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  1. Nick Powell

Chancellor pre-empts Welsh Government on Severn tolls

George Osborne's promise of a cut in the tolls on the Severn Bridges suggests that if he stays in office after the election he'll deny the Welsh Government control of the crossings when they return to public ownership. First Minister Carwyn Jones has said that if he had the power, he would reduce but not abolish the tolls, using the income to pay for M4 improvements as wells as maintaining the two bridges.

Budget 2015: UK government 'opening negotiations' on Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the UK government is "opening negotiations on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon."

£1bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project aims to generate power for 120,000 homes. Credit: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc

The Chancellor also said "We are giving more power to Wales. We are working on a Cardiff city deal" - but with no more detail.


Budget 2015: Severn tolls to be cut from 2018

The UK Government estimates there are 1.3 million van crossings of the Severn Bridge every year Credit: PA

Toll rates for the Severn Crossing will be reduced from 2018, George Osborne has announced.

He said:

"Severn crossings are a vital link for Wales - we will reduce the toll rates from 2018 and abolish the higher band for small vans and buses."

  1. National

Osborne's budget to help create 'truly national recovery'

In a statement released ahead of his Budget, Chancellor George Osborne has vowed to deliver a Budget that will help create a "truly national recovery".


Budget 2015: Follow us here for the latest news for Wales

Chancellor George Osborne is set to deliver his sixth, and arguably most important, Budget today.

Our Political Editor Adrian Masters will be in London gathering reaction and summing up the political response following the Budget announcement at 12.30pm.

Among the measures likely to affect Wales directly, the most eye-catching is thought to be an official go-ahead for plans for a tidal lagoon energy project in Swansea Bay. The £1bn development was given a partial thumbs-up in last year's Autumn statement.

Read more: What will the budget mean for Wales?

Rise in council tax expected as Powys decides budget

The council say the situation is 'unprecedented' Credit: ITV News

Powys County Council will meet again later to decide their budget, after adjourning their decision in February.

It needs to make £20m savings in the next financial year, and £40m by April 2017, which could mean a rise in council tax of up to 4.95% and hundreds of job losses.

The council say strengthened security is in place, following a disruptive incident involving protestors at the last meeting.

Today is the final deadline for a decision to be made, ready to have services in place at the start of the next financial year in April.

As well as increases in council tax, proposals include reducing public services, and cutting the number of staff at the council.

The meeting is due to start at 10.30am.

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