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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 06:00 GMT
Brown's budget: the verdict
Gordon Brown delivering his budget in the House of Commons, with John Prescott and Tony Blair looking on
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A 49 minute speech delivered yesterday lunchtime may be enough to decide who becomes the next Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown's ninth budget since Labour came to power was brief and to the point - but is it a vote winner?

  • On Breakfast this morning:

  • We talked live to the Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

  • We heard from his opposite number, the Conservative Oliver Letwin.

  • We talked to the Liberal Democrats' Vince Cable.

    You can watch recordings of our key interviews by following the links on the right hand side of this story.

    Stamp duty threshold increased to 120,000
    Council tax rebate of 200 for pensioners
    Petrol duty frozen
    Tax break for the first 7,000 of savings in ISAs extended to 2010
    7p on cigarettes, 1p on beer, duty frozen on spirits

    Gordon Brown made a bid for the pensioners' vote, by announcing a council tax rebate of 200 for pensioners.

    He's also promising free off-peak bus travel for over 65s, regardless of where they live (at the moment it's provided at the discretion of local councils).

    Mr Brown also tried to woo first time home buyers, by increasing the Stamp Duty threshold to 120,000.

    And, while increasing duty on cigarettes, beer and wine, he froze petrol tax until September.

    For details of all these changes and how they affect you, see the links on the right hand side of this story.

    This year's budget is particularly crucial for Mr Brown, as it's widely expected that Tony Blair will call a General Election in a few weeks' time.

    So the final verdict on this year's budget will belong with the voters, rather than professional politicians.

    Breakfast's interview with the Chancellor
    "I don't want to return to the old days of boom and bust"

    Shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin
    "Elect a Conservative government and you will see us make savings"

    The Liberal Democrats
    We talked to Treasury Spokesman Vince Cable

    The experts' view
    We talked to the BBC's Economics Editor Evan Davies and our political correspondent Shaun Ley

    Breakfast on Budget Day
    16 Mar 05 |  Breakfast
    Brown goes for growth
    03 Dec 04 |  Breakfast
    Gordon Brown sets out his stall
    18 Mar 04 |  Breakfast
    Your Comments
    10 Dec 04 |  Breakfast


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