Latest George Osborne news

Budget Deficit Drops By 6% In Last Year

Budget Deficit Drops By 6% In Last Year

The UK budget deficit has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis five years ago. Official figures from the Of…

  • UK Economic Recovery Threatened by Gaping Trade Deficit
    UK Economic Recovery Threatened by Gaping Trade Deficit Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Britain's yawning current account deficit is threatening the UK's gathering economic recovery, according to the Bank of England. Policymakers on the BoE's rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) highlighted the current account deficit, which has grown to the equivalent of 5.5% of GDP, as a significant concern at their monthly meeting at the beginning of April. The BoE and Chancellor George Osborne have raised concerns that the economy is not rebalancing towards trade and business investment. What is a current account deficit? More »

  • PM and Osborne set out growth plan
    PM and Osborne set out growth plan Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    David Cameron and George Osborne have pitched themselves as the economic team to win the next election as they defended their record on tax and set out their vision for infrastructure-led growth. More »

  • Cameron and Osborne Break Tradition by Appearing in Public Together
    Cameron and Osborne Break Tradition by Appearing in Public Together Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    The fact that David Cameron and George Osborne appeared together on a public platform with no other ministers may appear entirely unremarkable, particularly as it was to announce projects previously published by the government. There have long been criticisms from within the Tory party in Westminster that it is run by the small elite group comprised of Cameron and Osborne with their coterie of advisers, all from the same sort of privileged background. But, as the economy has started to recover and the chancellor has started to be viewed as a huge positive for both government and party, not to mention a leadership figure, so there has been a desire for Cameron to be associated with the successes. There is always the danger with hugely successful chancellors that they start to look like the real power in Downing Street and there has already been the suggestion that Cameron is the front man for Osborne's government. More »

  • George Osborne's Popularity Rockets to All-Time High, says Ipsos Mori P …
    George Osborne's Popularity Rockets to All-Time High, says Ipsos Mori P … Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    An Ipsos Mori poll has revealed that Chancellor George Osborne's popularity, among the UK's electorate, has surged to an all-time high. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also recently revealed that the UK's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% and annual wages grew at a rate of 1.7%. The positive economic data meant that 47% respondents of an Ipsos Mori poll in April said that they were satisfied with the Conservative MP's performance – against 44% who were dissatisfied. Osborne only received a 27% satisfaction rating in March 2013. More »

  • UK Government Making 'Reheated Announcements' on Infrastructure Pro …
    UK Government Making 'Reheated Announcements' on Infrastructure Pro … Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    Labour has accused the government of making "reheated announcements" on infrastructure after the prime minister and chancellor unveiled a list of 200 projects set to start or finish in 2014/15. The projects have previously been announced, but the government is keen to show that they are moving forward after criticism from industry groups and firms that it has been sluggish on infrastructure. "Because of the tough decisions we have taken in day to day spending, we can prioritise public investment where it is most needed and create the right conditions for private investment in infrastructure where it brings value for the taxpayer," said Chancellor George Osborne. Labour hit back at the government's record on infrastructure. More »

  • Business Lending Falls Despite UK Recovery
    Business Lending Falls Despite UK Recovery Tue, Apr 22, 2014

    Bank lending to big and small businesses in the UK is falling according to the Bank of England, despite the strengthening economic recovery. Business investment remains weak. Chancellor George Osborne wants businesses to bolster the UK economy by investing in expansion and job creation, boosting growth. So far much of the recovery has been powered by the residential housing market, with house prices rising in all regions of the UK once again, and consumers wearing down their savings in order to splash out on goods and services. More »

  • Cameron-Appointed Quango Chief Resigns
    Cameron-Appointed Quango Chief Resigns Sun, Apr 20, 2014

    A businessman appointed by David Cameron to head a £60bn quango has resigned after it was revealed he was declared bankrupt. Tony Caplin was in charge of the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which provides loans to infrastructure projects. A Government spokesman said: "Tony Caplin was appointed to a number of public bodies by the Labour party. According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Caplin was a friend of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who is a former chairman of the same City firm where Mr Cameron's father was a partner. More »

  • Wages Growth Shows Battle Is Between Economic Figures and Feelings
    Wages Growth Shows Battle Is Between Economic Figures and Feelings Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Wednesday 16 April 2014 is the day the Tory party would love to hail as the turning point in the recovery, when unemployment continued falling and, most significantly, wages outstripped inflation, destroying Labour's "cost of living crisis" assault. The reason George Osborne and others have been cautious in their reaction to the figures is because they are just that - figures, statistics and controversial ones at that. And, for the same reason, while Ed Miliband and Ed Balls will be worried the figures may have a major impact on their strategy, they are showing no signs of abandoning it just yet. The Office for National Statistics has reported that average earnings in the three months to February grew by 1.7%. More »

  • UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise
    UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said the data showed his coalition government policies were bringing greater economic security, and his civil servants have said that on some measures, living standards are already rising. But his Labour Party opposite number, Ed Balls, said the CPI data failed to capture rapidly rising house prices, and that tax and benefit changes since 2010 meant that the average household was almost 1,000 pounds a year worse off. House prices are rising at their fastest since June 2010, up 9.1 percent on the year, according to ONS data released alongside the CPI figures. Prices in London are up 17.7 percent, the biggest jump since July 2007. More »

  • Britain Drank Seven Billion Fewer Units of Alcohol over Last Decade
    Britain Drank Seven Billion Fewer Units of Alcohol over Last Decade Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA ) show alcohol consumption in the UK shrank by 2.1% in 2013 compared with the year before. Alcohol consumption per head was 7.7 litres – the lowest level this century. Alcohol sales contribute £21.4bn to Treasury coffers and George Osborne recently shaved 1p off beer duty. The data was compiled by the BBPA from data published in the HMRC Alcohol Bulletin and is based on the total amount of alcohol sold in the UK that is liable to tax. More »

  • Treasury and HMRC Analysis of George Osborne Tax Cuts 'Utterly Flawed&# …
    Treasury and HMRC Analysis of George Osborne Tax Cuts 'Utterly Flawed&# … Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    George Osborne's favoured analysis of the impact of his tax cuts on the UK economy has been dismissed as "utterly flawed" by a leading financial adviser. The Treasury published a paper in conjunction with the tax office, HMRC, claiming that the chancellor's real terms fuel duty cuts will increase UK GDP by between 0.3% and 0.5% in the long-term. It follows a report using the same methodology – known as dynamic scoring – to suggest that his corporation tax cuts would boost business investment by between 2.5% and 4.5%. Osborne favours dynamic scoring because it can produce conclusions that back his preference for tax cuts, as seen in the reports published by the Treasury and HMRC. More »

  • UK government study lends weight to Osborne's case for tax cuts
    UK government study lends weight to Osborne's case for tax cuts Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne's case for cutting taxes if his Conservative Party wins a 2015 election was bolstered on Monday when a government study said lower taxes would stimulate economic activity and partially offset a loss of revenue. A reduction in the real rate of fuel duties, enacted in 2011 by the coalition government, will increase Britain's economic output by 0.3 to 0.5 percent over the next 20 years, according to a government model which aims to better capture the full effects of changes in fiscal policy. ... More »

  • Osborne Looks to Election with Hint of Tax Cuts to Come
    Osborne Looks to Election with Hint of Tax Cuts to Come Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Tax-cutting Tories have been delighted by chancellor George Osborne's claim that his Budget decision to cut fuel duty will boost Britain's economic recovery. Backed by a report from the Treasury and HMRC, Osborne claims his decision to scrap the planned rise in the tax will boost GDP by up to 0.5% over 20 years, to a total of almost £7.5bn. His announcement is a major boost for those Tories demanding more tax cuts and has been seen by them for precisely what it is, a calculated political attempt to regain the party's traditional low tax image with suggestions there will be more to come. Both Osborne and prime minister David Cameron repeatedly insist they are natural tax cutters, but that the recession has imposed new disciplines on them. More »

  • What British Export Businesses Need to Know Post Budget 2014
    What British Export Businesses Need to Know Post Budget 2014 Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    UK Chancellor George Osborne's Budget 2014 committed to doubling support for British exporters, in a move that will see the government aim to increase UK exports to £1tn by 2020. As well as doubling the annual 100% tax allowance for investment to £500,000 (€634,000, $836,000), loans available for foreign buyers to purchase goods and services from UK exporters will increase from £1.5bn to £3bn. While this Budget is welcome news for would-be British exporters, with opportunities also come risks, so businesses need to understand the associated challenges with exporting abroad. Below are five best practice tips that every British business should consider before any foray into overseas markets: More »

  • Osborne Jail Threat For Offshore Tax Evaders
    Osborne Jail Threat For Offshore Tax Evaders Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Chancellor George Osborne said new proposals could mean that people who hide their cash overseas could face criminal charges even if they did not intend to evade tax. Mr Osborne, who is consulting on the new powers, said there would be "no safe haven" for anyone who cheats the Exchequer. Mr Osborne, who has been at the International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington, told the Financial Times: "We are changing the balance of the law so the burden of proof falls on those who are hiding their money offshore and we don't have to prove that they intended to do so." He added: "It is totally unacceptable for people not to pay the tax that is due and the message will be clear now with this new criminal offence that if you're evading tax offshore, there is no safe haven." More »

  • UK Chancellor Osborne To Clamp Down on Offshore Tax Dodgers
    UK Chancellor Osborne To Clamp Down on Offshore Tax Dodgers Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    People using offshore havens to avoid paying UK taxes could face longer jail sentences and harsher fines under plans announced by chancellor George Osborne. Treasury officials said that the current rules had allowed tax avoiders to dodge prosecution, and escape with light fines. Osborne, who is in Washington DC for a meeting of the International Monetary Fund, told the Financial Times: "We are changing the balance of the law so the burden of proof falls on those who are hiding their money offshore and we don't have to prove that they intended to do so. Recently, the UK signed an agreement with other G20 countries to share information on tax avoidance, as it fights to claw back some of the billions in revenue it loses every year. More »

  • Osborne says critics proved 'wrong'
    Osborne says critics proved 'wrong' Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    Critics of Britain's economic recovery plan have been proved "comprehensively wrong", George Osborne has said. More »

  • Osborne touts UK recovery on return to sceptical IMF
    Osborne touts UK recovery on return to sceptical IMF Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne held up Britain's recent strong pace of economic growth as vindication of his austerity programme that came under fire from the International Monetary Fund last year. Osborne, who is attending the IMF's spring meetings in Washington this week, said healthier banks and a credible plan to fix public finances are essential to getting growth going again after the financial crisis. "This is despite warnings from some that our determined pursuit of our economic plan made that impossible." At its spring meetings last year, when Britain's economy looked at risk of entering a triple dip recession, the IMF urged Osborne to change tack and speed up spending as a way to get growth going again. Now, after 12 months in which the pace of Britain's economic turnaround has surprised even the government, Osborne appears to be relishing his return to Washington. More »

  • Zombie Parliament Stumbles on as Elections Year Kicks off
    Zombie Parliament Stumbles on as Elections Year Kicks off Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Anyone who has not yet spotted that Britain is being run by a zombie government with nothing to do but engage in a year-long election campaign need only wait until the Easter break is over. Once the prime minister has returned from his Canary Islands holiday and Ed Miliband ends his Easter break, including a visit to Israel, things will really heat up. Ministers have been scrabbling around to try to find things to put in the government's programme for next year with fox hunting, the EU referendum and, thanks to Maria Miller, recall of MPs all likely to be included. The truth is, barring George Osborne's final Autumn Statement and spring Budget - election events in their own rights - government business will be a sideshow to the big events of the local council and EU elections on 22 May, the Scottish independence referendum on 18 September and the general election on 7 May, 2015. More »

  • George Osborne: UK Jobs Growth Proves Austerity Critics Wrong
    George Osborne: UK Jobs Growth Proves Austerity Critics Wrong Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Britain's Chancellor George Osborne argued that the UK's strong pace of job creation and economic growth vindicates his controversial austerity programme. "In the UK, we have those conditions in place, and our economy has grown faster than any other in the G7 over the last year and is now forecast by the IMF to do the same in 2014," Osborne said. The Chancellor outlined the country's strong job growth during the speech as there are now more than 30 million people in work in the UK, according to official figures. The figures mean the UK is set to outpace the economies of the US, France and Germany. More »

  • ABI and IMA Join Forces to Supercharge Lobby Powers Post Pensions Bombshell
    ABI and IMA Join Forces to Supercharge Lobby Powers Post Pensions Bombshell Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Two of Britain's most influential industry groups in the insurance and investment have joined forces in a bid to more effectively lobby on asset management issues. The Investment Management Association (IMA) and the Association of British Insurers' (ABI) investment affairs division merger will supercharge the groups' efforts to lobby Whitehall, only weeks after UK Chancellor George Osborne dropped a bombshell that is rocking the pensions industry. Furthermore, the groups' members are facing a raft of reviews and investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) across a variety of sectors, including insurance. "We have situations where conventional engagement by individual investors, or the existing mechanism for collective engagement have not been able to have the desired impact," said Daniel Godfrey, chief executive at the IMA. More »

  • Britain to trumpet economic recovery
    Britain to trumpet economic recovery Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    British finance minister George Osborne will later Friday hail the nation's economic recovery, one year after the International Monetary Fund had warned that his austerity policies were "playing with fire". More »

  • Osborne to hail UK economic success
    Osborne to hail UK economic success Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    George Osborne will take to the world stage today to trumpet the success of Britain's economic recovery a year after the International Monetary Fund warned that his austerity policies were "playing with fire". More »

  • Osborne pressed for more detail over failed Lloyds branch sale
    Osborne pressed for more detail over failed Lloyds branch sale Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    British Chancellor George Osborne was on Thursday pressed for more details about the government's involvement in a collapsed deal to sell hundreds of Lloyds Banking Group branches to the Co-operative Bank. Parliamentarians conducting an inquiry into the planned sale, which fell through in April last year, are trying to establish whether undue political pressure was applied to Lloyds or regulators to sell 631 high-street branches to the Co-op. Andrew Tyrie, the head of the committee looking into the sale, wrote to Osborne for the second time in two weeks asking for details of the role ministers played in the deal. Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Co-op Bank, said in March that Osborne had pressured it to buy the branches from partially state-owned Lloyds. More »

  • Government, insurers ease pension rules for retirees before reforms
    Government, insurers ease pension rules for retirees before reforms Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    The Treasury said on Wednesday that people who have started the process of retirement by taking some of their savings as a lump sum will have 18 months to decide what to do with the rest. Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the pensions shake-up to boost choice and returns for pensioners who have seen their incomes hit by record low interest rates. All retirees will be free to do what they want with their pension pots. "This extension to the decision-making period will give people the opportunity to take full advantage of the new flexibilities introduced at the budget," said David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. More »

  • Britain's Just Retirement says sales to be hit by pension reforms Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    (Reuters) - Insurer Just Retirement Group Plc said it no longer expects full-year sales to grow 7 percent, blaming uncertainty in Britain's individually underwritten annuities market after surprise pension reforms last month. In the biggest shake up in pensions in nearly a century, Finance Minister George Osborne's annual budget in mid March relaxed rules that traditionally forced pensioners to buy annuities at retirement. The reforms give retirees more access to their pension pots and allow them to put away more money tax-free, giving them the option of not buying annuities. This could mean less business for Just Retirement, which gets about three-quarters of its sales from individual underwritten annuities (IUA), which are underwritten against a retiree's pensions pot. More »

  • Thousands of Retirees Face 'Total Dependence' on UK State Pension
    Thousands of Retirees Face 'Total Dependence' on UK State Pension Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Thousands of retirees will be "totally or heavily" dependent on the UK's state pension fund this year as one in seven of those planning to retire have made no personal pension provisions. The shocking research from insurer Prudential, which questioned more than 7,800 people, also revealed that two in ten (20%) of women say they have no pension savings compared with 7% of men. The findings comes after the Chancellor George Osborne unveiled some radical retirement reforms in his budget, including a proposal which could see the need for an annuity being scrapped. "The changes to pensions and how people can take their retirement income announced in the budget last month will provide savers and retirees with more choices," said Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential. More »

  • UK Trade Deficit Narrows Sharply but Exports Fall
    UK Trade Deficit Narrows Sharply but Exports Fall Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    Britain's total trade deficit almost halved in the three months to the end of February, according to the Office for National Statistics. The ONS said the UK trade deficit fell to £4.8bn ($8bn, €5.8bn) over the period. Falling goods exports are another headache for Chancellor George Osborne in his attempt to rebalance the economy away from its heavy reliance on consumer spending and towards trade. "The fall in EU imports reflects a drop in trade in oil over a three month period, whereas outside of the EU, although oil imports have fallen, the most substantial decrease was seen in imports of finished manufactures." More »

  • Clifford Chance Investigating FCA Over Zombie Insurance Review Blunder
    Clifford Chance Investigating FCA Over Zombie Insurance Review Blunder Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    The Financial Conduct Authority has hired Simon Davis, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, to investigate the regulator over staff leaking details of a major insurance investigation to a newspaper, which ended up slicing billions of pounds off insurance company stock values. However, the watchdog also confirmed it has appointed a committee of non-executive FCA board members to oversee the "independent" review. The regulator will also follows the UK Chancellor George Osborne's 'terms of reference' after he said he was "profoundly concerned" over the FCA's blunder and wrote to the watchdog himself. On 28 March, the FCA leaked some of the details about an inquiry into whether 30 million customers of pensions and other products were "exploited" or mis-sold products. More »

  • IMF Sees UK Growth Remaining Fastest In G7
    IMF Sees UK Growth Remaining Fastest In G7 Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for Britain’s economic growth more than any other major economy for the third time in a row, in a boost to the Chancellor’s fortunes. The upgrade, which is likely to be seized on by the Chancellor as further evidence of British success, comes one year on from the IMF chief economist’s warning that George Osborne was "playing with fire" with his austerity policies. At that stage, Britain was facing the prospect of a possible triple-dip recession. Now, the Fund says that not only is growth strong in the UK, there is a significant chance of an "upside risk" - in other words even stronger growth than its central prediction. More »

  • UK economy basks in manufacturing growth, IMF upgrade
    UK economy basks in manufacturing growth, IMF upgrade Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    By William Schomberg and Ana Nicolaci da Costa LONDON (Reuters) - Britain got a double boost on Tuesday as its recovery from recession gathered momentum and the International Monetary Fund raised the country's growth forecasts more than for any other major economy. The signs that Britain is finally starting to put the financial crisis behind it are well timed for Chancellor George Osborne. More »

  • Former Comet Owner Has Eyes Down For Gala Bid
    Former Comet Owner Has Eyes Down For Gala Bid Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    The controversial former owner of the electrical goods retailer Comet is assembling an offer to gain control of the Gala chain of bingo halls. Sky News understands that Henry Jackson, founder of the investment firm Opcapita, has contacted Gala Coral to register his interest in bidding for the business, which is expected to be put up for sale later this year. Mr Jackson's involvement in the auction will pit him against private equity groups and individuals including Luke Johnson, the former Channel 4 chairman, whose firm Risk Capital Partners is among the other likely bidders. Prospective buyers have stepped up their interest in Gala since the surprise move by George Osborne, the Chancellor, to announce a halving of bingo duty in last month's Budget. More »

  • British industrial output jumps
    British industrial output jumps Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (L) speaks with with works manager Richard O'Neil (R) during a visit to Tata Steel in Port Talbot, Wales, on March 25, 2014 More »

  • UK services firms hit new export high in first quarter - BCC survey
    UK services firms hit new export high in first quarter - BCC survey Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - British services firms reported the fastest growth in exports on record in the first quarter of 2014 and manufacturers also got off to a strong start to the year, a survey showed on Tuesday. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said its quarterly economic survey suggested the pace of economic recovery would continue in the short term. The findings will be a boost for Chancellor George Osborne, who has been trying to promote exports and manufacturing ever since the government took office in 2010 and is on a trade mission to Brazil this week. "The results of our survey suggest that growth is strengthening in the short-term, and support our recent forecasts that the economic recovery is moving at a solid pace," said BCC chief economist David Kern. More »

  • Britain's Osborne unveils Brazil investment push
    Britain's Osborne unveils Brazil investment push Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    British finance minister George Osborne unveiled plans Monday to ramp up exports to Latin America, as he embarked on a visit to World Cup and Olympic hosts Brazil. More »