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Highlights, not verbatim:

1.18pm: The choice for Britain is between continuing recovery and wrecking recovery.

1.17pm: Guaranteed real increases in NHS and schools for two years plus protection of frontline policing to be funded by a 0.5% increase in National Insurance contributions for those earning more than £20K.

1.16pm: 0.7% target for aid spending by 2013 will be honoured.

1.14pm: Public sector pay to be capped at 1% for two years.

1.08pm: Most fiscal adjustment WILL come from spending restraint but it must not happen too soon in order to safeguard the economy. Next year's spending plans will be honoured. Tory laughter as Darling says he is making decisions "from position of strength"!

Picture 9 1.07pm: Inheritance tax allowance frozen at £325,000.

1.04pm 50% levy on any discretionary bank bonus over £25,000 will be introduced immediately and anti-avoidance measures be introduced. This tax will yield £500m and pay for new employment opportunities for young and old.

1.03pm: I'm making tough new decisions on tax.

1.02pm: New lower 10p tax band on patents emanating from UK.

1pm: Railway between Liverpool, Manchester and Preston will be electrified.

12.57pm: Announces £360m more in energy efficiency investment and tax breaks for electric vehicles. He mentions changes to climate change levy and car tax but mentions no details. [Naughty!].

12.54pm: Brown forecasting 3.5% growth from 2011. [Not realistic]. Public debt as a percentage of national income will be 78% by 2014.

12.51pm: Public borrowing will be halved by 2014/15. Too consolidate too soon, he says, citing Japan's 1990s experience, risks jeopardising the economic recovery. Borrowing will be £178bn this year, £174bn next, then £140bn then £117bn, then £96bn, Darling forecasts.

12.48pm: Inflation to be 1.5% by end of 2010.

12.46pm: Basic state pension to go up by 4% in real terms. Bingo duty will be cut! At least we have on tax cut.

12.41pm: Employment higher in Britain than in competitor countries. Two million more in work than in 1997 today, despite recession. Four times as many people would have lost their jobs if the Government hadn't been as interventionist. But unemployment will continue to rise for some time. [Including during the General Election].

12.39pm: Confirms that increase in corporation tax for smaller businesses will be deferred.

12.37: VAT will return to 17.5% on 1st January 2010.

Picture 812.34: Darling says Britain has been hardest hit in recession because of its very large financial sector, high proportion of homeowners, and exposure to world economy through its high trading status. Predicts economy will be growing again by end of the year.

Tim Montgomerie

57 comments for: Darling raises National Insurance by another 0.5%, announces £0.5bn tax on bank bonuses and forecasts £178bn deficit for this year

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