Wednesday 3rd March

The Budget 2021

6:30pm We’ve come to the end of our Budget coverage, we hope you enjoyed it! We’ll leave you with our Budget verdict. Bye-bye.

5:45pm Ian Dunt’s verdict is in.

4:09pm Excluded UK’s response to the Budget.

2:53pm Analysis from Kuenssberg and Peston:

2:50pm Nicola Sturgeon’s mammoth evidence hearing is still going on by the way. Here is a key passage:

1:59pm There are still millions falling through the net.

1:35pm The Labour leader is up in the Commons now.

1:27pm Well, there’s a lot to unpack there over the next few days for sure. Keir Starmer up next.

1:23pm There’s a lot in this Budget, I imagine Rishi Sunak has one hell of a mind map somewhere in No.11.

1:18pm Straight out of Labour’s 2019 manifesto.

1:16pm The chancellor on THAT big corporation tax rise announcement.

1:12pm Freeze on alcohol and fuel duty rises.

1:09pm The trick up the chancellor’s sleeve revealed:

1:04pm Onto tax measures. Corporation tax goes up to 25% on company profits in 2023.

1:00pm Key Budget points so far:

  • Rishi Sunak says that the OBR expect the UK economy to return to pre-covid level by the middle of 2022
  • Furlough scheme extended until September
  • 600,000 extra self-employed workers able to access SEISS support
  • £20 Universal Credit uplift extended for another six months
  • £700 million available for arts and sports when they open up again
  • An additional £19 million available to support domestic abuse victims
  • Reduced 5% VAT rate extended until September
  • Stamp Duty holiday to be extended until the end of June
  • An extra £65 billion of additional covid support announced in total
  • Borrowed £355 billion, 17% of national income, highest since World Wars

12:40pm – The Budget is underway.

12:13pm – All six questions from Labour’s leader were on the Yeman. The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford is going down the same line.

It’s fair to say the PM has been on the defence throughout PMQs so far.

12:08pm – Keir Starmer has spent his first four questions pressing the prime minister over the government slashing aid to Yeman.

12:00pm – Half an hour to go, PMQs first though!

11:54am – Timing is everything.

11:50am – A clear sign of the influence of red wall Tory MP’s yield in this current parliament.

11:29am – Is it me or does John Glen look like he’s levitating in the middle?

11:23am – The Alex Salmond inquiry is on break for 20 minutes.

Here is a key passage from Ms Sturgeon under intense questioning from Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie.

10:31am – Pubs will surely be delighted to hear this when the punters come back!

10:29am – Nicola Sturgeon is 90 minutes into her evidence at the Alex Salmond inquiry.

The key passage over whether or not she broke the ministerial code will come in the final part of the hearing.

10:08am – Interesting take from the prominent American economist in the 2008 financial crisis, Ken Rogoff.

9:27am – Some pretty explosive stuff in Nicola Sturgeon’s opening remarks at the Alex Salmond inquiry…

9:15am – The new furlough scheme extension explained:

8:45am – It’s a seismic day in UK politics, as Scotland first minister Nicola Sturgeon faces the Alex Salmon inquiry.

New evidence released suggest Ms Sturgeon may have broke the ministerial code, which could lead to her resignation.

The first minister is already facing a possible vote of no-confidence. We will bring you the latest from Holyrood this morning.

8:30am – What we know about the Budget so far:

  • The furlough scheme will be extended until September
  • The move will cost an extra £10 billion
  • 600,000 newly self-employed workers could now be covered

8:15am – It’s finally here, Budget day has arrived.

Tuesday 2nd March

Gauke: UK will lose from ‘easy’ corporation tax rise

The former chief secretary to the Treasury has warned of the consequences of raising corporate tax at this year’s Budget.

According to reports, Rishi Sunak will increase corporation tax, but critics argue the hike could push businesses away.

David Gauke says the tax is a politically easy way to raise money but a ‘competitive corporate tax regime’ is key to the UK attracting international businesses.

Bullsh*t and the Budget

‘Protect pubs and restaurants before it’s too late’

Monday 1st March

Excluded UK’s ‘one last chance’

For nearly twelve months, about 3.8 million people have been excluded from financial help from government schemes.

Ahead of Wednesday’s pivotal Budget, the business select committee chair, Darren Jones, says that Rishi Sunak has “one last chance” to help people who have fallen through the gaps in support.

Louise Kenrick and Anna Clarke describe the debilitating experience of being left behind over the past year.

Friday 26th February

The big question mark over stamp duty

One of the big rumours surrounding this year’s Budget is whether Rishi Sunak will extend the stamp duty holiday.

Julian Jessop from the Institute of Economic Affairs, says in the long run the chancellor should scrap the property tax.

Week in Review: Labour right to resist a rise in corporation tax

One of the big questions facing Rishi Sunak is whether he will raise corporation tax.

In his Week in Review, our editor-at-large Ian Dunt comments on why the motives behind a rise could spell the start of another era of austerity.

Can you name the last ten chancellors?

Financially prudent, politically ambitious, the chancellor is a major player in UK politics.

The decisions they make affect the money in your wallet, and the taxes you pay.

Can you name the last ten chancellors?

Thursday 25th February

Welcome to’s coverage of the 2021 Budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has several major decisions to make that will shape the UK’s economic recovery for years to come.

We’ll be bringing new analysis, features and breaking news in the lead-up to the most important Budget in a generation.

What is the Budget?

The Budget is an annual economic plan set out by the government, that outlines the state of the economy along with plans to raise or lower taxes.

The Budget is led by the chancellor, who delivers a statement to the House of Commons.

The choices the chancellor makes affects finances on a national level and the amount of money in your bank account.

When is it?

The 2021 Budget takes place on Wednesday 3rd March 2021.

Rishi Sunak will deliver his speech to the House of Commons at around 12:30pm, after Prime Minister’s Questions. The speech lasts for approximately an hour.

This will be Mr Sunak’s second Budget as Chancellor.

Why is this year’s Budget different?

This year’s Budget may be the most important for a generation, with the chancellor facing the gargantuan task of dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) make for grim reading.

In the first ten months of the financial year (April 2020 January 2021), public borrowing stood at a daunting £270.6 billion.

To put that into context, that’s an increase of £222 billion on the previous year.

All eyes will be on the man in No.11 Downing Street.

Will Rishi Sunak begin to try and deal with the huge debt of the pandemic, and what measures will the chancellor keep, remove or add, to support workers that have been hardest hit by coronavirus?

What is Rishi Sunak likely to say?

Based on what we know so far, here’s what the chancellor is likely to address on the 3rd of March :

  • The chancellor could announce an extension to the furlough scheme
  • There will be an update on the £20 Universal Credit uplift. Rishi Sunak is likely to extend the uplift, but don’t rule out the introduction of a one-off payment
  • The stamp duty holiday is also likely to be extended
  • There may also be new measures to support the self-employed and other workers who have slipped through the net of financial support.

More on the Budget:

Rishi Sunak’s time as chancellor has been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures like the furlough scheme have been widely lauded but many have fallen through gaps and had no financial support.

Now just over a year into the job, will his career be defined by the coronavirus?

Corporation tax is one of the most hotly contested taxes in the UK.

We put Mark Littlewood from the Institute of Economic Affairs and George Dibb from the Institute for Public Policy Research head to head to ask them about it.

By Andrew Harrop of the Fabian Society.

Stark new figures released by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reveal that up to 9 million jobs could be at risk this spring.

The new report states that up to 600,000 UK employers are at risk of collapse when existing support measures are due to end in May.

The IPPR is calling on Rishi Sunak to extend existing support schemes, boost grant support, and offer cash injections to viable businesses.