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What did you think of the 2011 budget?

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BRITAIN-BUDGET/George Osborne has delivered his budget speech for the 2011/12 fiscal year to parliament.

The Chancellor said corporation tax would be cut by two percentage points to 26 percent from April, rather than by just the one point originally planned. A levy on banks would be increased to help pay for it.

Osborne also announced a surprise cut in fuel duty, while slapping higher charges on oil and gas production which he said would raise 2 billion pounds. Meanwhile, the government will offer loans to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder.

Osborne called it a “Budget for growth and jobs.” Do you agree? Take part in our poll below or leave a comment on this page.

Best of Britain: Watch me

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Whether they’re eager for an audience like climate change activists near an oil refinery, or just captive observers like football players watching a goal go in, this week’s Best of Britain theme is all about watching or being watched.

Included are photos of rows of televisions showing Chancellor Osborne during a speech on future budget cuts, a model with an unusual hair style during the Alternative Hair Show, as well as the shadows of workers as they cross the road in Whitehall.

from The Great Debate UK:

Taxes and the emergency budget

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-Julia Whittle is head of International at Punter Southall Financial Management. The opinions expressed are her own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as UK Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

It is highly unlikely previous Capital Gains Tax proposals will be reversed in Chancellor George Osborne's first budget.

from MacroScope:

‘Ken Clarke for Chancellor’ is no joke

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Ken Clarke shouldn’t underestimate how strongly the city economists polled by Reuters last week want to see him serve as Britain’s finance minister next term.

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The Conservative shadow business secretary and one time ex-Chancellor gleaned a few laughs from Thursday’s BBC Question Time audience when asked about the poll, saying: “There’s a limit to how much of a glutton for punishment you’re going to be.”

from The Great Debate UK:

Send your questions to George Osborne

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osborneShadow Chancellor George Osborne will set out the Conservative Party's strategy for rebuilding the UK economy in an exclusive Thomson Reuters Newsmaker at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 26.

We will bring you full coverage of Osborne's speech, including a live video feed and blog, after which we will conduct a short social media interview with him.

from The Great Debate UK:

Send your questions to Alistair Darling

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darlingDo you have a question you would like to ask Chancellor Alistair Darling? Now is your chance.

At 1:30pm British time on Wednesday, October 21, Reuters is hosting an exclusive Web 2.0 interview with Darling and we want you to send us your questions to put to the top man from the Treasury.

from The Great Debate UK:

Apocalypse Now: A return to high borrowing, high taxes and weak growth

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--Gerard Lyons is chief economist at Standard Chartered. Any opinions expressed are his own. --

Britain is clearly a Jekyll and Hyde economy. Or that at least is what the Chancellor would like us to believe. The bad news we are now seeing in the economy, public finances and across parts of the financial sector will not last. We are in the Mr Hyde phase. But, don't worry, we will soon be back to the normal Dr Jekyll soon.

from The Great Debate UK:

Little room for manoeuvre in budget

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--Gerard Lyons is chief economist at Standard Chartered. The opinions expressed are his own. Lyons will also blog his post-budget thoughts on The Great Debate.--

The outcome of this financial crisis depends on the economic fundamentals, the policy response and confidence. Chancellor Alistair Darling presents this Budget in an environment where the fundamentals are poor, confidence has been shot to pieces and the credibility of policy and his ability to spend any more is being widely questioned.

from The Great Debate UK:

A short circuit for electric cars

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REUTERS-- Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Poor old Alistair Darling. The Chancellor is girding himself to deliver a truly ghastly Budget, and lined up a crowd-pleasing headline-grabber to distract attention from the financial horrors ahead.

Then his colleague transport minister Geoff Hoon goes and grabs the headlines for himself, revealing plans to bribe motorists to ditch the gas-guzzler for an electric car.

You know things are bad when..

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    You know exactly what the population of Iceland is and can also pronounce the name of its prime minister. Even the word ‘crisis’ seems to have lost its currency. Countries pop up for sale on eBay for 99p and get few offers. Posters on BBC messageboards stop discussing the undulating pitch of Robert Peston’s voice and listen to what he’s actually saying. The speech bubble on Page 3 of the Sun is given over to discussing the credit crisis. Financial market updates displace stories about Jade Goody on the tabloid front pages. Bad news stories from government departments are rushed out day after day and not even the Opposition seems to notice. Estate agents finally admit house prices have fallen but tell you now is a really great time to buy because the market is stabilising. People marketing get-rich-quick property seminars don’t get taken seriously any more. The Chancellor, writing in the Financial Times, says that “now, more than ever, we need new ideas”. Your primary school-aged children know that credit crunch is not a type of biscuit and that IMF isn’t just a fictional organisation in Mission Impossible. You go for a while without noticing one estate agent’s mini and then you see a whole bunch of them on the back of a car transporter. A pensioner on the evening tube train from Canary Wharf gives up her seat to a banker because she reckons he might need it. The Ivy rings to ask if you’d like a table tonight or any night. There are no spare trolleys when you turn up at Aldi to do your weekly shop.

Do you have any better suggestions? All contributions welcome – please send in your selection.

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