Budget 2012 - as it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Budget 2012 - as it happened

This live blog is now closed. See the information, analysis, reaction and updates on Budget Day 2012 as it unfolded, here.

  • Osborne starts with the summing up "This Budget rewards work..." #Budget 2012
  • Government on course to reach debt target, with public sector net debt forecast to peak at 76.3% in 2014/15 before falling the following year.
    3/21/2012 12:46:56 PM
  • Osborne said he will use his windfall to "pay off debt".
    3/21/2012 12:47:17 PM
  • Osborne says UK forces will cease combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014.
    3/21/2012 12:47:51 PM
  • Osborne can't resist dig at Gordon's gold sell-off. Says the £2bn he sold off in gold reserves wd now be worth £13bn.
  • Osborne says low gilt yields are sign of market confidence in UK solvency. Others say reflects pessimism over growth prospects #budget2012
  • The Chancellor has said that lower gilt rates reflect the confidence of investors. But the rates were lowered by quantitative easing.
    3/21/2012 12:48:27 PM
  • Osborne: Analysis shows the need for savings in welfare of £10 billion by 2016.
    3/21/2012 12:48:33 PM
  • Next spending review will try and find £10 billion more in welfare cuts. Will the Lib Dems sign up to that? #budget2012
  • The lords gallery (above chamber) jam-packed with tory mps #budget2012
  • Full text of the Budget speech (updating throughout) ind.pn
    3/21/2012 12:48:58 PM
  • Osborne announces automatic review of state pension age to ensure it keeps pace with increasing life spans.
    3/21/2012 12:49:33 PM
  • Ed Balls shaking head at national loan guarantee scheme - cos this was a GBrown scheme that govt scrapped, then resurrected #budget2012
  • Extra £100 million of improvements to armed forces accommodation, funded by £2.4 billion savings from ending combat operations in Afghanistan.
    3/21/2012 12:49:47 PM
  • You get the feeling that if he were Chancellor for the next 15 years, Osborne would mention Gordon Brown's ill-judged sell-off of gold in each Budget he delivers. He just claimed that the £2bn Brown sold off in gold reserves would now be worth £13bn.
    3/21/2012 12:50:00 PM
  • Forces serving overseas to receive 100% relief on average council tax bill, and families welfare grant will be doubled.
    3/21/2012 12:50:03 PM
  • Osborne could not resist a dig at Gordon Brown for selling gold 10 years ago. #Budget2012
  • The Government is to consult on gilts with maturities longer than 50 years.
    3/21/2012 12:50:39 PM
  • Roads, railways, clean energy & broadband networks will be prioritised by National Infrastructure Plan #Budget2012 #Budget
  • Osborne says Britain is in the top 10 of countries deemed good place for doing business. But it must do better.
    3/21/2012 12:51:18 PM
  • Upbeat George Osborne predicts more growth ind.pn
    3/21/2012 12:51:44 PM
  • The Get Britain Building Fund is to provide finance for construction to be expanded.
    3/21/2012 12:51:46 PM
  • People demonstrate against the Budget in front of the Houses of Parliament. Picture credit: Getty

    3/21/2012 12:52:07 PM
  • Transport Second Greening will set out further airport expansion plans in summer #budget2012
  • More runways in the South East confirms Osborne. We cannot cut ourselves off from markets he says #budget2012
  • Unemployment: Claimant count to peak at 1.67 million this year
    3/21/2012 12:53:03 PM
  • And so did the Chancellor! @MarkJLittlewood BBC confuse debt and deficit on their #budget2012 subtitles. No wonder the public get mixed up
  • Finance Partnership to be expanded by 20% and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee will also be expanded.
    3/21/2012 12:53:56 PM
  • The Chancellor has said that investment in transport in the North of England has been lacking for years - and "not by this government". In his main job, Osborne is the Tories' election strategist. He knows that northern votes will be needed to pull off a Tory majority in 2015. That is why he is, on this front, trotting out his inner-Keynesian.
    3/21/2012 12:53:57 PM
  • Osborne has privately admitted it was mistake to rule out Heathrow expansion: 50 flights/day china to germany, only 30 to UK #budget2012
  • Osborne says: 'UK must confront the lack of airport capacity in the south east. Announcements later this summer.'
    3/21/2012 12:54:39 PM
  • No! Osborne wants to "grow the private sector". Statist AND hideous Use of English #BannedList Bingo #budget2012
  • Network Rail to extend the electrification of Trans-Pennine route.
    3/21/2012 12:54:50 PM
  • Osborne says Government has struck a deal with Manchester to develop infrastructure in the city.
    3/21/2012 12:55:40 PM
  • Osborne very sniffy about exports to Ireland. Their money's as good as anyone else's....
  • George Osborne delivers his Budget statement to the House of Commons, with PM David Cameron (right) and deputy PM Nick Clegg (left) behind. Picture credit: PA

    3/21/2012 12:56:12 PM
  • crucial. blatant electioneering! RT @polhomepulse Northern rail hub around Manchester crucial for Tories in Lancashire marginals #budget2012
  • The Government is to support £150 million of tax increment financing to help councils promote development and provide an extra £270 million for the Growing Places fund.
    3/21/2012 12:56:29 PM
  • £70m for investment in London. Boris Johnson will be telling a lot of Londoners that he is responsible for extracting that cash from No 11 over the coming weeks.
    3/21/2012 12:56:41 PM
  • New enterprise areas in Dundee, Irvine and Nigg in Scotland and Deeside in Wales.
    3/21/2012 12:56:52 PM
  • Oh how the Tories love that reference to Wallace and Gromit #Budget2012
  • Osborne extending 'Downton Abbey' tax break to video game industry.. too late for Game..
  • The Government is to seek "major savings" in adminstrative cost of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, and bring forward an alternative environment tax this autumn if they cannot be found.
    3/21/2012 12:58:36 PM
  • Lib Dems point out that increasing airport capacity does not necessarily mean runways. But does Mr Osborne agree? #budget2012
  • "Major package of tax changes" to boost oil and gas extraction in North Sea, along with £3 billion new field allowance west of Shetland.
    3/21/2012 12:58:48 PM
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