PM confirms Budget will be before Easter break
Prime minister Tony Blair has confirmed that chancellor Gordon Brown will present a Budget before Parliament is prorogued for the general election, which is expected in May.
Replying to questions on tax plans in the Commons, he gave no date, but it will have to be before the Commons rises for the Easter recess in the last week of March.
Blair, challenged by Tory Leader Michael Howard, declined to pledge a future Labour Government would not increase taxation or national insurance contributions.
He said Howard would have to wait to see what undertakings Labour decide to make in their manifesto.
He pledged Labour would keep the Small Business Service – on the Tory hit list of cuts – and would not promise more cuts in services.