Whitehall briefing w/b 18/03/13

Friday 22nd March 2013

1415 – Defra – The Government has brought in a temporary and limited emergency relaxation in driver hour regulations to deliver feed supplies to livestock farms to make sure essential deliveries of animal feed get through during the current extreme winter weather conditions.

Thursday 21st March 2013

1028 – FCO – William Hague to make a statement on Afghanistan after business questions this morning. 

0959 – PM – Brighter Futures Workshops, based in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire is the latest social enterprise to have won a Prime Minister’s Big Society Award. The organisation helps young, disabled and disadvantaged people gain life skills and independence by recycling mobility equipment which is then sold to those in need.

0956 – DfT – Road safety comparison site and research portal launched

0946 –  HMRC – Full details of Budget 2013 tax proposals for individuals and businesses are available here

Wednesday 20th March 2013 (Budget Day)

1335 – HMRC – You can now download all Budget 2013 documents here

Opinion Former comment: Following the Budget Statement and its impact on families and UK child poverty rates? Child Poverty Action Group has produced a briefing.

1325 – HMRC – George Osborne: “It’s a tax off jobs. It will mean that 450,000 small businesses; will pay no jobs tax at all.”

1324 – HMRC – George Osborne: “I am creating the Employment Allowance, to help create jobs and back small businesses."

Opinion Former comment: The Federation of Small Businesses says this budget will "restore confidence and growth for small businesses – and small businesses must now seize the Chancellor’s wide ranging package of measures to support the economy."

1321 – HMRC – George Osborne: "From 2014 there will be no income tax at all on the first £10,000 of your salary.”

Opinion Former comment: The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union expresses concerns about the extent to which this tax cut will help the lowest paid, in the face of the government's other policies. 

1321 – HMRC – George Osborne: “We will now scrap the beer duty escalator. And we’re taking a penny off a pint.”

1319 – HMRC – George Osborne: “I am cancelling this September’s fuel duty increase. Petrol will now be 13 pence per litre cheaper than if we had not acted."

1306 – HMRC – George Osborne: “Today, I am unveiling one of the largest ever packages of tax avoidance and evasion measures presented at a Budget.”

Opinion Former comment: The Chartered Institute of Taxation says that the chancellor's corporation tax cut is good for business, and important from a tax simplification perspective too.

1306 – HMRC – George Osborne: “In April 2015, we will reduce the main rate of corporation tax by another 1 per cent."

1302 – HMRC – George Osborne: “I am introducing a generous new tax regime, including a shale gas field allowance, to promote early investment.”

1258 – HMRC – George Osborne: “By using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3bn a year from 2015-16.”

Opinion Former comment: the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation asks whether infrastructure has been made a priority in this budget.

1254 – HMRC – George Osborne: "We will exempt military from changes to progression pay."

1253 – HMRC – George Osborne: "Government will extend restraint on public sector pay by a year by limiting increases to an average of up to 1% in 2015-16."

Opinion Former comment: “The war on public sector workers drains demand from the economy, and the government’s dreadful record on growth is testament to these truths," argues the National Union of Teachers. 

1251 – HMRC – George Osborne: "We are setting out plans for the Business Bank."

1247 – HMRC – George Osborne: "I am setting out an updated remit for the Monetary Policy Committee, and a review of the monetary policy framework. I can confirm both Mervyn King and Mark Carney have both seen the new remit and they both agreed it.”

1247 – HMRC – George Osborne: "The tax cuts in this Budget aren't borrowed; they are paid for."

Opinion Former comment: The Child Poverty Action Group has doubts about the impact of tax cuts for those on the lowest incomes. Alison Garnham says: “Raising the personal tax allowance does little good for the lowest paid million workers. Some don’t pay tax anyway, while others keep just 15p in every extra pound because their in-work benefits like housing benefit get withdrawn. 

1243 – HMRC – George Osborne: "I can confirm that the OBR says we are on course to meet our fiscal mandate – and meet it one year early.”

1241 – HMRC – George Osborne: “Deficit has fallen from 11.2 per cent of GDP in 2009-10, to a forecast of 7.4 per cent this year. That is a fall of a third.”

1240 – HMRC – George Osborne: "For every one job lost in the public sector in the last year, six jobs have been created in the private sector."

1237 – HMRC – George Osborne: “People sent to Cyprus to serve our country, in military or govt, will be protected in full from any tax on deposits.“

1236 – HMRC – George Osborne: “We’ve now cut the deficit not by a quarter, but by a third. We’ve helped businesses create not a million new jobs, but one and a quarter million.“ 

1235 – HMRC – George Osborne: “This is a Budget for those who aspire to own their own home; get their first job; or start their own business.“

Opinion Former comment: Council of Mortage Lenders says Help to Buy scheme could have "significant impact".

1234 – HMRC – George Osborne: “Today we go further on all three components of the plan: monetary, fiscal and supply side reform." 

1206 – Cabinet Office – Francis Maude on the PCS strike: "Fewer than 95,000 civil servants are on strike. PCS this morning claimed 250,000 were on strike – this is simply untrue."

Opinion Former comment: NASUWT looks forwards to action on tax avoidance in George Osborne's budget today – but the devil is in the detail. 

0808 – HMRC – George Osborne joins Twitter: "Today I'll present a Budget that tackles the economy's problems head on helping those who want to work hard and get on."

Tuesday 19th March 2013

1656 – MoD – Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland are deploying to Afghanistan and 847 Naval Air Squadron is already at work there.

1649 – HoC – The Official Report of the Urgent Question on the European Council is available

1549 – FCO – William Hague expresses his best wishes to Iranians everywhere on the occasion of Nowruz, and emphasises commitment to positive relations with Iranian people in coming year. 

1512 – Home Office – New and innovative ways to tackle the cyber crime threat are being discussed today in the first ever meeting of the Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership.

1417 – PM – Tax free childcare will be one of the biggest ever measures to help hard-working parents with childcare costs, promises David Cameron.

1317 – FCO – William Hague welcomes news that Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to US Emb Kigali and asked for transfer to International Criminal Court.

1312 – PM – David Cameron praises outgoing Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards and welcomes his successor General Sir Nick Houghton.

Monday 18th March 2013 

0528 – MoD – The 'supremely courageous and inspiring' actions of Lance Corporal James Ashworth, aged 23, killed in Afghanistan to be recognised with UK's highest award for gallantry.

1530 – HoC – Statement on Cyprus by the Financial Secretary, Greg Clark, in the House of Commons. 

1500 – DfE – A £4m research scheme is being launched today to give teachers an opportunity to lead trials to identify the best ways of closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils.

1455 – FCO – Alistair Burt welcomes decision taken by Governor of Maryland to sign legislation repealing death penalty. 

1431 – DfE – Read Elizabeth Truss' speech on the National Curriculum, to the Fellowship Commission.

1343 – BIS – Vince Cable: congratulations to Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen on winning the first QE Prize.

1325 – DECC – Read: transcript of Ed Davey's climate speech, 'Green Growth, Green Jobs: The Success of Renewables In Scotland.'

1225 – MOD – A £100m explosives search and disposal training facility has been officially opened by the head of the British Army.

1224 – BIS – David Willetts announces reappointment of chief executive for the Medical Research Council. 

1200 – DfE £4m scheme gives teachers chance to lead rigorous trials aimed at closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils. 

1104 – HoC – The Public Accounts Committee publishes its 36th Report of this Session which, on the basis of evidence from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), examined its customer service performance.

1107 – BIS – Government and industry today pledged an ambitious long-term partnership and £2 billion investment in aerospace manufacturing.

1038 – DCLG – Eric Pickles comments on Lord Heseltine's recommendations: "Jobs are created in offices, industrial parks and on the high street, not in Whitehall."

1023 – HMRC – Today the government is accepting the overwhelming majority of Lord Heseltine's recommendations, equipping the UK to thrive in the global race.

1002 – BIS – Lifting Off: Implementing the Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace – an industrial strategy for aerospace, setting out a shared government and industry vision for the sector.

0925 – BIS – Greg Clark: Reading Station is an excellent example of investment in infrastructure that will drive local growth.' 

0903 – HMRC – Government will today publish its response to Heseltine Report on #growth, 'No Stone Unturned'.