10.15pm ToryDiary: David Cameron and Liam Fox welcome General David Petraeus's appointment to lead the international forces in Afghanistan

8.45pm ToryDiary: First Cameron/Clegg TV interview: would you know which one was Prime Minister?

8pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight: Does earning £42,375 a year mean you are rich?

John Redwood 25pm LISTEN: John Redwood MP gives his take on the Budget at the TPA/IEA briefing

4.45pm Parliament: Oliver Colvile and Karen Lumley make the maiden speeches they have been waiting a decade to deliver

4.30pm David Alexander on CentreRight: Will the Lib Dems be hit by their support for the increase in VAT? It killed their sister party in Australia…

3.45pm Parliament: Penny Mordaunt and Sheryll Murray speak up for the Navy in their maiden speeches

3.30pm WATCH: Sky News' Joey Jones analyses the highlights of today's PMQs

3pm International: Kevin Rudd could be deposed as Australian Prime Minister tomorrow

2.45pm Alex Deane on CentreRight clarifies which courts are set for closure

Boris Johnson in Manchester2.30pm ToryDiary: Confirmation "imminent" that Boris Johnson will seek re-election as London Mayor

1.30pm Harry Phibbs on CentreRight: Public spending is not being cut

1.30pm Local government: 650,000 Council Tax dodgers

12.45pm ToryDiary: The budget gives a measure of protection to Michael Gove

12.30pm ToryDiary: One party got us into this mess and two are getting us out of it, Cameron tells Harman at PMQs

Picture 1210.45am Gazette: Former Cabinet Minister Lord Walker of Worcester has died

10.30am LeftWatch: Labour MPs show little interest in holding the Government to account through the select committees

ToryDiary: How Conservative backbenchers won the battle on the Capital Gains Tax rate

Graeme Brown on Platform: Why didn't we the general election? Reflections on the campaign from the coalface of a Midlands marginal

Parliament: Andrea Leadsom draws on her City experience in her maiden speech to explain how to restore the financial services sector to health

Local Government:

ThinkTankCentral: How think tanks reacted to the Budget

Melanchthon on CentreRight wants David Cameron to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU before allowing a new Treaty to be passed

WATCH: Philip Hammond and Alistair Darling discuss the Budget with Jeff Randall on Sky News

The Budget sets out how we will all be paying to repair the economy as bequeathed to the Government by Labour

"George Osborne put a VAT increase at the core of the harshest Budget for a generation, raising taxes, cutting benefits and slashing spending as the price for rebalancing Britain’s books. The Chancellor announced an eye-watering £113 billion squeeze on public finances over five years as he accelerated by two years the previous Government’s route to wiping out the structural deficit." – The Times (£)

"Every household in the land will pay as George Osborne prescribes the strongest economic medicine in a generation to rescue Britain from disaster. Millions of middle-class families will bear the brunt of his emergency Budget, losing tax credits, facing a three-year child benefit freeze and paying £500 a year more in VAT. A dismantling of much of Labour’s welfare state will also leave the poorest out of pocket as £11billion is slashed from the annual benefits bill, with housing benefit and disability living allowance facing deep cuts." – Daily Mail

"Every household in Britain will be worse off after George Osborne unveiled £29 billion worth of annual tax rises and the biggest cuts in public spending for almost a century. In an ambitious attempt to reduce the nation’s borrowing, the Chancellor said everyone had to share the pain to repair “the ruins” of the economy. Setting out what he described as the unavoidable Budget, Mr Osborne admitted that the better off would shoulder the largest burden of tackling the “emergency” facing Britain’s finances." – Daily Telegraph

"Seeking to pin the blame for the tough measures on Gordon Brown, the chancellor said: "Today we have paid the debts of a failed past. And laid the foundations for a more prosperous future. The richest paying the most and the vulnerable protected. That is our approach. Prosperity for all. That is our goal." – The Guardian

Picture 11 "George Osborne heaped a pile of pain on everyone in Britain yesterday with a 2.5 per cent hike in VAT. The rise to 20 per cent from the start of next year was top of the list in the Chancellor's Emergency Budget – aimed at saving our debt-ridden nation from ruin… Mr Osborne repeated time after time that the "tough but fair" measures were unavoidable due to the dire state in which Labour left the nation's finances. The VAT hike will pump an extra £13billion a year into Treasury coffers. But all existing exemptions – on food, children's clothing, books and newspapers – will stay." – The Sun

Nick Clegg faces revolt over VAT increase – The Mirror

What the editorials are saying…

"George Osborne faced three tasks in his first Budget. He had to produce a credible deficit-reduction strategy that would reassure the markets that the Coalition can restore the public finances from the ruinous state bequeathed by Labour. He had to ensure that the consequent pain from higher taxes and lower spending is shared equitably. And he had to introduce measures to encourage growth in the private sector while trying to rebalance the British economy away from its debilitating dependence on the public sector and its unhealthy reliance on financial services. The Chancellor succeeded on all three counts." – Daily Telegraph

Picture 10 "There was a genuine fear, three months ago, that a coalition Government would bring compromise and indecision at a time of national crisis. Mr Osborne put that fear to rest yesterday. We have had the best of fiscal conservatism combined with no small measure of social justice. This Budget was not unavoidable; but it was unambiguous. Mr Osborne has proved himself a Chancellor with the mettle and judgment for the battles to come." – The Times (£)

"History may judge that yesterday was the moment Britain turned towards a better future… The Chancellor showed political and economic skill in making the best of a bad hand, keeping both coalition partners happy. While hitting most of us, he lifted a million low-paid out of tax AND helped pensioners and the poorest." – The Sun

"Presenting his emergency budget yesterday, George Osborne made two enormous wagers, while pulling off two important tactical victories. The "unavoidable budget" was how Mr Osborne referred to it, but in reality it is the budget of a gambler. The Conservative chancellor is betting first that the economy will not collapse under the fiscal pummelling it is about to receive – the rise in VAT and other taxes, the cuts in public spending and benefits – and second, that the Liberal Democrats will stand firm with the Conservatives if the already bad times get much worse. If those bets go wrong, the new chancellor will plunge the economy into another recession – and could blow apart his coalition government too." – The Guardian

"The hands of the Liberal Democrats are now well and truly "dipped in blood" on the Government's tax and spending plans. And Mr Osborne is firmly in economic control. The Liberal Democrats – and indeed the country – need to pray that the Chancellor's judgement will turn out to be as assured as yesterday's performance at the Despatch Box." – The Independent

"George Osborne's plan to tackle the simply horrific £155billion budget deficit created by Labour and, in the process, return the nation's finances to some semblance of solvency, is bold, unprecedented… and will be deeply painful. It is also unavoidable if Britain is to prevent the money markets imposing a Greek-style crisis on this country and to re-balance our economy in favour of the wealth-creating private sector." – Daily Mail

What the commentariat are saying…

Bruce Anderson "As befitted such an austere budget, Mr Osborne drank water at the Dispatch Box. Yesterday evening, he was entitled to something more celebratory. But the respite will be brief. Being Chancellor is like riding in the Grand National. You go over a fence, delighted to find that you and the horse are still intact – and instantly, there is another fence bearing down on you. George Osborne is now confronted by two mighty fences. The first is the CSR, which normally stands for comprehensive spending review. This time, it will mean the almost comprehensive spending reduction… Then there will be the biggest fence of all: growth." – Bruce Anderson in the Daily Telegraph

"The chancellor is right to expect services that consume so large a share of the nation's wealth to justify that share under the strictest scrutiny. This cannot be a bad thing, especially if it embraces outrageous spending on defence. With Labour's borrow-and-spend gone so spectacularly bad, some drastic remedy is required. But the gamble that the coalition is taking with British economic growth is colossal. If it works – and we shall know soon enough – Thatcherism's hour will indeed have come." – Simon Jenkins in The Guardian

"It is the proposed 25 per cent real-terms cuts in spending from most government departments that stand out. Treasury officials say that the cuts might not be so deep if they can reduce the social security bill even more drastically, but I doubt if the Government will meet its targets on welfare, let alone exceed them. Indeed, the cuts in some departments are bound to be deeper given that capital spending is protected, and Osborne seemed to suggest that Education and Defence would not be hit as hard. What will be left for most other departments to spend? This is the coalition's revolution. Parts of the state will almost disappear." – Steve Richards in The Independent

LEA RUTH "George Osborne has done it. He has introduced a tough, hard Budget that will hurt. But it was a necessary Budget that has staved off the prospect of a financial crisis and will surely be welcomed by those in business who needed the reassurance that the Chancellor has got a grip on the appalling public finances." – Ruth Lea in The Times (£)

"Many backbench Liberal Democrats, whose party had been out of power for 70 years before the formation of the coalition Government last month, have only ever known the irresponsibility of opposition. For them, Osborne's rigorous, clear-sighted and deeply responsible Budget is a horror story. That is why, in due course, I believe that this coalition will start to split apart  -  and that George Osborne's Budget can only have brought that moment closer." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail

"Before the election, George Osborne maintained that to be a successful chancellor a mastery of politics mattered more than an understanding of economics, which may explain the green tie. Yesterday, wedged between David Cameron in blue and Nick Clegg in yellow, he wore a shimmery number that appropriately blended the two, as he slashed spending and helped the poor. It was a cute touch for an occasion that required bold strokes and nerves of steel. He provided both, and sank the memory of Oleg Deripaska's yacht in the process." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

"The capital gains tax changes were not as bad as feared but nevertheless represent another blow to London’s competitiveness. The top rate is now 28 per cent; there is still no indexation for inflation, which means that people will increasingly be paying tax on worthless paper hikes, which is deeply unfair." – Allister Heath in City AM

How Osborne can make his gamble pay off – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times (£)

"The first Budget from new Chancellor George Osborne lived up to its billing as the toughest in 30 years. But as far as the financial markets were concerned, it was just what the doctor ordered." – Peter Cunliffe in the Daily Express

Middle England will hurt the most – Alex Brummer in the Daily Mail

"Fortune favours the brave, or so George Osborne, the new chancellor of the exchequer, and the coalition government must hope. For brave he has surely been. He has announced a dramatic fiscal tightening, though the gory details are to be revealed in the spending review to be completed by October. Yet what he has already outlined is a savage Budget. The government must now win the argument that this tightening was essential. If public sector unrest and a weakening economy bite hard over the next few years, the bravery is going to look like rashness." – Martin Wolf in the FT

Iain Martin "Through the gloom Mr. Osborne thinks there are better times ahead. In austerity he sees opportunity to dismantle the superstructure of the Brownite state—and to simplify the tax system. In accelerating deficit reduction he will get credit from the markets. His gamble is that he will not be up-ended by a double-dip recession if demand drops sharply at home and in Europe. Instead, he has put his money on the private sector powering a recovery a good deal stronger than is now expected. If he's right he'll be able to cut taxes and be garlanded in time for the next election. Get it badly wrong and he'll be like Gordon Brown, sitting at home watching the television as his successor delivers an austerity budget." – Iain Martin in the Wall Street Journal

> Yesterday's Budget coverage on ConHome

Nick Herbert to unveil plans for a "rehabilitaiton revolution"

HERBERT NICK NW "Private companies and not-for-profit organisations who help offenders escape a life of crime will be rewarded with cash under new Government proposals. Police minister Nick Herbert will unveil plans for a "rehabilitation revolution" to stop career criminals sliding back into the criminal justice system. He will explain how a "pay by results" mechanism will create better support for ex-crooks by generating savings elsewhere… Mr Herbert will explain how "actions have consequences" and more must be done to stop anti-social youths growing into criminal adults." – Press Association

Michael Gove confirms teachers will get pay rise this yearPress Association

Andrew Lansley to outline vision for the NHS tomorrow The Guardian

David Cameron and President Obama to hold first bilateral at this weekend's G20Reuters

William Hague begins three-day visit to PakistanPakistan Daily Times


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