Govt: Economy 'could be worse'

The Chancellor George Osborne has told ITV's Daybreak that the country's economic problems "could be a lot worse", referring to the situation in Cyprus, as he defended his Budget plans to kickstart the recovery.

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Mum to Clegg: 'You probably think I do a worthless job'

An angry stay-at-home mother attacked the Deputy Prime Minister during his weekly radio phone-in on LBC 97.3, accusing him of thinking what she did was a "worthless job".

The caller, named as Laura from East Dulwich, said to Nick Clegg: "I'm just wondering why the coalition is discriminating against mothers like me who care for their children at home, with the latest announcements?"

Her scathing attack came after it was announced in the Budget that a tax-free childcare scheme worth £1,200 a child for parents earning up to £150,000 would come into effect from 2015.

Speaker demands answers over pre-Budget briefing

Commons Speaker John Bercow told MPs that he had accepted the apologies of the Evening Standard for breaking an embargo on the Budget but would be asking the Chancellor to investigate why the briefing happened.

Mr Bercow said: "The Evening Standard yesterday published the main points of the Budget before the House was informed of them by the Chancellor.

"I have received formal apologies from the editor and from the political editor of the Evening Standard. They have also apologised separately to the Chairman of Ways and Means (Lindsay Hoyle).

"I shall place those communications in the library. Their error was extremely regrettable but I am minded not to take that matter further.

File picture of Commons Speaker John Bercow. Credit: PA Wire

"However, the error would not have occurred had the newspaper not been in possession of prior detailed information about the Budget.

"This pre-briefing of Budget proposals is a matter of concern to me and, I judge, to the House as well.

"I am therefore writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask him to set out what happened on this occasion and whether this is a practice of the Treasury.

"I will revert to the House as necessary."


Osborne: Our economic problems 'could be a lot worse'

Chancellor George Osborne told ITV's Daybreak that the country's economic problems "could be a lot worse".

Referring to the current crisis in Cyprus, he said: "It's a difficult situation, but it could be a lot worse. You only have to watch your news bulletins to see other countries, not far from here, who have not confronted their problems and who are worried about getting money out of the bank.

Osborne 'straight with the country about problems'

Chancellor George Osborne speaks to ITV's Daybreak the morning after he delivered his Budget.

Chancellor George Osborne defended his Budget on ITV's Daybreak saying he "was very straight with the country about the problems we face".

He added: "I lay down a challenge to myself and to this country which is we have got to confront those problems but we are on the right track, it is a hard road but we are getting there."

Osborne 'playing with fire' releasing Budget details early

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told ITV's Daybreak that the Treasury and George Osborne "are playing with fire" after the Evening Standard published details of the Budget on Twitter before the Chancellor's speech.

He said: "If the Treasury and the Chancellor give out to the Evening Standard the market sensitive fiscal forecasts they are playing with fire. I have never heard of that before."


Osborne becomes Thatcher: 'The Laddie's Not For Turning'

The Daily Mail has said that George Osborne 'seized the mantle of Margaret Thatcher' as he placed home ownership and employment as key planks of his fourth Budget.

'The Laddie's Not For Turning' The Daily Mail likens George Osborne to Baroness Thatcher Credit: The Daily Mail

The paper bore a morphed picture of the former Prime Minister and the current Chancellor as it welcomed the latest Budget.

Papers on the 'drown your sorrows' Budget

The Independent shows the Chancellor removing a bottle of beer from a top hat on the front page Credit: The Independent

Both the Guardian and Independent papers have splashed the Chancellor's cut to beer duty on their front pages after George Osborne presented his fourth Budget.

Guardian headline: 'Drown your sorrows' Credit: The Guardian

Survey shows positive reaction to Budget but future fears

Polling carried out by consumer champions Which? immediately after the Budget found that:

  • 89% of voters backed the rise in the personal tax allowance to #10,000
  • 87% supported moves to scrap the fuel duty rise
  • 66% of adults approved of the Shared Equity Scheme
  • 57% were in favour of moves to underpin new mortgage lending

However the survey found a third of the public now feels less confident about the prospects for the economy over the coming year while 28% are less confident about their personal finances.

The poll also showed 59% believe the Government should rethink its economic plan and 44% expect their personal finances to worsen in the next 12 months.

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