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A respected think tank has urged George Osborne to explain where the big cuts, pencilled in in yesterday's Budget will fall. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that should be before the election. The Chancellor merely insisted future cuts would be no worse than those already achieved. Labour claimed he could only balance the books by increasing VAT or cutting NHS spending. An attempt by the Lib Dems to deliver an "alternative budget" ended in farce.
ITV News political correspondent Emily Morgan reports:
The number of people paying the higher rate of tax has soared by two million since the coalition government took power, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
A Labour Government will support George Osborne's cap on welfare spending, reigning in the total budget for the department to £119bn, the shadow chancellor told Daybreak.
However, Ed Balls warned Labour "would do things differently" within that cap, like scrap the bedroom tax and provide a guaranteed job for young people.
George Osborne has unveiled what he described as a Budget for "makers, doers and savers".
This time last year the Chancellor thought he was heading for a triple dip recession - but his growth forecast for this year - 2.7% - is higher than previous predictions.
ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports on why Mr Osborne still has to stick to his plan to cut spending:
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has hit back at Ed Balls after the shadow chancellor suggested he had fallen asleep during today's Budget speech.
Mr Balls had told a briefing of lobby journalists:
"Eric Pickles fell asleep for a quite extended period of time and Ed [Miliband] and I were worried because, you never know, there might have been some big cut in local government spending coming which he didn't know about so we just politely suggested to Vince Cable that he should wake him up."
In a Twitter reply to the Daily Mail's Tim Shipman, Mr Pickles witheringly dismissed Mr Balls' claims.
A Labour MP has claimed the Queen had expressed concern about levels of inequality and poverty in the UK.
Yasmin Qureshi, who represents Boston South East, was speaking in Parliament after this afternoon's Budget.
"Even Her Majesty, who is not exactly known for getting involved in political issues of the day, has expressed concern about the level of poverty and the situation of the poor people," she said.
Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com Martin Lewis noted on Twitter:
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