Osborne: Budget for 'makers, doers and savers'

The Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled measures to benefit pensioners and savers in his penultimate Budget before the election. But he has warned Britain is still set to face years of austerity, despite improved economic forecasts.

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IFS says the Chancellor needs to explain his budget

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:


Osborne unveils Budget for 'makers, doers and savers'

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:


Pickles attacks Balls over 'sleeping during Budget' claim

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.

Labour MP: Queen is concerned about inequality in UK

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.

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