Commentary led by Jim Pickard and Alex Barker of the FT’s political team, Michael Hunter, markets reporter, Gordon Smith, FT.com’s deputy news editor, Martin Sandbu, editorial writer and co-ordinated by Darren Dodd, of the UK newsdesk.
The chancellor sat down in the House of Commons at 1.33pm
JP: Osborne’s stroke of genius is to announce departmental cuts of 19 per cent – just lower than the 20 announced by Labour in March. Let’s wait to find if he is comparing apples with pears.
Average savings in departmental budget to be lower than the average implied in Labour’s March budget. Instead of average cuts of 20 per cent, there will be cuts of 19 per cent per department
Osborne says: “The measures set out today bring sanity to our public finances”
£15.8bn to refurbish schools
Schools budget to rise from £35bn a year to £39bn
More on education: Early years education budget for schools to rise over each of the next four years. New £2.5bn pupil premium for disadvantaged children. And Sure Start services budgets will be protected in cash terms
Now for transport: The cap on rail fares will rise to retail price index plus 3 per cent for 3 years from 2012. £30bn to be invested in various transport projects over the next 4 years. M25 will be widened between 10 junctions. Crossrail will go ahead among other investments in Britain’s transport infrastructure
The BBC’s online budget will fall and it will not expand its activities competing with local media
Pilots of super-fast broadband to be started in the coming months
Now for the BBC: The BBC will take from the government the responsibility for the World Service. The licence fee will be frozen for the next six years
Osborne says there will be £1bn to set up a “green investment bank”
JP: There is a 50 per cent increase in funding for apprentices. But the chancellor isn’t spelling out which schemes will suffer to pay for this – my bet would be the £1bn ‘train to gain’ fund (used to help companies send staff on training).
£220m invested in the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation at St Pancras. £200m to be invested in developing wind technology
Now for science: The science budget is protected at £4.6bn a year