour criticism of the Conservative position. But Labour says the chancellor has got the tone wrong, and by being so optimistic today he has been hubristic, which will jar with the public. The test of the budget will come in the coming days, when strategists pour over the numbers and opinion polls to see whether today's announcements have tempted marginal voters to come on board or whether they say no, it's time for a change.

Guardian front page

Guardian front page
Guardian newspapers

Daily Mail front page

Via @suttonnick

Daily Mail front page
Daily Mail

Daily Mirror front page

Via @suttonnick

Daily Mirror front page
Daily Mirror

The Sun front page

Via @suttonnick

Sun front page
The Sun

A cunning plan?

Blackadder, Baldrick and Queenie
BBC

"In his crucial Budget speech, George Osborne tries to pull off a tough balancing act - while Ed Miliband gets cross, and David Cameron becomes a little over-excited,"

writes the Telegraph's parliamentary sketchwriter Michael Deacon.

He says George Osborne has improved as a speaker but, "what hasn't changed, however, is his tone of voice. Almost everything he says sounds like an insult".

With phrases such as "walking tall" and "the comeback country", the chancellor's statement was designed to convey optimism, he goes on, arguing, "David Cameron could have said these words easily. For Mr Osborne - the most acidly cynical figure in British politics since Edmund Blackadder appointed himself Baldrick's election strategist - it must have been rather harder."

'He kept chanting. And kept chanting'

Iain Dale
Getty Images

Sharp-eared viewers may have heard the nation's media competing with hecklers during some of today's live Budget analysis coming from outside Parliament, on Westminster's College Green. LBC's Iain Dale has explained what was

the cause of the racket.

TV debates

Natalie Bennett, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood
Getty Images

The Guardian is reporting that broadcasters are expected to confirm tomorrow that the first TV election debate featuring the party leaders will go ahead next week, with David Cameron and Ed Miliband interviewed separately by Jeremy Paxman. It is also thought the announcement will confirm the formats for the rest of the debate, with no substantial changes expected to the proposals which Downing Street claimed on Tuesday to have agreed with broadcasters.

BBC Newsnight

A timely reminder that Newsnight is coming up on BBC Two shortly, at 22.30pm. Conservative Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke and his opposition counterpart, Chris Leslie, will be on the programme. We'll be watching, and bringing you all the latest.

Daily Telegraph front page

Daily Telegraph front page
Daily Telegraph

'Simplistic, repetitive, dull, muscular, negative'

Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby
BBC

Tim Montgomerie sees Lynton Crosby's fingerprints all over the Budget - and isn't best pleased about it, bemoaning what he sees as the short-term election strategy coming at the cost of a long-term vision for the party.

Writing in

tomorrow's Times (£) he says: "The campaign the Tories are fighting — simplistic, repetitive, dull, muscular, negative — is all Crosby and so was the budget."

He goes on: "My only hope is that, win or lose, Crosby is not allowed to continue his domination of the Conservative party after May 7," concluding, "Crosby's political recipe might be enough to beat Ed Miliband. It's not enough to build a Conservative party that deserves to win elections."

Metro front page

Via @suttonnick

tweets: Thursday's Metro front page: 22 die in terrorist attack at museum

Metro front page
Metro

FT front page

FT front page
Financial Times

Spectator front page

Via @suttonnick

tweets: This week's Spectator front page: Britain is working #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

The Spectator front page
The Spectator

£81m on 'cheap shots'

The Chancellor George Osborne delivering his 2015 Budget
PA

The Guardian has totted up the cost of, as it sees it, the Budget measures which allowed the chancellor to score a point at Ed Miliband's expense in the Commons - and arrives at a total of £81m, plus some "valuable treasury civil servant hours". It claims the chancellor's speech left "some wondering if he is spending millions of public money on cheap shots".

Evening Standard front page

Evening Standard front page
Evening Standard

One for tonight, rather than tomorrow ... the West End final of the Evening Standard. Readers will remember two years ago when the paper

had to apologise after publishing details of the Budget too early.

'A budget for Jeremy Clarkson'

BBC News Channel

Jeremy Clarkson
AFP/Getty Images

Was there much in the Budget for women? "Noooo!" asserts economist Katrine Marcal. "Duty cuts for fuel and beer - that's a budget for Jeremy Clarkson." Although George Osborne said in his statement that the gender pay gap was now at its smallest, she says if you compare the UK to many other countries in the OECD "it is still pretty large".

Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor

@BethRigby

tweets: I haven't had enough of this pre-election Budget -- will be reviewing the frontpages on the #bbcpapers tonight

Rebecca Keating, BBC parliamentary reporter

@RebeccaKeating

tweets: Wednesday in Parliament: Wisecracking @George_Osborne favours savers & ends austerity early. Labour labels #Budget2015 'unbelievable' (1/2)

Plus: Mixed feels about the schools building programme & fears Likud's victory will further stall the Mid East peace process (2/3)

And @David_Cameron sees the funny side of @Ed_Miliband's two kitchens @bbcdemlive 2300 tonight (3/3)

Inaccurate picture?

BBC News Channel

It was a "tick box Budget", economist Marian Bell tells the BBC News Channel, and by "apparently giving something for everybody the image that's been created is perhaps not entirely valid". The budget overall did very little for the economy, she adds, as everything "netted out".

Guido Fawkes

@GuidoFawkes

UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP
Reuters

Tweets: ‏Farage on His Health: "
I've Never Been Well" …

Osborne's message

James Landale

Deputy political editor

George Osborne holds up Budget case as he stands outside Number 11
Reuters

George Osborne's aim today was to turn the economic recovery of the country into the political recovery of the Conservatives. So, he tried to reassure voters worried about another Tory-led government and convince them they'll benefit from the growing economy.

Read more from James here.

Ed Conway, Sky News economics editor

@EdConwaySky

Graph of net cost/gain of Budget measures for election
@EdConwaySky

tweets: Statistical evidence that Osborne's refusal to do pre-election giveaway is HIGHLY unusual. Brown in 05 only other one

Tunisia terror attack

Tunisian police outside the Bardo museum in Tunis
AFP

In other news, David Cameron has said he is "appalled" by the terror attack in Tunisia, which left 22 people dead when gunmen stormed the country's national museum. The prime minister pledged Britain's full support, while the Foreign Office said it is "urgently" looking into the attack amid reports Britons may be among the dead.

The other Tory chairman

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has been in the headlines rather a lot this week but, according to journalist and former Conservative staffer Andrew Gimson, it is his co-chairman Lord Feldman who is the more important political figure. In a profile for

ConservativeHome, Gimson describes Feldman - who is in charge of party fundraising - as David Cameron's "oldest political friend" and suggests he has an "exceptional aptitude for filling the party's war chest". With the election just 50 days away, this backroom figure's significance could be greater than ever.