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Summary

  1. Chancellor George Osborne pledges to extend the pensioner bonds scheme
  2. Labour's Tristram Hunt promises more Sure Start childcare places
  3. Plaid Cymru says it will seek Scottish-style devolution in any coalition negotiations
  4. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accuses Vladimir Putin of acting like a "tyrant"
  5. There are 88 days to go until the General Election on 7 May
  6. Watch/listen to today's programmes by clicking on the 'Live Coverage' tab or the pick of the day by via 'Key Video' tab

Live Reporting

By Angela Harrison and Justin Parkinson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

That's all from the Politics Live team for today, a Sunday which saw political figures jousting with journalists and each other in radio and TV studios to get their messages across. The government announced the extension of the pensioner bond and Labour pledged to increase childcare under the Sure Start scheme. There are still almost 90 days to go until the voters decide whose version of the future they prefer.

We'll be back at 06:00 on Monday and report throughout the day, from the Today programme to beyond Newsnight. It'll be a busy week. In the meantime, keep up with the latest from the world of politics on the BBC News Channel, on radio and the web. Click on the Live Coverage tab above if you want a recap of what happened on super Sunday. Until the morn...

Pensioner bonds

With the government announcing an extension of the high-interest bonds for pensioners, here is a reminder of

what the bonds are.

older saver
Thinkstock

Read all about it

In case you haven't seen today's papers, here's a flavour:

  • The Sunday Telegraph - Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on his plans to cut avoidable deaths in England's hospitals
  • The Observer - Tony Blair's office says he'll do "whatever the party wants" for the election campaign
  • The Mail on Sunday - British Army snipers are being trained how to avoid being attacked
  • The Sunday Times reports that Solicitor-General Robert Buckland has invested in a film partnership scheme being investigated by tax inspectors. He insists he hasn't attempted to avoid tax
  • Several papers - Prince Charles on his worries about the radicalisation of young Muslims in Britain and the intimidation of Christians in Iraq

Recap

A quick look back at today's main political news:

  • A "pensioner bonds" scheme - which offers high interest rates to savers over 65 - has been extended to mid-May. Critics accuse the government of buying votes
  • Labour say they will create 50,000 more child care places by expanding Sure Start Centres through partnerships
  • Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says some nuns are "brilliant teachers" doing "fantastic jobs"
  • Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt sets out plans to cut the number of avoidable deaths in hospital
  • Gibraltar writes to Labour leader Ed Miliband to tell him the territory is not a tax haven

Greenspan on Greece

Looking beyond the UK, former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has predicted that Greece will leave the euro. "I don't see that it helps them to be in the euro," he told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, "and I certainly don't see that it helps the rest of the eurozone, and I think it is just a matter of time before everyone recognises that parting is the best strategy." You can

listen to the full interview here.

Sombrero Sunday

Nicola Sturgeon
PA

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends a service in Rutherglen, Glasgow, to commemorate 50 years of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.

Business battle

BBC Radio 5 live

Labour is "ferociously" pro-business, shadow Cabinet Office minister Jonathan Ashworth has told BBC 5 Live's Piennaar's Politics. And a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU is the "last thing" businesses need, he added. On the same programme, former deputy speaker, Conservative Nigel Evans said: "I just think people are fearful that the Labour Party is going to hike up taxes... they've got lots of uncosted spending plans that are coming forward."

Nigel Evans
BBC

Nationalists pledge on EU vote

The Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph reports that Scottish and Welsh nationalists "are threatening to stop English voters forcing Britain to leave the European Union after a referendum".

Magna Carta

A copy of the Magna Carta has been been found in the archives of Kent County Council. It's believed to be one of the later editions, dating from about 1300. Magna Carta, which put limits on the Monarch's power and established the rule of law, was first produced in 1215.

Schools reaction

The Pre-School Learning Alliance says it welcomes Labour's announcement of extra Sure Start childcare places. Chief executive Neil Leitch adds that it's "vital that all children, regardless of background, have access to high-quality childcare".

The Rock responds

Gibraltar
BBC

Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo has written to Labour leader Ed Miliband to tell him the territory is not a tax haven. He said it was "unfair" to characterise Gibraltar as such because it is also part of the European Union and subject to the same standards as all member states. Mr Miliband has written to the leaders of British overseas territories and crown dependencies to say they will get six months to open their books or face international blacklisting if Labour wins the general election.

A busy morning

Here are some of the main points so far today:

  • Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt set out plans to cut the number of avoidable deaths in England's hospitals
  • Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said Labour would add 50,000 new childcare places at Sure Start centres
  • He also told Marr some nuns were "brilliant teachers", doing "fantastic jobs"
  • Chancellor George Osborne announced the extension of a scheme where pensioners can buy bonds with high interest rates
  • Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said her party would seek Scotland-style devolution in any deal-making for a coalition

Sunday Politics

tweets: "These businesses are supporting us even though we are very clear we want to reform Europe" says @matthancockmp #bbcsp

Labour on business

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint says not a single FTSE 100 company had come out for Labour in 1997. She also tells Sky News that some of Labour's policies would not please businesses, but that the party would create a system whereby "without fear or favour" everybody pays the right tax.

Caroline Flint
BBC

Buying votes?

Director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood criticises the extension of the pensioner bond scheme and accuses the government of trying to buy votes. "This announcement well and truly proves that we are not all in it together... a direct subsidy to wealthy pensioners from the working-age population", he tells the BBC News Channel.

Nungate

The Andrew Marr Show

A re-cap on what what's been said this morning on so-called "nungate". Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt told Andrew Marr some nuns were "brilliant teachers", doing "fantastic jobs". Marr had asked him several times whether an unqualified nun could be a good teacher. He repeated that he'd meant no offence to nuns in an exchange about teacher training with journalist and prominent Catholic Cristina Odone on Question Time on Thursday.

Labour on corporation tax

Sunday Politics

Shadow treasury minister Chris Leslie says it's not the Labour Party's intention to increase corporation tax to levels seen in some parts of Europe and claims its policies are being "distorted".

tweets: .@willie_rennie says @scotlibdems want to outlaw stopping and searching anyone on a voluntary/consensual basis #bbcsp

Tim Iredale

Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

tweets: Rotherham MP says @Nigel_Farage wrong to call for all-out elections this year. @SarahChampionMP tells #bbcsp it would create "power vacuum"

Analysis

Joe Lynam

BBC business correspondent

We knew these pensioner bonds would be popular but few expected them to be this popular. Their arrival three weeks ago has flushed out billions of pounds of cash owned by older people. They've found a safe new place to park their money, with incredibly generous rates of interest. The original ceiling of £10bn has been scrapped simply because the chancellor and his deputy Danny Alexander didn't want to risk the ire of such a key voting demographic who might have missed out on such a lucrative opportunity.

The fact that the newly created window for investing in pensioner bonds closes almost as the general election polls do is a happy coincidence.

Critics will say that ordinary working-age taxpayers will be subsidising an often wealthy group of pensioners whose homes have multiplied in value and whose company pensions are far more generous than will be the case when Generation X or Y retires.

The Guardian's Nick Watt

tweets: Now @ChrisLeslieMP is just showing off as he shows up boss @edballsmp by reeling of list of biz people to @afneil #bbcsp

Hancock on tax

Matt Hancock
BBC

Business minister Matt Hancock says the government has reversed rules which meant some wealthy people were paying "less tax than their cleaners".

Tax plan

Chris Leslie
BBC

Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie says Labour will make "no apology" over its plan to blacklist British territories if they do not compile public registers of offshore firms.

Foreign policy

Sunday Politics

Rory Stewart
BBC

Conservative MP Rory Stewart, chairman of the Defence Committee, tells BBC One's Sunday Politics that "we should not be dragged into a ground war" against IS, but adds that "we should not go to the other extreme - isolation".

Hammond on Putin

Valdimir Putin
AP

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tells Sky News that Russian President Valdimir Putin is "acting like some mid-20th century tyrant" and describes the Kremlin's behaviour towards other countries as "outrageous and outdated".

Tax talk

The Andrew Marr Show

Chancellor George Osborne told the Andrew Marr programme this morning that

.

Labour 'means business'

The Andrew Marr Show

A bit more on what shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt told Andrew Marr. After a week in which Labour came under fire from some business leaders, he insisted the party was "furiously, passionately, aggressively pro-business". He added that a strong business sector would support services - and that "only Labour" would deliver the European markets business needed.

Pension bonds

More on Chancellor George Osborne telling the BBC's Andrew Marr show that a pensioners' bond scheme is being extended for three months. The high-interest bonds were brought in last month for the over-65s and there was a rush to buy them.

Mr Osborne says they have been "enormously popular and successful", but some have been critical, saying the taxpayer is unfairly picking up the bill.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

tweets: Distressing what a target culture, instead of care culture, has done to our #NHS under Labour and Tory govts:
http://dailym.ai/16U2h81

Tax claims denial

Robert Buckland
BBC

Solicitor General Robert Buckland has denied attempting to avoid tax, after the Sunday Times claimed the Conservative MP had invested in the Invicta Film Partnership No 25, which was being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs. The MP for South Swindon said: "I have not attempted to avoid tax, and my investments are a matter of public record."

Here's the full story.

Child care places

The Andrew Marr Show

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt outlines how

.

Train man goes Green

The president of the RMT rail union has announced he's standing as a candidate for the Green Party at the general election. Peter Pinkney will offer his services to voters in Redcar, which is held by the Liberal Democrats.

No 'lethal aid' for Ukraine

Foreign Secretary Phil Hammond tells Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News the UK is not planning to supply "lethal aid" to Ukraine. He says pressure on Russia over its actions will continue through diplomacy and EU sanctions - and that there is "scope for tightening the sanctions". He hopes economic pressure will make Russia think again, he adds.

Journalist Catherine Mayer

tweets: Backstage watching @George_Osborne on #marrshow. @OllyGrender saying "ding" whenever he hits the phrase "long term plan"

What's happening?

Time for a bit of a recap. Chancellor George Osborne has announced the extension of the "pensioner bonds" scheme, with the savings ceiling being removed. Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says Labour will add 50,000 new childcare places at Sure Start centres. And Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says her party will ask the "going rate", in terms of devolution, in any coalition deal-making in the event of a hung parliament.

EU referendum

Offering a referendum on EU membership hasn't had a destabilising effect, George Osborne says. The Conservative Party is promising the public an in/out vote if it wins a majority in May's general election.

Pensioner bonds

The Andrew Marr Show

Chancellor George Osborne tells Andrew Marr the "pensioner bonds" scheme which gives savers over 65 generous interest rates is being extended. One and three-year bonds were launched last month and already more than £7bn has been invested. Mr Osborne says the savings ceiling of £10bn is being removed and the deadline extended to mid-May, after the next election. There's been criticism as taxpayers will underwrite the scheme - but Mr Osborne says it is the right thing to do

Osborne on Labour

Labour doesn't have a plan to support business and the economy, which will mean funding for public services is hit if the party enters government, says George Osborne .

Tax havens

The Andrew Marr Show

The chancellor tells Andrew Marr Labour's plans to put tax havens on an international blacklist are ill thought-through and would be damaging.

Osborne on donors

George Osborne
BBC

Chancellor George Osborne says "no one buys policy in the Conservative party" - and says that is what the unions are doing with Labour. He tells Andrew Marr "financial services are a vital industry".