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Budget Day 2010

10pm ToryDiary: Tory lead down to 2% in YouGov/Sun poll

10pm WATCH: Behind-the-scenes with George Osborne as he analyses "Labour's last Budget"

7.30pm WATCH:

Neilobrien_140x140 5.30pm On CentreRight:

4.45pm ToryDiary: Is Dave tougher than Maggie?

4.15pm WATCH: Cameron accuses Alistair Darling of stealing Tory policies

2.30pm WATCH: BBC video comparing the economies of 1997 and today

2pm ToryDiary: Under Labour there's only ever debt, taxes and waste, says Cameron in response to Budget statement

2pm Alex Deane on CentreRight: A worker at Heathrow abuses body scanner technology. Who'dathunkit?

WorkingAwayThe all-blue-ties Tory frontbench doing their sums during Darling's statement

1.30pm ToryDiary: Highlights of Darling's budget which contained no plan for deficit reduction

12.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron says Brown never answers questions in penultimate PMQs of this parliament

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 11.47.3111.45am WATCH: Labour has no plans to clear up its fiscal mess, says doorstepped Cameron

11.30am Local government: First tax rise of Budget Day

11am ToryDiary: Another poll puts the Conservatives at 35%

10.45am ThinkTankCentral: The think tanks demand big cuts from Darling (but don't expect them)

ToryDiary: Only four things really move opinion polls

Azeem Ibrahim on Platform: Why the next government must ring-fence defence spending

ScareySkull LeftWatch: Labour use dishonest leaflets to scare pensioners about Tory plans

Local government: Conservative candidate for Mayor of Watford pledges to halve salary

Martin Parsons on CentreRight: Speedboat attacks on British ports


Tory lead at 4% and 5% in Tuesday night's polls - Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Tory message for Budget Day:

Mess From Greg Hands' Twitter feed.

If you read through today's papers we already know most of what Darling will announce...

Darling to freeze income bands in 'stealth tax' - Telegraph

Darling is today expected to steal another flagship Tory policy by scrapping stamp duty on homes worth up to £250,000 - Daily Mail

"Drivers will be clobbered with a 1p increase on the price of a litre of unleaded or diesel next month. They will face a further hike of 1p in October and a final 0.76p by the end of the year." - The Sun

Nuclear and wind power will be at heart of Alistair Darling’s Budget - Times

There will be "new bank taxes" - FT

The Budget will involve a new legal obligation for banks and building societies to offer a basic bank account - FT

"Drinkers will be clobbered with a 10 per cent hike in the cost of cider. All other alcoholic drinks will go up by two per cent. Smokers will be hit by a one per cent rise in the cost of a packet of cigarettes and tobacco." - The Sun

Norman Lamont: Today's Budget is a pretend Budget that will never be implemented

LAMONT-NORMAN "There is much speculation about today’s Budget. It is a waste of time because the Budget is a pretend one. It will never be implemented. If there is a Conservative government, there will be a different Budget after the general election. If there is a Labour government with Liberal Democrat support there will also be a different Budget. Even in the unlikely event of a Labour overall majority, the Budget will be supplemented by other measures." - Norman Lamont in The Times

It's a scandal that Labour is not holding a spending review - Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

Simon Heffer: Tory bank levy would be "bonkers"

"David Cameron's proposal last Saturday to impose a levy on banks should he be elected Prime Minister, and to do so unilaterally if other countries refuse to, could be described as "bonkers". It could also be described in terms that cannot be used in a family newspaper." - Simon Heffer in The Telegraph

"The Tories have even promoted the idea that there should be a special tax on banks, even if other countries do not bring one in. I can see the political argument but can you imagine the leader of the opposition in Germany calling for a special tax on German motor manufacturers? Or the Republicans in the US calling for a special tax on US software development companies?" - Hamish McRae in The Independent

"Aides to Mr Cameron declined to be drawn on how much a unilateral levy might raise but said it would be “a lot less” than the forecast £4bn to £5bn if the UK imposed a US-style tax of 0.15 per cent on bank balance sheets. The Tories, like the government, envisage using the levy to reduce the deficit, rather than pay into an insurance fund for future bail-outs." - FT

The unfairness of more taxes on motorists

"Motorists are taxed at a far higher rate than the cost of maintaining the road network and the greenhouse gas emissions from road transport can justify, so any further taxes on motorists announced today would make the tax system even less fair and unnecessarily hike the cost of conducting business." - Allister Heath in City AM

Conservatives pledge tougher curbs on former ministers lobbying - Guardian

"The "scandals" besetting Labour are "worse" than those which afflicted the Conservative government of the mid-1990s, David Cameron has said. He called for a full government inquiry into the apparent willingness of Geoff Hoon, Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt to help a lobbying firm for cash." - BBC

Communist activist in Unite confesses ambition to control "broke" Labour Party

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 08.00.18 "Militants behind the British Airways strike have a secret agenda to take control of the Labour Party, the Daily Mail can reveal. The hard-Left clique which runs the giant Unite union plans to 'reclaim or refound' Labour, dumping Blairite policies in favour of old-style socialism. They believe that, because Labour needs union cash to stay afloat, Unite can control its political direction." - Daily Mail

Teachers may strike within days of General Election result

"Teachers threatened yesterday to unleash a wave of strikes and protests on an incoming Tory government over plans to open 'free' schools and persist with SATs tests." - Daily Mail

Traditional A-levels could be reintroduced under Tory plans for exam system - Telegraph


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