Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday evening. We'll have another update for you tomorrow morning.
1. Chancellor plots course out of pandemic with Budget
All eyes were on the chancellor as he set out his tax and spending plans in the Budget, with the UK's economy reeling from the coronavirus crisis. Rishi Sunak vowed to "protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people". He extended furlough until September - but he also announced plans to increase the tax on large company profits from 2023. Labour's Sir Keir Starmer said the Budget was "nowhere near ambitious enough". There is hope on the horizon as official forecasts predict the UK economy will grow 4% this year, and get back to its pre-pandemic size six months sooner than previously expected. But the government is expected to borrow £394bn during the current financial year - the highest figure seen in peacetime. You can read all the detail on the Budget here.
2. What does the Budget mean for you?
Mr Sunak said the government will keep economic support in place "until well past the point we exit lockdown" and the UK's recovery "begins today". So what does it mean for the money in your pocket? The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 from April, from £8.72 for people 23 and over. National Insurance and VAT rates will not go up, but a million more people will start paying income tax by 2026. The extra £20 a week for people on universal credit will continue for six months, with an equivalent £500 payment for people on working tax credit. And all duty tax on fuel and on alcohol will stay as they are. Here are 10 ways the Budget affects your finances.
3. Councillor suspended over 'private' Covid vaccine
A councillor has been suspended from the Labour party after posting a photo on Facebook claiming she'd had a Covid vaccination from a private doctor. Jamila Azad posted: "My darling daughter took me to a Private Care Doctor for Covid-19 vaccine. A long wait for NHS waiting list." The government says jabs are only allowed to be given by the NHS and the Labour Party is investigating. You can read the full story here.
4. Isle of Man residents 'disappointed' at third lockdown
People on the Isle of Man say they are "disappointed" to be entering a third coronavirus lockdown - but have vowed they will beat the virus once again. All social distancing was scrapped in February, but a rise in cases - some linked to a ferry crew member have triggered a 21-day circuit-breaker. Island resident Cathy Clucas said it was unfortunate that due to a minority "the majority are to suffer again". She said: "Repeated lockdowns are forcing decent, law abiding and hard working people towards debt." You can read about how Cathy's fellow islanders are feeling here.
5. Having a baby during lockdown can be a challenge - how about two?
The BBC written lots of stories on the challenges faced by couples who have had babies during lockdown - but one couple has done it twice. Rachel Taylor and Scott Gretton from Teesside had Oscar just days into the first lockdown and have now welcomed his baby brother, Chester. When Oscar was born they did not "see a soul for months, which was great", they said. Lockdown had given them more time to adapt to family life. And as you'll see from their video, the boys had a surprise for Rachel. Not to put you off, but if this story has inspired you, you can read up on the challenges of having a baby during lockdown.
And don't forget...
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
And, if you're feeling befuddled by all this Budget talk we've got all the key points at a glance.
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