Budget Day 2012 Liveblog!

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

It's budget day! I'll be reporting on and pontificating over George Osborne's budget this afternoon. Bash your F5 key for updates.

14:01 - That's your lot, for now. Thanks for all your comments, tweets and emails.We're now going to go and chew over all of this budget malarkey. If it's all got a bit too much for you, why not relax with this video of Tom Jones performing Sloop John B in a pair of tight white 'Budge Smugglers' and a sailor's hat....on a boat?

13:55 - In the chaos of the announcement, I missed this: "existing fair fuel stabiliser means above-inflation rises in fuel duty will return only if price of oil falls below £45 ($75) a barrel." Sort-of-good news for motorists, then.

13:52 - More reaction from you lot: "Surely an increase of 37p on cigarettes is going to further fuel the smuggling and illegal sale of fags the govmt is trying to clamp down on?" says Abby O'Sullivan with an incredulous shrug.

13:52 - Nothing like a delicious glass of refreshing lemon drink to take the edge off reporting on the budget.

13:49 - Miliband has had his say now. "The death knell of their 'compassionate conservatism'", he says. "A millionaire's budget."

13:47 - Whether or not that budget had any substance to it is open to debate, but that's certainly not something that could be said of that bolognaise I just ate. Absolutely textbook, if I do say so myself.

13:30 - Well, that's it! Ed Milliband will be responding shortly. I'm going to go and eat now. Be right back.

13:28 - "This coalition has not settled for a do-nothing budget." He's thumping the lecturn with some purpose. "Britain spent it's way into trouble, we're going to earn our way out of it." Cue full-bodied cheers from the Tory bench.

13:27 - Can I have my spaghetti bolognaise now? It's delicious.

13:25 - Child benefits being discussed. "No means tested tax credits system." Child Benefit will only be withdrawn when one person in the household earning more than £50k a year.

13:24 - THIS: "Cameron showing true Churchillian demeanour. Like Churchill the nodding insurance dog, that is," chortles Annie Shaw.

13:23 - G.O reckons new taxes will see us getting 5x more off the rich.

13:23 - Second 'ORDER ORDER' of the day.

13:22 - The direct cost is £100m a year. Loss of other tax revenues may make up for it. From April next year, top rate will be cut to 45p. "It raises next to nothing."

13:21 - It's 'distored' things, apparently. Looks like the much-discussed abolition should be happening, then. 13:20 - "it can only be justified if it makes the treasury money"

13:19 - 50 PER CENT TAX RATE KLAXON!!! 13:18 - Stamp Duty now - Stamp Duty Land Tax charge being increased for properties bought for companies. 13:17 "Tax evasison is morally repugnant," says George.

13:16 "Norman Lamont is my favourite funny looking chancellor," says Steve Williams.

13:14 - Motorists, prick up your ears. Phew - no further changes to fuel duty plans. Vehicle excise duty going up by inflation.

13:13 - Beer drinkers rejoice! No further duty rates on beer.

13:11 - Tobacco duty up next. Smokers rarely do well on Budget day, and today's no different. A rise in 5 per cent above inflation - about 37p on a pack of twenty fags, due to kick in at 6pm tonight. Best get down the shop now, then.

13:10 - Corporation tax now being discussed. I'll be 24 per cent from April and then 23 and 22 by April 2014. "An advertisment for investment and jobs in Britain," soundbites G.O.

13:09 - News 'tax statements' will let us know where our tax is going. What do you make of this?

13:07 - Pensions tax 'simplification' being discussed right now.

13:05 - Well, whaddyaknow? Mass-enhancing supplements with names like 'TURBOGAIN' and 'NITRO FREAK' aren't subject to VAT, but stuff like Lucozade Sport are. 13:04 - "Filling in tax returns will be simpler for 3m firms."

13:03 - Now, here comes the interesting stuff. "We need further (tax) reform," declares George.

13:01 - Sunday trading laws to be relaxed while the Olympics are on.

12:59 - Broadband boost for smaller cities being spoken of now. £50m available.

12:57 - Video games and telly are going to get a boost. "Keep Wallace & Gromit exactly where they are," quips George, in no way alluding to the leader of the opposition's resemblance to the Aardman character. Cue much raucous bellowing.

12:56 - I'm getting quite hungry now, but I imagine this is a bad time to enjoy my lunch. It will also mean eating it at my desk, and I don't really like doing that.

12:53 - The energy sector is getting a shout out now. A new set of tax changes to get more gas out of the North Sea to look forward to.

12:52 - London will be getting better transport. George's old Bullingdon Club associate Boris Johsnon will doubtless be pleased.

12:51 - Who's your favourite chancellor?

12:50 - George is talking about exporting now. He wants them to double to £1 trillion.

12:49 - "This country got seduced by defecits and seemingly cheap finance."

12:48 - "Tax anyone that fails to acknowledge a glaring double-clap opportunity in the correct manner!" implores the percussively-minded Chris Lamb. 12:47 - There'll be a 100 per cent relief on council tax for overseas soldiers.

12:46 - £36bn savings in debt interest repayments this year, says George. That's Quite A Lot Of Money.

12:45 - Here's a budget suggestion from Richard John. "I liked that thing a few years ago when they gave us £120 as a lump sum. I'd pay more tax to get that once a year." 12:44 - Review of the state pension age on the cards, by the looks of it.

12:43 - Seems like Martin Lewis shares our thoughts on the ties. Budget ties - "Clegg red, osborne dark blue pattern, cameron green. Proof the coalition is split?" asks the Money Saving Expert.

12:42 - "We'll maintain control on wellfare spending."

12:41 = "Deficit reduction plan on course - and they won't waver."

12:40 - George says that national borrowing is to fall to £120bn next year, £98bn in 2013/14, reaching £21bn by 2016. Make of that what you will.

12:39 - John Bercow isn't it the speaker's chair today. Seems like a big day to miss. Anybody suggest any reasons why?

12:38 - There's your first 'Order, order' of the announcement. Any shouts for how many we'll get in total? I'm saying 12. Winner gets a special Gocompare.com pen in the post.

12:37 - "When did they replace the old tattered briefcase with this new one?" asks Andy Brown.

12:35 - "Stability comes first," quoth the chancellor, with reference to the general economic malady in the Eurozone.

12:34 - Big talk about tax reforms now. "We'll earn our way in the world...modern infrastructure, growth-friendly planning laws."

12:33 - It's started! "This budget will reward work...it unashamedly backs business and rewards aspiration"

12:32 - Oooh, ooh, ooh! It's finally starting! The Deputy Speaker is just giving his spiel... 12:28 - Here's typically incisive Facebook comment, courtesy of Bear Gwills. "Observation: George Osborne is a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)" he quips.

12:26 - Sky has cut from the Commons now. There's very little budget-related action coming out of there at the moment.

12:23 - "Tax people who use Facebook for any more than an hour per day. That's more than enough snooping," says @SoloSoldado. 12:17 - Looks like PMQ's is still rumbling along. Speaking of rumbling, that's exactly what my tummy is doing right now. Reckon I can get away with having my lunch soon?

12:16 Just to let you know, I'm switching from watching BBC News to Sky. Let's see how it differs.

12:13 - Gosh, you lot are intolerant, aren't you? "And tax people who use 'on route' when they mean 'en route'. And people who use 'en route', too," advises Anders Nilsson.

12:12 - The Budget's not kicked off yet, but there's quite a raucous and full-blooded PMQ's a goin' on at the moment.

12:09 - More punitive taxation suggestions, this time from Abby O'Sullivan again. "tax someone each time the misuse the term 'literally,'" she suggests. Once suspects that would be quite a rich source of revenue.

12:06 - Some more fantasy suggestions. "Lets tax anyone who says pacifically, rather than specifically. " suggests @Schnoozlepanger, while @Tshaped wants " a tax on newspaper comment sections." 11:59 - Nearly ready now. I'm trembling with excitement.

11:58 Your fantasy budget suggestions are flying in now. "Tax the fat and charge them for being seat invaders," suggests Abby O'Sullivan.

11:57 - The BBC have given up on this little report now. Probably for the best.

11:56 - Oh no - somebody's given the lady leading the protest a megaphone.

11:55 - There's some angry (and shrill) sounding protestors outside Westminster, thoroughly impeding the performance of the BBC reporter. "Tax the banks, not the poor," they implore.

11:48 - "KIDS. Pretend you're George Osborne by posing outside school with your bag in the air, then nicking your classmates' lunch money," suggests the account of Viz's Top Tips. (@toptwips)

11:36 - Oooh! George Osborne and Danny Alexander are outside 10 Downing Street, briefcase aloft. George is wearing a sky blue shirt teamed with a navy tie. A manifestation of his 'true blue' Tory politics? Or just a nice colour on him? You decide.

11:35- The door is going to open in a minute or so, we're hearing.

11:34 - The Beeb really are rolling out their big guns for their coverage - Nick Robinson, Robert 'R-Pest' Peston and Stephanie Flanders are all in the studio with Huw. What a line-up.

11:32 - The BBC cameras are lurking outside Downing Street. No sign of George and his briefcase yet. Apparently, there'll be some 'bold' moves on tax.

PREAMBLE: 'Insiders' predict that the very top earners, not to mention the very bottom ones, will be the ones to benefit from this budget. People earning £9,000 a year or less are predicted to be taken out of tax altogether, while the top rate of tax looks set to be slashed - a point which the opposition will get in a right lather about.

The Liberal Democrats are hoping for a 'mansion tax', which will make it more difficult for supposedly rich people to dodge tax, but could be problematic for people who are asset-rich but cash-poor. First time home buyers scrabbling to get their contracts completed by Saturday, when the current stamp duty holiday ends, will be wanting to see an extension of the break, too. Meanwhile, expect tabs and booze to get more expensive, too.

What do you reckon is going to be in the George's briefcase?