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Why are the Tory benches so solemn? They're not giving DC much backing.

DC doing well - plenty of details and reframing the analysis offered by Darling.

Great put down for Ed Balls also.

Is it traditional for the Leader of the Opposition to do this? I swear I remember Osborne doing it last year. Is there a particular reason for it this time, or am I confusing this with the pre-budget report thing?

Camerons just read a prepared speech.

Superb by Cameron. Showed Darling how to make a speech

Huge increases in alcohol and tobacco duties, will raise more revenue but be very unpopular and probably lead to people buying them from the supermarkets more than ever because of how expensive it will be in the pub, so it won't achieve what it was being proposed to change. Spirits rises will hit the Scottish Whisky industry hard.

The suspension in the rise in Fuel Duty will be popular, although perhaps there should have been a slight cut proposed given how much petrol prices are going up.

Tim - He was making notes during speech. What's the problem anyway, it was very good.

Ed Balls - I guess his ambitions to move up the ladder just took a big hit.

We have a big plasma TV in the restaurant that shows Sky TV. Interesting to note that more people were gathered around it to listen to Cameron than Darling.

Also the Balls put down raised a laugh.

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving apparatchik.

This is a mess made by the present Government - even Darling's sloping eyebrows can't shrug this off.

Osborne should be answering, not Cameron. If he's not up to it, he shouldn't be shadow chancellor.

And I can't help feeling that Cameron should not complain about high taxation unless he's also prepared to commit to serious reductions.

What an arrogant B'Stard Ed Balls is, I am sure that HE has plenty of help managing HIS income tax!

The Leader of the Opposition ALWAYS responds to the Budget.

The Leader of the Opposition always replies to the Budget, not the Shadow Chancellor.

Alex - The Budget response is always made by the Leader of the Opposition, not the Shadow Chancellor. It isn't a question of whether or not Osborne is up to it - responding to the Budget in parliament is Cameron's job, not his. The Shadow Chancellor does the party political broadcast response tomorrow night.

I thought DC was stunning today, quite the best performance I've seen from him in the House.

Most importantly he really tapped into the public mood when talking about the price of mortgages, petrol, food etc, I swear that everyone I know wants to swing at Brown and Darling when they go on about low inflation. There is not low inflation out here in the real world.

The public will surely analyse Darling's budget and wonder if tinkering with plastic bags and pre-payment meters is really the best answer Labout has to the economic problems we face.

Also, the off the cuff put downs of the nauseating Balls were top draw. D C is top class thinking on his feet. What a contrast with Darling's turgid droning and regular mispronunciations.

The Leader of the Opposition ALWAYS responds to the Budget.

Is there a law to say so?

If there's been one constant criticism of Osborne since his appointment, it's that he's lightweight and owes his job to being Cameron's pal.

If there has been one constant criticism of Brown, it's that he's a control freak who wants to do everything himself and can't tolerate strong colleagues - allegedly by contrast to Cameron.

Having Osborne do the reply could have blown away the first and reinforced the second, and both Cameron and Osborne should have realised that and seized the chance.

Alex Swanson,

You're an idiot. The Leader of the Opposition always responds to the Budget. Its not optional. Cameron just cant turn around and say he wants Osborne to do it. Numpty!

If Cameron hadn't done the response, then the media reaction would have been "Cameron bottled it".

Am I imagining it or does the Shadow Chancellor not give a more considered and informed response later in the week?

Osborne will lead for the opposition in the Budget debate. That is his task.

So Ed Balls response to Cameron's statement that Britain has the highest tax burden in our history is "SO WHAT!"

Balls for next PM? I really don't think so!

BTW That was a great speech by Cameron but it was embarrassing to see our Prime Minister giggling, smirking, and squirming with embarrassment and bravado like some enaughty little schoolgirl in front of the headteacher.

Brown, his puppet Darling, and the other assorted chancers, timeservers, and nonentities on the government frong bench are really doing our country no favours as we go into severe economic difficulties largely of Brown's making.

I wasn't that impressed with Dave. it was an improvement on his one last year, which was God awful pathetic. the lack of clear blue water on tax and spending (amounts and policy) is an Achilles heel.

You're an idiot.

Actually, I'm not and I have bits of paper to prove it.

I'm always heartened by abuse. It shows there's no real argument against what I'm saying.

The Leader of the Opposition always responds to the Budget.

Why? Just because That's The Way We Do It?

Isn't it about time people understood how crippling this sort of attitude is, how it enables Labour - who certainly don't give a monkey's for anything except their own advantage - to play merry hell with the Constitution while Tories just watch with their mouths gaping, utterly unable to do or say anything constructive about it?

If Cameron hadn't done the response, then the media reaction would have been "Cameron bottled it".

Not if adequate ground work had been done well in advance, as it should have been.

Time to close down the debate about who should respond please!


"Commenting on today’s budget, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “This is a bad news Budget. Alistair Darling is kicking Britain’s families when they are down.”

This is a bad news Budget that adds £110 a year to the tax bill for every family.

Taxes and borrowing are up because the Government failed to use the good years to prepare for the bad years. Other countries are cutting taxes.

Because the Government has no room for manoeuvre, they are kicking families when they’re down.

New taxes announced in the budget include over the next three years:
£1.5bn extra on all alcoholic drinks, hitting 43 million people.
£1.6bn extra on drivers, even with the delayed fuel tax rise
£1.7bn extra on businesses

The tax take will be £2.8bn a year higher by 2010, that’s £110 for every family. If benefits are excluded, the tax take will be £4bn higher.

Even with these new taxes, borrowing is up by £20bn over next four years, including a £7bn rise next year alone. Borrowing figures confirmed today that after fifteen years of global growth we have the worst deficit in the developed world."

"Overall this Budget ensured that heavy drinkers will get a financial hangover whilst promising that the British economy need not suffer one even as the world does." Fair and balanced BBC.

The Leader of the Opposition always responds to the Budget.

mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Well Alex Swanson. Certainly there is no reason why George Osborne could not respond, you are right in that. But, what then would you, and others, be saying about DC? The answer is obvious, so DC was right to go along with the precedent.

He was excellent by the way - Darling visibly shrunk at DC's onslaught while Brown could only grin with embarrasment.

Ed Balls, appropriately named. Oh what a gift it would be if Brown sacked the hapless Darling for the idiot Balls..... We will not be that lucky.

Response from TPA's Matthew Elliott:

“The Chancellor talks the talk about families facing tough economic times but this Budget doesn’t actually do anything to help ordinary taxpayers struggling to pay rising household bills and record levels of taxation. Instead of tax relief, the Chancellor has simply tinkered with the system and brought in hefty rises on the cost a family car and a bottle of wine on the dinner table.”

Response from Boris Johnson:

“Londoners will be deeply disappointed by the Budget today which will leave them worse off next year and the year after.

Today's tax-raising Budget does nothing to address the soaring cost of living in the Capital.

After ten years of a Labour Government and eight years of a Labour Mayor, Londoners continue to get a raw deal.

Labour is clearly out of touch. They are living in a different world to ordinary Londoners. Hard working families are seeing their food and fuel bills shooting up, while at the same time the Labour Mayor and the Labour Government take more and more in tax.

This Budget does nothing to tackle the big issues that matter to Londoners, such as making our streets safer and improving public transport.

The Chancellor finally admitted today what many have suspected - that Labour are working towards a national road pricing scheme. Ken Livingstone, with support from the Government, will now be encouraged to bring in his London-wide road tax scheme sooner rather than later.

On May 1st Londoners have the chance to stop Ken Livingstone’s dream becoming London’s nightmare.”

Brown Balls Darling. Is it only me?

Except that his delivery was rather rushed, Cameron was excellent in his response today, mainly because he was able to quote facts and figures to rebut Darling/Brown.
He used the information that we have been providing him with for ages (the real cost of living, the impact on low earners of the cessation of the 10p band etc).
Very well done.

Alex: it's not Cameron's (or Osborne’s choice) who replies to the budget statement. It's part of the Standing Orders of the House. The Deputy Speaker automatically calls the Leader of the Opposition to reply. There is nothing Cameron or Osborn can do to change it.

You might have pieces of paper to show you are "intelligent" but you do not seem to demonstrate any knowledge or understanding of Parliamentary procedure.

Now - can we move on?

'So what?' Balls shouts from within his bubble.

Don't worry Ed you'll have plenty of time to work it out from the opposition benches.

Brown Balls, Darling? also works. Amazing what punctuation can do.

"So What" would be a good Sun or Daily Mail headline.

I think the other parties should withdraw from the London Mayoral Election and let Blue Boris hammer Red Ken into the dust over the coming weeks.What a sight that would be,red Ken,down and out and Labour's Local Election results even worse.Let it be,let it be.

When did "parliamentary procedure" ever stop this bunch of clowns doing anything, anything that is to damage the Country and it's people. I guess even more taxpayers money will go to subsidise the bars and restaurants in the palace of Westminster. As for the tory support for increased taxes on alcohol, to stop binge drinking? Ha, bloody ha, biggest binge drinkers, see Cameron et al.

Just because the BBC keep repeating something doesn't make it correct - the reason for binge drinking is NOT low alcohol prices. We have some of the highest taxes on alcohol in Europe and some of the worst problems with binge drinking in Europe. Making a bottle of wine even more expensive is not going to do anything to address the issue; it is just a smokescreen for more tax rises.

Whats the Bob Spink story?

bob spink jsut got up in commons to say hes resigning tory whip.

tories briefing they've chucked him out.

im trying to find out whats going on

What a load of rubbish , Cameron was pathetic ! Again just slagging off the opposition, nothing to say , childish behaviour , read the pe- prepared speech , nearly as bad as last year.

Where is Osbourne so called Shadow Chancellor , he obviously is not up to the job !

Totally unimpressed with Dave ! When will we learn !


Tories withdraw whip from Spink

Mr Spink is MP for Castle Point
The Conservatives say they have withdrawn the party whip from Castle Point MP Bob Spink.
Mr Spink earlier told MPs he had resigned over the party's failure to deal with serious "criminal and other irregularities" in his constituency.

At this point he was cut off by the Deputy Speaker.

But a spokesman for the Conservative Party said it had withdrawn the whip from Mr Spink - excluding him from the Tory group of MPs at Westminster.

Gezmond007 - I hope you're being sarcastic/ironic with those remarks.

You are, yes?

What a load of rubbish , Cameron was pathetic ! Again just slagging off the opposition, nothing to say , childish behaviour , read the pe- prepared speech , nearly as bad as last year.

Where is Osbourne so called Shadow Chancellor , he obviously is not up to the job !

Totally unimpressed with Dave ! When will we learn !

Mr Jones, I,m deadly serious , surely you agree with me , I watched the Budget with my colleagues at work and 90 % of them thought Cameron was ridiculous and quite pathetic !


Hello are you mental?

Let's say it again:


Just because we have the 'Pre-Budget Statement'(fishing expedition) and then the Budget doesn't mean you have to post your comments twice on here.

Sorry Balls Bubble , I pressed the wrong button !

I listened to Cameron on ther Radio today and was was stunned.
This task is the worst of the year and he hasn't always been able to nail it in the past, but he was brilliant today. Abslotuley brillaint. Even the BBC commentator had to say he was good today.
Pat on the back. And lets not forget George who was, by all accounts, scribbling furiously, presumably making the bullets for DC to fire.
Some Labour trolls on here today showing their red colours. Always a good sign.

I thought Cameron was brilliant today. But I don't think the BBC are doing the speech any justice in their coverage. PM on R4 is giving Nick Clegg at least as much, if not more, prominence than Cameron. Last year the BBC went to town on Cameron's speech not being long or substantial enough. This year he delivers brilliantly and they keep shtum.

This is only anecdotal I know, but I watched the Budget debate at work with a group of fellow managers from across our Company nationwide, including Scots, Geordies and colleagues from Manchester and Derby. A discussion ensued after we watched Darling's speech and Cameron's response. NOT ONE of them said they would vote for Brown next time, including traditional ex Labour voters. Comments like 'not a leader' and 'no charisma' were made about GB. Cameron got a far warmer response, I would say 50% of the guys in the discussion will vote for us, with another 30-40% willing to be persuaded. The only criticism made of Dave was from a colleague who clearly disliked him on class grounds.

As a 'London Tory' I found it quite an eye opener listening to Northern professional people, and just how much they disliked Gordon Brown [and are willing to give us a chance now].

I am suprized that Cameron made the response not Osborne. Then again, its the strategy that many on this site have promoted. The problem is that Osborne will have to do major set pieces at some point and he needs serious training. I think they should have given Osborne the nod today.

Convention or no convention, if the Conservatives want to make a revolution then they need to start resetting the political scenery and rules and pecedents. They should have a relevant Shadow Minister doing the responses, in this case Osborne, albeit with Cameron and co behind him cheering him on.

Oh for goodness sake..!!

The Leader of the Opposition ALWAYS responds to the Chancellor at Budget.


Get this in your heads numpties!

I thought David Cameron's reply to the Budget was quite brilliant and will give the lie to those who say he is not a serious politician. Presumably though those who believe Brown is more serious did not have a problem with him smirking like a jackanapes at Cameron's references to the extra tax burden now imposed on the poorer sections of society by the Budget. I found the smirking deeply offensive. Indeed I find this government deeply offensive in all sorts of ways including for example its decision to break its pledge to hold a referendum on the European constitution. If breaking pledges of such a serious nature is acceptable to the government then the voters are relieved of any compact they believe ruled their actions. What will be the result?

It is a very long standing Parliamentary tradition that the Leader of the Opposition replies to the Chancellor.

Kinnock used to get regularly hammered responding to Nigel Lawson, for instance.

Cameron was quite outstanding today, even the BBC were forced to admit it.

I cant belive that some of you thought that Cameron was good today. He was not ! We need a real leader not a limp Tony Blair imposter !

Wake up ! Cameron has to impress not just the die hard tories but ordinary voters , who are not politically active.

You lot are the people who think it,s great when we get favourable opinion polls but when we get any polls that go against us you think it,s a blip !

Shouting and abusing people shows a lack of respect . I watched the Budget with about 15 friends at work , we had a vote and 12 thought he was like a spoilt child and a bully, the other three liked him.

Where was this Gez? Labour party headquarters?

Grow Up David , you sound as childish as Cameron !

I work in at a very sucessful Import,export company, who are doing very well. Business has never been so good and we are expanding this year and taking on 4 new workers. It,s not all doom and gloom.

People like you just want this country to fail so you can have a go at the government and Brown !

Grow Up David , you sound as childish as Cameron !

I work in at a very sucessful Import,export company, who are doing very well. Business has never been so good and we are expanding this year and taking on 4 new workers. It,s not all doom and gloom.

People like you just want this country to fail so you can have a go at the government and Brown !

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