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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:


Grant Shapps: 'I drink beer and I love a game of bingo'

The advert tweeted by Grant Shapps on Wednesday night that was accused of being condescending Credit: Twitter/Grant Shapps

The Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has hit back at criticism of an advert he tweeted celebrating the cuts in bingo tax and beer duty.

The party advert said the measures were "to help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy". The Tories and Mr Shapps were accused of being "condescending" by Labour and the Lib Dems.

On a trip to Carlisle, he told BBC Radio Cumbria: "We can all argue about whether the word should be 'they' or 'us' or whatever.

"Personally, I drink beer and I love a game of bingo so I can't see why on earth they think this is more important than talking the long-term economic future of our country, supporting actually sectors like bingo or the local pubs."

'Two million more' paying 40p rate under coalition

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).

Tweeter spoofs 'Bingo Budget'

One Twitter user came up with a new way of spoofing yesterday's Budget, following measures aimed to please beer drinkers and bingo-goers.


Clegg joins backlash over 'silly' Budget ad

Nick Clegg has described the Conservatives' online Budget advert as "silly" but denied that George Osborne's statement marked a "Budget for plebs".

"It was a coalition budget through and through," the deputy prime minister told a caller on his regular LBC radio phone-in.

"I am really very proud of all of it," he added.

'No question of Bingo ad being pulled'

There is no question of the Conservatives' 'patronising' online Budget advert being pulled, a senior source has said.

The source said it could not be withdrawn as it was not part of a wider campaign involving other media such as TV and radio.

But they added: "We are quite proud of those tax cuts... We stand by what was said in that advert."

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