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5 live's Budget Day Coverage

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Chris Mason Chris Mason | 14:40 UK time, Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Chancellor of the Exchequer holds the original budget box as he leaves 11 Downing Street

With the news agenda dominated by Libya, Japan, Egypt, Tunisia and New Zealand in recent weeks, there hasn't been quite the welter of pre-Budget speculation that's the norm here at Westminster.

But attention diverted elsewhere does nothing to alter the stark economic picture the Chancellor George Osborne is staring at.

Take these statistics for size.

The economy shrank in the last three months of 2010.

The government expects to borrow £148bn this year. That's 10% of the country's economic output, a post-war record and one of the worst deficits amongst economically advanced countries.

And most Whitehall departments have been told they must cut spending by around a fifth within the next four years.

So what should we look out for when Mr Osborne gets to his feet in the Commons?

Will there be any let up in the squeeze on public spending? What will ministers do to get private businesses going? Will the Chancellor scrap a planned increase in fuel duty? Will he go after the banks?

On Wednesday Westminster will be buzzing. Politicians, pundits and policy wonks will be beavering through the Chancellor's Red Book to tell us what they think it all means.

And Richard Bacon and Peter Allen will be at Westminster all afternoon to talk to them on 5live.

But I'll be escaping the Westminster village - and along with 5 live Money's Steph McGovern - heading to Falmouth in Cornwall. How is life for people there and what will they make of what George Osborne has had to say?

Meanwhile 5 live's north west of England reporter Judy Hobson will be going to Chorley in Lancashire to get a sense of what people there make of what they are hearing.

Our plan is Budget Day will be just the start of the conversations we'll be having with people in Falmouth and Chorley. Judy in Chorley and 5 live's south west of England reporter Sarah Ransome in Falmouth will be keeping an ear on what the residents of the respective towns are saying in the months ahead.

And why Falmouth and Chorley? Well, why not? It's our job to cover the whole of the UK, and hear perspectives from all over the country. Sometimes that means taking a look at the map and working out where we've not heard from in a while, and then going there.

So if you're in Falmouth or Chorley and want to get involved in the conversation - get in touch.

Related Links

Click here to get the latest on the Budget 2011

Chris Mason is 5live's Political Reporter


  • Comment number 1.

    Please tell me you're going to have Jon Pienaar on deck for the budget, and perhaps Declan Curry too.

    Richard Bacon is not fit for purpose, unless you're planning to review the television coverage with Boyd Hilton or interview 50 Cent.

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh great Dick Bacon covering the Budget. I hope he isn’t too shouty, actually listens to what people say for a change and doesn’t do his usual a try and be a Paxman by asking the same question over and over again. He’ll probably spend half the time tweeting photographs of himself. Anyway hopefully Peter Allen along with Jon Pienaar will save the day.

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh goodness. Hopefully Osborne will speak for most of it and then Richard will only have to read a scripted precis of 'the Budget so far', because this is a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Comment number 4.

    Let's hope Richard has someone who actually knows what they're talking about joining him.

    Disappointing to see that the political and financial teams aren't trailed in this puff piece.

    I guess if you want serious coverage you go to Radio 4 or LBC in London.

  • Comment number 5.

    Richard Bacon will supposedly be a good foil to Peter Allen, but I must agree he's a lightweight when it comes to political analysis. However, he seems to get away with it by appealing to listeners' short attention spans...or so he thinks.

  • Comment number 6.

    I expect Boyd Hilton from the prestigious Heat magazine, will be in attendance at Millbank with Richard.

  • Comment number 7.

    I thought Martyn Lewis added a sense of reality to the phone-in by attempting to explain tothemore polarised callers withunrealistic solutions by out that most of the tax revenue comes from these despised big profitable companies and that the UK would be up a creek without a paddle without their contributions

  • Comment number 8.

    What does Katie Price think?

  • Comment number 9.

    Goodness me this station must be in meltdown having to rely on RB on budget day.I suppose the usual overload of irritating and rubbish stand up's will guide us through and be in attendance and laughing away at everything, as they do.Nevermind Katie Price where's Coleen Rooney to give her verdict ?

  • Comment number 10.

    Although I am not a fan of Richard Bacon's show during the week, I thought he did OK today (apart from the unnecessary mentions of being filmed for the advert). When there is some real content as opposed to endless interviews with comedians or fillers like Help the programme is OK.

  • Comment number 11.

    That's just the problem prosperogirl.. when Bacon's bad he's awful, when is good he's just ok. 5Live really is the poor cousin these days, hardly the place for breaking hard news... with all of the quality presenters and journalists on the BBC payroll to think that Richard Bacon would be annointed to anchor the Budget coverage shows what a joke this station has become. He should have had the day off as Gabby Logan did.

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh dear, comments have started disappearing again. Mysterious. Seems like freedom of speech doesn't extend to you when you critique the precious BBC talent.

  • Comment number 13.

    Richard ‘you can see me on 4 webcams’ Bacon could learn a lot from the excellent Peter Allen yesterday, particularly how to ask challenging questions in a non aggressive, non shouty way without putting the back up of the interviewee while actually listening to their response and sounding interested in what they say.

  • Comment number 14.

    Boyd Hilton; (Jordan's bestest friend). Anyone hear him and Bacon fawning over the famous novelist.

    Boyd Hilton (is that a made-up name) the man who introduced, kinda, to our vocabulary.


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