What a difference a year makes! The economic backdrop against which the chancellor delivered his budget had changed quite dramatically from last year and his mood was somewhat more buoyant than 12 months ago. He clearly felt that the economic statistics were on his side and he couldn't resist a few jibes at the opposition benches, some of which they found quite amusing. They particularly liked the quip about the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, and King John being a weak leader who betrayed his brother!

There were the inevitable sound bites that will undoubtedly provide the media with easy headlines – "a more resilient pound for a more resilient economy" to describe the new pound coin that will apparently be harder to forge, and he couldn't resist getting in the comment about the rich making the biggest contribution to the deficit reduction, which allowed him to use the now well-worn "we're all in this together". Judging by the noise from the benches opposite I'm not sure everyone agreed....

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