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Summary

  1. MPs met at 09.30 GMT for the Budget debate. The subject for today's debate was local growth.
  2. The adjournment debate was on inward investment in Southend, introduced by Sir David Amess.

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel

All times stated are UK

That's all from the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

The adjournment debate finishes and that concludes business in the House of Commons.

MPs will return on Monday at 14.30 GMT when David Cameron will provide a statement on the European Council summit debate and debate on the Budget will continue.

Begging bowl for Southend Pier

House of Commons

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After celebrating the investment made in Southend, David Amess describes himself as holding out a begging bowl for Southend Pier, which he says is in need of major funding.

Cabinet Office Minister Greg Clark says the success Southend is enjoying reflects the efforts of the town's representatives in Parliament, including James Duddridge, member for Southend West, who is also in the chamber.

David Amess and James Duddridge
BBC

Adjournment debate: Inward Investment in Southend

House of Commons

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We now come to the adjournment debate which today concerns inward investment in Southend.

Conservative MP for Southend West Sir David Amess opens the debate and is outlining the progress of the new city deal which provides funds for small and medium sized businesses in the area.

'Britain back on its feet'

House of Commons

Parliament

The last speech of the day before the adjournment debate comes from Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel, who trumpets the government's achievements citing the delivery of the highest level of employment ever.

She says the government is "putting Britain back on its feet, delivering prosperity to all corners of our country".

She outlines the choice in the coming election as one between returning to the economic chaos of the Labour government or sticking to the long term economic plan for every constituency.

'Too unproductive, too unbalanced and too insecure'

House of Commons

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Shadow health minister, Luciana Berger, wraps up for the opposition. She acknowledges there has been growth but says it has been "too unproductive, too unbalanced and too insecure".

She goes on to say that every part of the country would benefit from Labour's plans and would be felt by the many not the few.

A Conservative government, she predicts, would see massive cuts in the police, NHS, defence budgets and local government whereas Labour's plans would deliver a rise in living standards and a truly national recovery.

House of Commons Chamber
BBC

@AnneMiltonMP

Conservative MP Anne Milton tweets: Lovely intervention from Labour benches for @uxbridgewalrus.No greater compliment than that paid by political opponents and so well deserved

'Desperately seeking Nigel'

House of Commons

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Laura Sandys makes her final speech, paying tribute to her constituency of South Thanet where Nigel Farage and 'the Pub Landlord' are standing for election.

She says: "I am pleased that my departure has further supported the local economy with half the lobby spending a lot of time in the pubs in my constituency desperately seeking Nigel and hunting down the pub landlord. I am pleased that my departure has offered the pubs, bars and hotels such roaring business."

The final backbencher speech comes from fellow Conservative Sir Edward Leigh, who notes that Laura Sandys was described by the Times newspaper's parliamentary sketch writer as one of the few sane members of the House.

Bull manure, not gold manure

House of Commons

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David Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon attacks the government's record on the NHS, the police and failure to improve living standards.

He reads a letter from his constituent, a public worker, reciting his pay increases over the past five years: "0%, 0%, £100, 0% and 0%". Looking at his pay slip from 2011, David Anderson concludes that under the coalition government his constituent has become £16 a week worse off.

He brings his speech to an end: "Its not gold manure we're getting from this government but bull manure."

David Anderson
BBC

Nuisance calls

House of Commons

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Sir Andrew Stunell, the Lib Dem MP for Hazel Grove, relates some successes of the coalition government.

He says he is pleased that he has seen, over the course of the Parliament, he has seen the wealthy pay more tax; and the equality gap falling to the benefit of those least well off in society.

He also mentions that he is delighted to see measures to tackle nuisance calls in the Budget. Sir Andrew is a

member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on nuisance calls.

Constituency woes

House of Commons

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John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, says the area he represents has housing problems, exacerbated by the local Tory council, following comments from Sir John Randall, whose constituency borders his.

He says social services and care services are also underfunded, and that workers suffer a climate of "bullying and fear".

He goes on to criticise measures in the Budget, particularly measures to combat tax evasion and avoidance.

Picture: Sir Tony Baldry

House of Commons

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Sir Tony Baldry
BBC
The MP says he was delighted that his last speech was to support the Budget

Budget background: Wales

Decisions affecting Wales were announced including opening negotiations for the building of a £1bn tidal lagoon energy project in Swansea.

It is hoped that the lagoon would generate power to run 120,000 homes for 120 years. The lagoon would power turbines using the energy from incoming and outgoing tides.

Further pledges include reducing the toll for the Severn River crossing from £6.50 to £5.40 for cars and £19.60 to £16.30 which the Freight Transport Association described as a "kick in the teeth".

@TonyBaldry

Conservative MP Sir Tony Baldry tweets; In the Commons waiting to give what I anticipate will be my final speech. Can't believe it's been 32 years since my Maiden Speech!

First eclipse joke of the day

House of Commons

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And the prize goes to Labour MP Nick Brown commenting on Gregory Barker's speech.

"When he refers to the Northern Powerhouse event, the Sun went and hid behind the moon and we know that when it re-emerges the Liberal Democrats will be up taking the credit for it."

Sir John Randall to seek re-election?

House of Commons

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Many outgoing MPs are using today as an opportunity to make their valedictory speeches.

In Lib Dem MP David Heath's words: "The member for Luton South is the exception to the unhappy feeling that this is a special budget debate organised for elderly members of Parliament not seeking re-election."

Meanwhile, Sir John Randall may have caused alarm to one particular parliamentary candidate hopeful by teasingly stating that "I hope that this will not be my final contribution.

"I have an important announcement to make and that I have actually decided to change my mind."

He leaves a pregnant pause before going on to say that he may contribute to some debates next week.

Boris Johnson
BBC
Boris Johnson is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Sir John's constituency in the forthcoming election

Budget Background: digital research

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On Wednesday George Osborne announced a plan to funnel £10m into the study of digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

Further pledges include £140m to research smart cities, driverless cars and the

internet of things.

The video games industry is set to receive £4m for start-ups and a further £4m to provide training to people in the sector.

Although not specifying a date, the Chancellor also stated an aim to ensure that ultrafast broadband of at least 100 megabits per second would in future be available throughout the country.

Video Games
BBC

'Certifiably insane'

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Conservative MP Tim Yeo stands to make possibly his last speech in the House of Commons, having been

deselected by his local party.

The former government minister concludes his speech with a paean of praise for his party: "This was magnificent budget, from a outstanding Chancellor and a terrific coalition government.

"Anybody who believes that the quality of their lives and the prosperity of their families will be affected by the economy would be certifiably insane not to vote Conservative on May 7th and if the people of Britain don't recognise the merits of the economic plan and the continued need for it then I will, sadly, conclude the voters deserve their fate."

'Extraordinary investment'

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Gregory Barker
BBC

Former energy minister Gregory Barker is the first of the backbenchers to speak.

He applauds the "extraordinary" investment in his local economy and name checks projects taking place in his constituency of Bexhill and Battle, including the prospect of a high speed rail line to Bexhill which would allow residents to get to St Pancras Station in 78 minutes.

Taking a wider view he looks at the record of the coalition as a whole and predicts that historians will look back on the coalition as a period of extremely successful grown up government.

@George_Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne ‏tweets: Really positive feedback on budget from FSB annual conference in Birmingham and lots of great ideas to back business for future

International Buyers

House of Commons

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Shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn addresses the government's record on housing, accusing ministers of increasing demand without increasing supply.

He also attacks the practice of allowing estate agents to market to international buyers, who are likely to leave a property empty. He says Labour will introduce reforms to give priority to local buyers.

Conservative MP for Bromley and Chiselhurst Bob Neill challenges Hilary Benn on how such practices can be prevented asking: "What is the policy, how much will it cost, how many bureaucrats will be involved and what effect will the policy have on London as an international city?"

Bob Neil
BBC

@ChiOnwurah

Labour MP Chi Onwurah tweets: In the Chamber hoping to be called to speak on the budget and the North East - or rather what the budget could and should have done for NE

Comfort blanket?

House of Commons

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Eric Pickles sums up his opening speech with a number of well-worn phrases including "Britain has stepped back from the brink", "the road to economic recovery" and the perennial favourite "long-term economic plan".

Hilary Benn notes it took the Secretary of State 59 seconds to mention the long term economic plan. He suggests it has become something of a comfort blanket for a government who don't understand that people in the country are feeling worse off.

Hilary Benn
BBC

Help to Buy ISAs

The introduction of Help to Buy ISAs was announced in the budget on Wednesday.

Under the scheme the government will top up savings - contributing 25p for every £1 saved.

No minimum deposit will be required to open a Help to Buy ISAs and they are expected to be available from autumn 2015.

Critics have said the the plan is unfunded and could push house prices up further.

'Thank God you're here'

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Chairman of Ways and Means Lindsay Hoyle interrupts a slightly fractious exchange between Eric Pickles and Labour MP Emily Thornberry to clarify that members should address the chair rather than each other.

"Thank God you're here," Mr Pickles remarks - eliciting murmurs of approval from other MPs - before returning to the subject of Help to Buy ISAs.

Yorkshire idioms

House of Commons

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Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles opens the debate celebrating the government's record on economic growth describing the UK's job creation as "the envy of the developed world".

Quoting a Yorkshire phrase he says "where there's muck there's brass and boy did Labour leave us a lot of muck".

Labour MP David Anderson intervenes to respond with another Yorkshire idiom which he says best describes the government's record: "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine."

Picture: Eric Pickles

House of Commons

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Eric Pickles
BBC
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles opens Friday's debate on the Budget

Local growth

House of Commons

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In the Budget on Wednesday, the Chancellor announced a series of measures concerning infrastructure, including a new inter-city rail franchise for south-west of England, reducing the toll for the Severn river and allowing Greater Manchester councils to keep 100% of growth in business rates.

Good morning

House of Commons

Parliament

Hello and welcome to today's coverage of the House of Commons.

MPs will gather at 09.30 GMT to discuss the Budget. The subject of today's debate is local growth.

The day will end - as usual - with an adjournment debate introduced by Sir David Amess on inward investment in Southend.