UK Politics

2011 Budget on 23 March, George Osborne says

The 2011 Budget will be held on Wednesday 23 March, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The chancellor revealed the date while giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on the impact of last month's Spending Review.

The coalition held its first Budget in June, fulfilling a Tory pledge to do so within 50 days of being elected.

Mr Osborne has decided to scrap the annual pre-Budget report, introduced by Gordon Brown when he was chancellor.

The economic update, used to preview measures which could be introduced in future Budgets, was typically held in either November or December.

When Mr Brown was at the Treasury, he often did not disclose the date of the Budget until weeks before it took place.

Earlier this year his successor Alistair Darling gave only two weeks warning of the Budget date, which took place in late March - just before the start of the election campaign.

However, Mr Osborne told MPs that he was giving them four months advance notice of the timing.

"You can put that in your diary," he told them.

Mr Osborne has been defending his proposed £81bn reduction in public spending over four years after the Public Accounts Committee warned of a "serious risk" that it would rely solely on cuts to frontline services.