- Alistair Darling is asked: Why can't you stop spending?
- George Osborne is challenged over what spending cuts he would make as Chancellor
David T Breaker on Platform: Do we English really need St George's Day to remind ourselves of who we are?
- Where are the original A-Listers now? The 27 who are still looking for a seat
- Mark Coote explains how this weekend's Conservative Spring Forum in Cheltenham will boost his campaign to win the constituency from the Lib Dems
- "Local Government Officer" suggests where the axe must fall in town halls
- Cllr Tim Stoddard previews the county council election campaign in Cumbria
- Fraud is rife in Barking and Dagenham
- Mark Field highlights some of the pressing issues we face in the wake of the Budget: "The nagging sense of insecurity amongst the majority of the UK workforce that the spoils of globalisation are being spread inequitably will grow and has the makings of serious social unrest."
- Suli Shah: The bond market will finish Brown
"David Cameron drew the battle lines for the General Election yesterday, dismissing Gordon Brown as the 'clapped out' leader of a 'government of the living dead'. Speaking on what he called a 'day of judgment', the Tory leader said the collapse of Britain's finances means Labour's claims of economic competence are 'dead, over, finished'. Mr Cameron accused the Prime Minister of presiding over 'the fastest rise in unemployment in our history, the worst recession since World War Two and the worst peacetime public finances ever known'." – Daily Mail
"David Cameron’s was the performance to watch. His response to Alistair Darling’s Budget was that of a politician on the threshold of Downing Street. As the red ink cascaded from the chancellor’s speech you could understand Mr Cameron’s easy confidence. But why, you wondered as Mr Darling piled deficit on debt on deficit on debt, would the Conservative leader actually want to win this particular election?" – Philip Stephens in the FT
"His performance was eerily reminiscent of Tony Blair in his heyday, up against John Major, a broken prime minister, and Norman Lamont, a chancellor that lacked conviction." – John Rentoul in The Independent
David Cameron's response to the Budget in full – Daily Telegraph
What was in the Budget?
A summary of all the key measures announced by Alistair Darling – BBC
There is widespread hostility to the Budget in today's editorials…
"This was a Budget that tinkered at the edges of Britain's problems, while refusing to look the truth in the face. Thanks in no small part to Alistair in Wonderland, whoever wins the next election will be handed a lethally poisoned chalice. On yesterday's showing, it won't be Labour." – Daily Mail
"In the past year we tumbled into recession, bailed out the banks and funded a fiscal stimulus. Yesterday we looked to the Chancellor to say how it would be paid for. The orchestra assembled. The audience settled expectantly. The conductor tapped his baton on his music stand. A hush fell. And from the stage came the shrill, thin sound of a penny whistle." – The Times
"…there is another side to the burial of New Labour and it was exploited to such lethal effect by David Cameron in his response. Three terms of a government that started out committed to prudence and sound economic stewardship are ending in a catastrophic deficit that bespeaks the very opposite. Mr Darling's projections for a return to growth may turn out to be less utopian than they seem today, but the levels of debt that are forecast to persist until 2017, even by his – presumably best-case scenario – threaten to impoverish into the next generation a country that should be rich." – The Independent
"If we were not to get any sign of contrition from Mr Darling for the Government's economic mismanagement – for only part of this train wreck can be blamed on the banking crash – we at least had a right to expect some inkling of how the Government intends to pay it off. This is where yesterday's statement became utterly unconvincing." – Daily Telegraph
"Mr Darling took a massive gamble with Britain’s future yesterday. He bet that his own hugely-optimistic forecast of rapid economic recovery will prove correct and pay off Labour’s debts. And what terrifying debts they are: The biggest borrowings in our history which by 2012/13 will be £240billion MORE than Mr Darling predicted only last November. Since he got that forecast so wrong, why should we believe the Chancellor now — when experts like the IMF queue up to disagree?" – The Sun
…and a variety of columnists plunge the knife into Alistair Darling
"Labour's record should speak for itself: destroying wealth, raising unemployment, presiding over waste. Now, though, it seeks to pursue a policy to retain power that puts in the party's sights the very productive and self-reliant people on whom the country must depend for a recovery. It represents a savage and pointless attack on those without whom Britain is sunk. Mr Darling's failure, like that of the Government he serves, is abject. This is Mr Cameron's moment. And it is not just victory that awaits him if he seizes it, but success." – Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph
"This is a horror story. But it could, of course, be worse: the economy may not recover as hoped; losses on support for the banks could, as the International Monetary Fund suggests, be far bigger than the 3.5 per cent of GDP now expected; and, above all, the creditworthiness of the British government could come into question, with devastating consequences. The government is flying on a wing and a prayer." – Martin Wolf in the FT
"Yesterday's Budget statement was a demeaning mixture of bogus initiatives, outright dishonesty and low political stratagem. At a time of crisis, this pathetic Chancellor offered gimmick rather than substance and preferred comforting falsehoods to the difficult and uncomfortable truth." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail
"This was a cheap budget delivered in a manner unworthy of a man with the title of chancellor of the exchequer. There was no strategy, just a series of cheap and recycled announcements. It was a political budget in that he shamelessly appealed to the Labour party's happy little band of envy warriors." – Iain Dale writing in The Guardian
Matthew Parris outlines "the fight the Tories cannot afford to duck"
"If, as Mr Cameron said in a fine, fighting Budget response, Britain's public finances are in deep trouble, it must follow that tough measures are needed to rescue them. Any opposition with a moral claim to form the next government must now confront the Government on how Britain is to finance its spending, and how ambitions for our public services can be brought back into line with our capability to finance them. What and how can we cut? What and how can we restructure? How can we protect and build on Margaret Thatcher's and John Major's legacy of resistance to vindictive, destructive taxation?" – Matthew Parris writing in The Times
Cameron rejects Brown's proposal of a daily allowance for MPs
"The Opposition parties yesterday rejected Gordon Brown's plan to scrap lucrative Parliamentary allowances and pay MPs a daily rate to turn up to work. Following a meeting described as "heated" in the Prime Minister's office in the House of Commons, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, announced his own scheme to reform the controversial system of second home allowances. Under the separate Tory proposals, all receipts would have to be published online within 28 days and expenditure limited to items such as rent, utilities, mortgage interest payments and council tax." – Daily Telegraph
"THE PM was challenged yesterday to apologise in person to a Tory MP who was one of the targets of the planned Downing Street email smear campaign. Gordon Brown was asked directly by Nadine Dorries to say sorry to her for the actions of his sacked No 10 aide Damian McBride." – The Sun
Education ministers under fire over evidence to Sats inquiry
"Evidence provided by education ministers to an official inquiry was “fiction”, the former head of Whitehall’s qualifications authority has claimed" – FT
Inquiry to be held into anti-terror operation in the North West – The Times
Jacob Zuma poised to be next South African president – Guardian
Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit PoliticsHome.com for breaking political news and views throughout the day.