Chancellor George Osborne is set to unveil the Spending Review to the House of Commons, and we will be bringing you all of the news, as it happens.
Osborne’s speech is due to begin at 12:30, but the build-up has been riveting, and we will bring you updates from the house of commons, and immediate reaction from people around the country.
The latest news will appear at the top, so if you want to start at the beginning, you’ll need to go to the end. Yes, we know how that sounds.
[Press refresh to see the latest updates]
13:40 – Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson agrees that the budget deficit needs reducing, but that the cuts are too deep, and for some reason the government benches turn into native Americans with dozens of cries of ‘How’. I think I just saw a Wigwam at the back there.
13:32 – George Osborne finally sits down and is greeted with the sort of embrace from David Cameron not seen since Brokeback Mountain. George’s voice is almost gone, and he looks quite upset that we’ve blown right through nap time.
13:21 – Public sector worker Dave Blackie writes in, “490,000 public sector jobs are to go eh? Well, so long as I’m number 490,001 I couldn’t give a shit.”
13:20 – Pensioners’ free bus passes to remain. Bloody hell George, you had the perfect chance to make buses more pleasant overnight, and you blew it.
13:14 – George Osborne makes a joke, and is seen to be barely stifling an erection as a result. Sounds of vomiting from the opposition benefits.
13:12 – NPower executives crack open the bubbly as winter fuel allowances are made permanent. Why don’t they cut out the middle man and have the government pay them directly?
13:05 – Bank tax evasion to be stopped this month, but no timetable set for clamping down on tax evasion by former Tory party chairmen. One at a time, I guess.
13:02 – Retirement age up to 66 in 2020, four years earlier than planned. 55 year-olds around the country are left absolutely livid.
12:55 – The police will remain 100% visible claims Osborne, despite cuts to police budgets and no guarantee that police numbers will not fall. No transparent police, all bear officers 100% opaque. You heard it here first.
12:49 – The Treasury and Cabinet Office will be sharing buildings, Osborne tells us. Several MPs sneak out the back door in order to bagsie the best offices.
12:46 – The Queen is to start feeding the Corgi’s supermarket own-brand dog food. Ouch. This is worse than we first thought.
12:43 – “Yes, there will be public sector redundancies, but we will help them find work elsewhere,” says Osborne, before looking over his shoulder and directly at a distinctly nervous-looking Nick Clegg.
12:37 – The UK is paying £43bn a year in debt interest, says Mr Osborne. It seems that getting a pay day loan of £400 from Wonga.com to pay the Downing Street gas bill was a bit of a mistake. Always read the small print George. Always.
12:15 – Downing Street insiders tell us that George Osborne has been practising his ‘caring’ face for two hours this morning, so he can deliver the bad news more convincingly. We’re told it’s not worked, and he looks more like a paedophile who is distinctly lacking in confidence.
12:02 – Paul Williams of Swindon “You can make unemployment benefit obsolete as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got a job, but if you put up train prices so my commute is more expensive then I’ll march on Whitehall.”
12:00 – We’re underway! Prime Ministers questions begins with Ed Miliband asking questions of David Cameron, who asks questions in return, and is met with another question by response. Lots of questions, no answers. How novel.