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Summary

  1. Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced each other for Prime Minister's Questions.
  2. MPs responded to George Osborne's Budget statement.
  3. The Justice Committee took evidence from Michael Gove on prison reform; while the Work and Pensions Committee investigated "intergenerational fairness".
  4. Peers debated the Trade Union Bill at report stage.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis, Chris Davies and Alex Partridge

All times stated are UK

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  1. House Adjourns

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    and with that the House of Lords adjourns, bringing to an end the day's business in the Houses of Parliament.

    Peers will be back at 11am tomorrow for day seven of the Housing and Planning Bill committee stage, with peers due to look at issues around planning and compulsory purchase.

  2. Motion to regret approved

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have voted to support Baroness Featherstone's motion to regret, which amounts to a request for the government to reconsider its plans, by 153 votes to 144 a majority of just 9.

  3. Division over ending solar subsidy

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone pushes her motion to regret the Renewables Obligation Closure Etc. (Amendment) Order 2016 to a vote. 

    Its been a day of divisions in the House of Lords so you know the drill by now.

    Results are expected at 8.50pm.

  4. 'Cutting solar off at the knees'

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Shadow energy minister Lord Grantchester accuses the government of "cutting off the solar sector at its knees rather than ensuring its glide-path to subsidy free."

    He argues the "sudden policy change" coming only a "short time after the cut of 65% to feed-in tariffs" - cash payments to households that produce their own electricity using renewable technologies  - sends out "terrible mixed messages" in the wake of the COP21 Paris climate change agreement.

    The Labour peer laments that peers find themselves in an "all too familiar situation" that once more "severely limits the renewable industry and the mishandling of which has left investor confidence in the market further damaged."

    Shadow energy minister Lord Grantchester
  5. Undoing the work of the coalition

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone argues that ending the subsidy will have a "detrimental effect on rooftop solar, community energy schemes and reduce investor confidence in the solar sector".

    She argues this is just one part of a "litany of destruction" as the government undoes a lot of the green policies secured under the coalition government.

    These policies, that "made Britain the fastest growing green economy in Europe was clearly only led by one side of the coalition and not at all embraced by the other", she argues.

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone
  6. Balancing obligations

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Energy Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth tells peers that removing the solar subsidy 12 months early will help the government balance its green obligations and energy budget.

    The capital cost of ground-mounted solar panels have dropped "60% from 2010 to 2015" reducing the cost to the consumer, while cutting the subsidy would save the government between "£60m and £100m per year" he argues.

    Energy Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
  7. Regretting renewables changes

    Motion to regret

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers now move to the Dinner Break business - a regret motion from Lib Dem Baroness Featherstone on the Renewables Obligation Order that ends early the subsidy for small solar installations.

    A vote is expected on the regret motion - amounting to a request for the government to reconsider its plans - which may provide a desert for the Opposition after the main course in the bill.

  8. BreakingGovernment defeat

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Peers have delivered another government defeat. The House of Lords votes to approve another of Lords Kerslake's amendments - this one to remove the Communities and Local Government Secretary's powers to intervene in "individual public bodies" facility time arrangements.

    When all votes are counted the government is defeated by 248 votes to 160, a majority of 88.

  9. Division called on 'overweening central power'

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Kerslake is not convinced though. He calls the measure "overweening central power" and pushes the amendment to a vote.

    Results are expected at 7.45pm.

    Peers file out of the chamber to register their vote in the division lobbies
    Image caption: Peers file out of the chamber to register their vote in the division lobbies
  10. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The House of Commons has adjourned for the day.

    It will sit again at 9:30am tomorrow, when MPs will put questions to Ministers from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

    There will then be the weekly statement from the Leader of the House setting out forthcoming business.

    MPs will then return to debating the budget until 5pm, when there will be a short debate on school places and funding in Barking and Dagenham.

  11. Minister: 'Wales is open to major sporting events'

    Commonwealth Games

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alun Cairns

    Wales Minister Alun Cairns says "'Wales is open to major sporting events", and notes that in the next few years Wales will be hosting several sporting events including the world half marathon championships.

    He tells the House that hosting such events can encourage young people to take up sport, and bring economic benefits to the region. 

    He adds hosting the Commonwealth Games would "put Wales on the international stage".

    However, he says to host the Commonwealth Games more sporting facilities would need to be built, and there would be infrastructure "challenges".

    He says the Wales Office "stands ready" to help overcome these challenges, and hopes that Wales will get to host the games.

  12. Powers 'may never be needed'

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Cabinet Minister Lord Bridges of Headley tells peers new facility time powers "may never be needed".

    It is the government's hope that the new transparency measures should "encourage employers to moderate their spending where necessary".

    But, he adds, "if inefficient spending is not addressed then it is only right that a power exists to protect tax payers money". 

    Cabinet Minister Lord Bridges of Headley
  13. New facility time power 'doesn't make sense'

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Kerslake tables an amendment to delete a clause that would allow the government to intervene in "individual public bodies" facility time arrangements - time off from normal work to undertake trade union duties, learning development or activities.

    The Communities and Local Government Secretary already has these powers for governmental bodies. 

    But the former head of the civil service argues under the bill the Secretary of State would be given powers to intervene in local authorities "who have their own democratic mandate and are answerable to their own electorate for the cost".

    The Crossbench peer says it will "not only enable the Secretary of State to set the specific percentage of an employers pay bill that facility time arrangements will cost, but also percentage of individual employees selected working time".

    "This doesn't make sense."

    Lord Kerslake
  14. Sugar tax shown to be 'regressive', says IEA

    Sugar content in a can of Coca Cola

    Kate Andrews, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, says experience in other countries has shown "a sugar tax is incredibly regressive". 

    She tells the BBC: "It's disproportionately going to affect the people at the bottom, people who are poor on low incomes."

    In Mexico, where a "soda tax" was brought in two years ago, sugar consumption is down between 6% and 12%. Meanwhile, Finland's 7.3% tax rise on sugar led to only a 1% drop in sugar consumption in the first year, she said.

    "People were still buying sugary drinks, but they were paying more for them. That is unfair for people at the bottom," she said. 

  15. Conservative MP calls for Commonwealth games to come to Wales

    Commonwealth Games

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Craig Williams

    MPs will return to the budget debate tomorrow.

    They move on to an adjournment debate tabled by Conservative MP Craig Williams calling for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Wales.

    In 2012, the Welsh government said it was working with Cardiff council and others on a feasibility study looking at hosting the event in 2026.

    Since then no decision has been taken on whether to bid for the games. Mr Williams urges the Welsh government to "get behind" the idea of the bid.

  16. MP accuses government of 'trickle up economics'

    Budget debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Roger Mullin

    The SNP MP Roger Mullin describes the Chancellor's statement as "miserable".

    He says George Osborne can be relied upon to "cut, cut and cut again", and to fail to meet his fiscal targets.

    He argues that increased inequality is harming the economy, adding that the Chancellor seems to believe in "trickle up economics".

  17. Confusion reigns in the Lords

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    In his speech Lord Burns' claimed that spending by a union on a bus fare for a member to attend the Labour Party conference would have to be declared if the clause is left unamended. Baroness Neville-Rolfe says that was "never the intention" of the clause.

    Lord Burns says that he is now more confused than before, and all legal advice he's heard suggests that level of detail would be required.

    He withdraws his amendment after a government promise to return to the issue with a clarification at third reading.

  18. Government pushed for concessions on spending details

    Trade Union Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Burns speaks about his amendment 13. It relates to a clause in the bill which would require a trade union to give details any political spending over £2,000.

    He says the "potential bureaucracy" it would cause is a major concern for unions. The amendment would force the government to revise the amount of information on political spending that would have to be provided.

    Labour's Baroness Dean says she supports the amendment and it was a "unanimous recommendation" of the committee.

    Baroness Dean
  19. 'Difficult' to feel sympathy for Chancellor

    Budget debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Helen Goodman

    Labour's Helen Goodman says "it's difficult to feel very sympathetic" for the Chancellor having to explain why he was not going to meet his fiscal targets.

    She argues that the Chancellor's warnings about the global economy do not explain the shortfall, and says "you can't blame other countries if you haven't invested enough in your infrastructure".

  20. Oil and gas industry

    Budget debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Callum McCaig

    The SNP's Callum McCaig says he welcomes the moves to help the oil and gas industries, but argues that they do not go far enough.

    He adds that there should be "fiscal support for exploration" to help the industry expand, and says the SNP will continue to push the government for such measures.