Chancellor George Osborne is set to unveil his latest budget 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.
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13:58 – That’s it folks, the highlight is obviously the 1p off fuel duty, which will go a long way to helping deal with the 20p per litre price increase we’ve seen in the last 12 months. Nice one George.
13:38 – Opposition leader Ed Miliand is on his feet, and though we didn’t want to hear him blow the previous government’s trumpet, it would have been nice if he’d blown his nose.
13:22 – Addressing fuel duties, the Chancellor cancels the fuel duty escalator as long as oil companies are making plenty of money, but it will be introduced if oil companies aren’t making as much as they’d like.
13:20 – Duty on that crappy weak lager that no-one in their right mind drinks is to stay the same.
13:13 – William Hague starts crying when someone texts him that Elizabeth Taylor has died. What? Straight people liked her too you know.
13:09 – Nick Clegg genuinely looks like he’s hearing all of this for the first time. We find that completely plausible.
13:06 – The Chancellor’s nervous little cough is getting worse. The body language experts are loving it, but in reality it comes from speaking for an hour after never using your voice to say anything other than, “Yes David”.
12:59 – The chancellor confirms that the Bankers Levy will be used to help poor people buy vastly over-priced shoe boxes in thoroughly undesirable areas, thus ensuring bankers meet their mortgage targets.
12:51 – Cameras pan to Kenneth Clarke who is falling asleep, Eric Pickles nudges him awake and he jumps up screaming, “Not now Maureen I’m masturbating!”. We imagine it’s going to be a while before Ken can live that one down.
12:45 – Inflation is likely to remain between 4-5% for the rest of the year, though the Chancellor insists the target is still 2%, and he will assist the Bank of England to meet that target by making lots of things a bit more expensive.
12:35 – The Chancellor is on his feet, and starts by telling everyone that growth isn’t going to be anywhere near the astronomical 2.3% he thought, it’s more likely to be a pitiful 1.7%, but look at this picture of a kitten – isn’t it lovely?
12:04 – Prime Minister’s Questions is underway, and David Cameron pays tribute to Paratrooper Daniel Prior, whilst George Osborne sits quietly behind him, mouth the words ‘You. Are. The. Man’ to himself.
11:58 – Sources tell us that Osborne is looking to open with a joke. We’ve been told to expect something along the lines of a convoluted analogy comparing the process of budget preparation to a dose of genital herpes.
11:36 – George Osborne appears on the steps of 11 Downing Street with the famous red box. He’s had this particular red box specially made for today, it’s a bit smaller than the original in order to make his hands appear 30% bigger. Sources tell us he’s cultivating the new cabinet nickname ‘SuperHands’.
11:20 – Chancellor George Osborne is refusing to leave the toilet at 11 Downing Street. He is insisting that the note he slipped under the door about a ‘poorly tummy’ is definitely from his Mum.
11:05 – It’s a big day for the coalition and Nick Clegg has been striding through the corridors of Whitehall like the cat that’s got the cream. He’s been asked for ID five times and counting.
10:50 – Some last minute cramming at Conservative Party HQ. There is a competition to see who can find the best definition of the word ‘growth’, allowing them to plausibly claim they’ve set a budget for it, but without actually delivering it. Someone is linking it with a cancerous tumor, no-one really likes that idea.