George Osborne holding the Budget box outside Number 11 Downing Street earlier today. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Budget 2014: minute by minute, as it happened

A summary of George Osborne's fifth Budget.

13:28pm Osborne ends: "this is a Budget for the makers, the doers and the savers". More coverage on The Staggers shortly. 

13:26pm Osborne produces his Budget rabbit: he is abolishing the 10p tax rate for savings. He takes a swipe at Labour: "when I abolish a 10p rate I don't secretly turn it into a 20p rate". 

13:24pm There will be a new guarantee that all those who retire on defined contribution schemes will be given face-to-face advice on how to maximise their savings - Osborne calls it "Right To Advice". 

13:22pm Osborne announces a new pensioner bond (paying 2.8% for one year and 4% for two years) - to support those who have paid the price for low interest rates. 

The cap on premium bonds will be lifted from £30,000 to £40,000 this June and to £50,000 next year. 

13:20pm Here comes the Budget rabbit - and it's for savers. 

Osborne announces that cash and stock ISAs will be merged to create a single new ISA, with the annual limit increased to £15,000. 

13:18pm Osborne announces a rise in the personal allowance from £10,000 to £10,500 - lower than some expected.

13:17pm He announces a "penny off a pint for the second year running". Presumably so the poor can drink away their sorrows. 

13:15pm Osborne namechecks Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, as he announces that he will meet his demand for a cut in bingo duty - and halve it to 10 per cent. 

13:14pm The fuel duty rise due in September has been cancelled. Petrol is 20p cheaper per litre than it would have been under Labour's plans, Osborne adds. 

13:13pm Osborne moves on to tax. He wants to help - guess who? - "hardworking families". 

13:09pm The annual investment allowance will be doubled to £500,000 and extended until the end of 2015. This means almost every business will pay no upfront tax on investment, Osborne says. 

13:08pm He confirms that corporation tax will fall to 20% next year, from a starting level of 28% in 2010, but, unlike in previous Budgets, doesn't go any further. 

13:06pm Osborne announces that in honour of Alan Turing, the government will found the Alan Turing Institute to lead research into "big data and algorithms".

13:04pm He adds that the measures announced today will lead to 200,000 new homes. That might sound impressive, but we need 1.2 million over five years just to meet demand. 

13:03pm Osborne claims that the extension of the Help To Buy scheme until 2020 will result in the construction of 120,000 new homes. 

13:00pm The amount of finance available to exporters will be doubled to £3bn - Osborne is trying to show his commitment to a sustainable and balanced recovery.

12:53pm Osborne boasts that income inequality is "at its lowest level for 28 years". But it's important to note that it's forecast to soar as average earnings recover and benefits are slashed (see below). 

Owing to the coalition's welfare cuts, many of which only took effect last year, inequality is forecast to significantly increase between now and 2015-16. In particular, the coalition's Osborne's decision to cap benefit increases at 1 per cent for at least three years (an unprecedented real-terms cut) means the poorest will see a sharp fall in their incomes. The IFS expects inequality "to rise again from 2011–12, almost (but not quite) reaching its pre-recession level by 2015–16." 

While the Tories can take little credit for the fall in inequality (which is largely due the decline in real earnings), they will deserve the blame for the rise.

12:51pm The new cap on total welfare spending will be set at £119bn this year, Osborne announces, and a parliamentary vote will be held next week. It will rise in line with inflation from then on to £127bn in 2018-19. 

12:49pm Osborne confirms that a vote will be held on his new Charter for Budget Responsibility (to enshrine his pledge to achieve a surplus by the end of the next parliament) this autumn - his attempt to lay a deficit trap for Labour. 

12:46pm He might have made those borrowing forecasts sound impressive, but don't forget that the deficit was originally forecast to be £60bn this year, £46bn lower than the figure announced by Osborne. 

12:41pm Osborne announces the OBR's new deficit forecasts: £106bn (6.6%) this year, £95bn (5.5%) in 2014-15, £75bn (4.2%) in 2015-16, £44bn (2.4%) in 2016-17, £17bn (0.8%) in 2017-18, with a surplus of £5bn (-0.2%) in 2018-19. 

He adds that his original pledge to reduce the national debt as a proportion of GDP by 2015-16 will still be missed by a year. 

12:40pm A big boast from Osborne: the net growth in jobs has been three times faster than in any previous recovery. But the problem is how many of those are part-time. 

12:37pm Osborne announces the OBR's new growth forecasts: 2.7% this year ("the biggest upwards revision between Budgets for 30 years," he boasts), 2.3% in 2015, 2.6% in 2016. 2.6% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018. 

12:34pm In the coming year, the deficit will be halved, says Osborne. The Darling plan, in other words. 

12:33pm Osborne is up. "The economy is continuing to recover and recovering faster than forecast," he begins. 

12:19pm PMQs will be finishing shortly and we'll have live coverage of the Budget from then. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The strange death of boozy Britain: why are young people drinking less?

Ditching alcohol for work.

Whenever horrific tales of the drunken escapades of the youth are reported, one photo reliably gets wheeled out: "bench girl", a young woman lying passed out on a public bench above bottles of booze in Bristol. The image is in urgent need of updating: it is now a decade old. Britain has spent that time moving away from booze.

Individual alcohol consumption in Britain has declined sharply. In 2013, the average person over 15 consumed 9.4 litres of alcohol, 19 per cent less than 2004. As with drugs, the decline in use among the young is particularly notable: the proportion of young adults who are teetotal increased by 40 per cent between 2005 and 2013. But decreased drinking is not only apparent among the young fogeys: 80 per cent of adults are making some effort to drink less, according to a new study by consumer trends agency Future Foundation. No wonder that half of all nightclubs have closed in the last decade. Pubs are also closing down: there are 13 per cent fewer pubs in the UK than in 2002. 

People are too busy vying to get ahead at work to indulge in drinking. A combination of the recession, globalisation and technology has combined to make the work of work more competitive than ever: bad news for alcohol companies. “The cost-benefit analysis for people of going out and getting hammered starts to go out of favour,” says Will Seymour of Future Foundation.

Vincent Dignan is the founder of Magnific, a company that helps tech start-ups. He identifies ditching regular boozing as a turning point in his career. “I noticed a trend of other entrepreneurs drinking three, four or five times a week at different events, while their companies went nowhere,” he says. “I realised I couldn't be just another British guy getting pissed and being mildly hungover while trying to scale a website to a million visitors a month. I feel I have a very slight edge on everyone else. While they're sleeping in, I'm working.” Dignan now only drinks occasionally; he went three months without having a drop of alcohol earlier in the year.

But the decline in booze consumption isn’t only about people becoming more work-driven. There have never been more alternate ways to be entertained than resorting to the bottle. The rise of digital TV, BBC iPlayer and Netflix means most people means that most people have almost limitless choice about what to watch.

Some social lives have also partly migrated online. In many ways this is an unfortunate development, but one upshot has been to reduce alcohol intake. “You don’t need to drink to hang out online,” says Dr James Nicholls, the author of The Politics of Alcohol who now works for Alcohol Concern. 

The sheer cost of boozing also puts people off. Although minimum pricing on booze has not been introduced, a series of taxes have made alcohol more expensive, while a ban on below-cost selling was introduced last year. Across the 28 countries of the EU, only Ireland has higher alcohol and tobacco prices than the UK today; in 1998 prices in the UK were only the fourth most expensive in the EU.

Immigration has also contributed to weaning Britain off booze. The decrease in alcohol consumption “is linked partly to demographic trends: the fall is largest in areas with greater ethnic diversity,” Nicholls says. A third of adults in London, where 37 per cent of the population is foreign born, do not drink alcohol at all, easily the highest of any region in Britain.

The alcohol industry is nothing if not resilient. “By lobbying for lower duty rates, ramping up their marketing and developing new products the big producers are doing their best to make sure the last ten years turn out to be a blip rather than a long term change in culture,” Nicholls says.

But whatever alcohol companies do to fight back against the declining popularity of booze, deep changes in British culture have made booze less attractive. Forget the horrific tales of drunken escapades from Magaluf to the Bullingdon Club. The real story is of the strange death of boozy Britain. 

Tim Wigmore is a contributing writer to the New Statesman and the author of Second XI: Cricket In Its Outposts.