If you have any lingering doubts about the difference the Liberal Democrats made in government over the last five years, the Budget policies announced by George Osborne this afternoon should dispel them. Just look at the choices Osborne makes without Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander to push him in another direction. At a time when 6.6million people in working families live in poverty, he's hitting some of the poorest and most vulnerable - and, incidentally, hardest-working - families by freezing working-age benefits, which amounts to a real terms cut of 11% over four years.
We seem to be harking back to a time when we thought teenage girls had babies to get council flats. Unlike me, the Chancellor has obviously never pushed out a 10lb 10oz baby and endured 15 odd stitches. Let me tell you it would take a lot more than an extra £25 quid a week to make me do that again. I think I'd turn down a Euromillions windfall in fact!
George Osborne has always been described as a "political chancellor", as if there was really any other kind. But his first Tory-only budget confirmed he is more than comfortable with the nasty politics of division and hypocrisy.
When are we going to stop shooting ourselves in the foot? If we want to bolster domestic business and really get our economy moving, higher education is the last thing we should be taking a swing at. We're perpetuating our own lack of knowledge, and it's going to cost us in the long run.
In today's budget, George Osborne sets out a path for the government's fiscal deficit over the next five years. His aim is to get the overall budget into surplus by 2019/20. This is one year later that planned back in March - a welcome smoothing of the path for eliminating the government's deficit. But he may still be moving too fast.
Today George Osborne squandered a huge opportunity. He could have learned the lessons that led to the economic crisis, started to build a fair and sustainable economy and given Britain the tools it needs to help in the fight against climate change. Instead his backwards priorities led him to sacrifice the poor and the planet in the name of a "long-term economic plan" that is failing to secure our future.
This could have been a good budget and one I would have welcomed, were it not for two announcements that made me see red: the pledge to scrap the Student Maintenance Grant and proposals to force lone parents of three and four year olds into work through the extension of the childcare voucher scheme.
At the Budget Chancellor George Osborne once again put devolution and the Northern Powerhouse centre stage, in what is becoming a recurring feature of Osborne's parliamentary set-pieces.
Radical and reforming - always good words to be associated with any politician. Well George Osborne will have those epithets in spades in days to com...
There was a small but significant announcement for housing in George Osborne's summer budget. The tax-free amount people can earn by taking in a lodger is going up from £4,250 a year to £7,500.
The rabbit out of the hat was the introduction of a national living wage, which will largely be paid for by the reduction in corporation tax, but the announcement of which led the FTSE 100 to pull back from its highs. All in all the budget can be seen as a very business orientated one which the markets have broadly welcomed.
The aftermath of the Budget will be dominated by talk of who is better or worse off, but will it come too late for some of the most vulnerable people in our society? Support for youth homelessness is not on the verge of a funding crisis. It's already in one.
Today George Osborne sets out his first budget as Chancellor in a majority Conservative Government. Talk is cheap - now is the time to put to the test his claim that the Tory party can really be the party of working people. After all the extensive briefing, it's not looking good for George Osborne's claims for his Party... For all the rhetoric, too many of the Tories' policies remain anti-working people. A real agenda for working people today based on Labour values would mean not just the long overdue increases in the minimum wage, but strong incentives for the living wage, continued support for tax credits, a plan for a childcare revolution to support working parents.
"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride"; so said outgoing Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis yesterday, as he announced his post-refere...
On the election of the Conservative Government in 2015 the Chancellor announced plans for further cuts to public expenditure. Yes, there would be cuts of £200million to the Department of Health budget but he assured us these cuts were to 'non-NHS spending'.
As the Budget approaches we await the details of deep cuts in welfare spending, but the fact that they are coming is beyond doubt. Every sinew is being strained in the cause of deficit reduction. Or is it? Largely absent from public debate to date is the more than £100billion that goes each year into tax reliefs - lower taxes for particular groups or activities.