Latest George Osborne news

RBS Eyes Shock Bid For £13bn Mortgage Book

RBS Eyes Shock Bid For £13bn Mortgage Book

The taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has emerged as a surprise bidder for parts of a £13bn state-owned mortgage p…

  • UK public finances improve more than expected in boost for Osborne
    UK public finances improve more than expected in boost for Osborne Fri, May 22, 2015

    Britain's public sector budget deficit narrowed more than expected in April, giving Chancellor George Osborne a boost as he renews his push to fix the country's public finances. The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, excluding state-controlled banks, totalled 6.8 billion pounds in April, down nearly 27 percent from a year earlier and the lowest shortfall for that month since 2008. Economists taking part in a Reuters poll had forecast a shortfall of 8.1 billion pounds. More »

  • George Osborne warns that EU is 'sleepwalking' out of global econom …
    George Osborne warns that EU is 'sleepwalking' out of global econom … Thu, May 21, 2015

    The EU risks pricing itself out of the global economy with its excessive regulation, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said on Wednesday (20 May), making the case for reforms in the bloc ahead of a referendum on whether Britain remains a member. "We want to ensure Europe is a place where businesses invest and jobs are created. "We need to confront some hard truths about Europe. More »

  • Osborne Vows To Boost Britain's Productivity
    Osborne Vows To Boost Britain's Productivity Wed, May 20, 2015

    George Osborne has told business leaders he will demand further spending cuts and unveil plans for the biggest ever sell-off of public assets as he bids to boost Britain's productivity. Mr Osborne said: "When it comes to saving money, we all know that the more you can do early, the smoother the ride. In a drive to improve productivity, Mr Osborne also plans to create a new Government-owned company to sell off publicly-owned corporate and financial assets this year. More »

  • Osborne demands more spending cuts
    Osborne demands more spending cuts Wed, May 20, 2015

    Whitehall departments have been asked to make further cuts this year and plans for the largest sell-off of public assets are being drawn up to help restore Britain's economic fortunes, George Osborne has told business leaders. More »

  • Osborne warns that EU is sleepwalking out of global economy
    Osborne warns that EU is sleepwalking out of global economy Wed, May 20, 2015

    The European Union risks pricing itself out of the global economy by excessive regulation, Chancellor George Osborne said on Wednesday, making the case for reforms in the bloc ahead of a referendum on whether Britain remains a member. "The continent is sleepwalking towards a future where it has priced itself out of the global economy, with its rules and regulations, financial services legislation and red tape," Osborne said. Osborne was addressing business leaders in London in one of his first major speeches after an outright election win for his Conservative Party. More »

  • Britain to streamline sale of banking assets, address low productivity
    Britain to streamline sale of banking assets, address low productivity Wed, May 20, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne will set out plans on Wednesday to streamline the sale of 23 billion pounds of bank shares and other publicly owned assets by creating a new government-run company. In a speech to business leaders in London, Osborne will highlight the plan as part of a drive to improve Britain's low productivity - which he refers to as the "long-standing weakness in the British economy". "If we want a more productive economy, let's get the government out of the business of owning great chunks of our banking system – and indeed other assets that should be in the private sector," Osborne will say, according to advance extracts provided by his office. More »

  • Hard road ahead as Osborne embarks on mission to reshape state
    Hard road ahead as Osborne embarks on mission to reshape state Tue, May 19, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's finance minister George Osborne is under pressure to spell out how he will slash government spending after getting the green light from voters to finish off what is expected to be, for many, a painful redefinition of the role of the state. After five years of austerity under a coalition government, newly-reappointed Osborne now says he needs to find another 25 billion pounds of spending cuts in the next two years, and more beyond that, to complete what is set to be the most radical shrinking of the state in Britain since World War Two. Many of the most politically palatable cuts have already been made, meaning that reductions to benefits will hit Britons' pockets directly, and already-downsized government departments will need to rethink the public services they offer. More »

  • UK inflation negative for first time since 1960; BoE says temporary
    UK inflation negative for first time since 1960; BoE says temporary Tue, May 19, 2015

    By Andy Bruce and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's annual rate of consumer price inflation fell below zero for the first time in more than half a century, official figures showed on Tuesday, though Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the dip was likely to be brief. British finance minister George Osborne also said the drop did not amount to "damaging deflation", referring to a spiral of falling prices that hurt the economy. The Office for National Statistics said consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in April compared with the same month last year. More »

  • Osborne says country not facing 'damaging deflation'
    Osborne says country not facing 'damaging deflation' Tue, May 19, 2015

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is not facing "damaging deflation" and is well-equipped to stave off the risk of its happening, finance minister George Osborne said on Tuesday, after data showed consumer price inflation fell below zero in April. "We should not mistake this for damaging deflation," Osborne said in a statement, adding that Britons should welcome the lower cost of living, which was driven by a fall in oil prices since last year. "Of course, we have to remain vigilant to deflationary risks and our system is well-equipped to deal with them should they arise," he said. ... More »

  • Negative inflation 'is good news'
    Negative inflation 'is good news' Tue, May 19, 2015

    Inflation turned negative for the first time in more than half a century last month, according to official figures hailed by Chancellor George Osborne as "good news for family budgets". More »

  • Fund Giant Blackrock Courts Top Osborne Aide
    Fund Giant Blackrock Courts Top Osborne Aide Sat, May 16, 2015

    George Osborne's top economic aide is in talks to join Blackrock, the world's biggest ‎money manager. Sky News can exclusively reveal that Rupert Harrison, who has been a leading architect of Government policy since 2010, is being courted by the US firm, which manages more than $4.7trn (£3trn) in assets globally. The talks between Mr Harrison and Blackrock are at a detailed stage but are thought to be several weeks away from a formal announcement. ‎The nature of Mr Harrison's proposed role was also unclear on Saturday, although the insider said that it would be a senior position befitting his experience at shaping economic policy during the last parliament. More »

  • Osborne says to spell out new plans for economy on July 8
    Osborne says to spell out new plans for economy on July 8 Sat, May 16, 2015

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - British Chancellor George Osborne, fresh from his Conservative Party's election victory on May 7, said he would spell out on July 8 how he plans to make further big cuts to public spending and boost the country's growth prospects. "I am going to take the unusual step of having a second budget of the year because I don't want to wait to turn the promises we made in the election into a reality," Osborne said in an article in Saturday's edition of the Sun newspaper. "And I can tell you it will be a budget for working people." Prime Minister David Cameron and Osborne promised voters during a closely fought election campaign that they would not raise taxes over the next five years. Osborne also wrote in the Sun that his budget would seek to tackle Britain's poor productivity record and help the north of the country grow faster and narrow the gap with London and the south. More »

  • British government announces 'unusual' extra budget
    British government announces 'unusual' extra budget Sat, May 16, 2015

    Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne arrives at Downing Street in London on May 8, 2015, the day after a general election More »

  • Government announces 'unusual' extra budget
    Government announces 'unusual' extra budget Sat, May 16, 2015

    Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced plans for a second 2015 government budget on Saturday to quickly implement the Conservative's campaign promises of spending cuts and savings following a surprise election win. More »

  • Osborne announces date for Budget
    Osborne announces date for Budget Sat, May 16, 2015

    George Osborne will spell out how the Government will balance the books and reform welfare when he delivers his first all-Tory Budget on July 8. More »

  • Does Northern England really want to join Scotland? Thu, May 14, 2015

    The petition suggests the map of the UK be redrawn, extending Scotland’s southern borders along a line that runs between the mouth of the Humber and the Dee, which flows east from Wales via Chester and discharges to the sea between Wales and the Wirral peninsula in England. The border between England and Scotland was formalized in the 12th century, and is one of the oldest extant borders in the world. The petition, started last year before a Scottish succession vote failed, also includes a demand that Scotland and "New Scotland" succeed from the United Kingdom. In recent days there has been a spike in signatures in anticipation for a Thursday visit in Manchester by chancellor George Osborne. More »

  • 'Radical' City Devolution Plans Unveiled
    'Radical' City Devolution Plans Unveiled Thu, May 14, 2015

    George Osborne is unveiling plans to give English cities an opportunity to elect their own mayor, who would receive greater powers over housing, policing and transport in their areas. The Chancellor is making his first speech since the General Election in Greater Manchester – the first region to undergo devolution once a mayor is elected in two years' time. Mr Osborne now wants other major cities to come forward "and take this bold step into the future", but has stressed the policy will not be imposed on areas which do not want greater controls. "We will deliver the devolution to Scotland and Wales we promised. More »

  • UK names BRICs economist O'Neill as junior finance minister Thu, May 14, 2015

    The economist who coined the terms BRICs to describe the world's leading emerging nations is turning his sights closer to home after he was appointed by British Chancellor George Osborne to work for him. Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill will be commercial secretary to the Treasury, a junior ministerial role which includes responsibility for boosting infrastructure and improving competition policy. More »

  • Osborne offers cities new powers in English 'revolution'
    Osborne offers cities new powers in English 'revolution' Thu, May 14, 2015

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - British Chancellor George Osborne offered on Thursday to hand over new powers to cities in what he called a "revolution" in how England is governed that would help them revitalise their economies. Fresh from a surprise Conservative victory in last week's election, Osborne urged England's cities, which have little institutional identity, to adopt elected mayors and take control of their own affairs. Last year, Osborne signed a deal with the leaders of Greater Manchester, who are almost all from the opposition Labour Party, under which the city will have an elected mayor from 2017 with new powers over transport, planning, housing and policing. With Scotland set to get new powers under promises made by London to persuade Scots to reject independence in a referendum last year, calls for devolution within England have grown louder. More »

  • Political Times: Tories bask in election victory, Sadiq Khan announces London …
    Political Times: Tories bask in election victory, Sadiq Khan announces London … Thu, May 14, 2015

    The Tories have been given a double whammy. George Osborne's smile probably widen on the news. Meanwhile, Sadiq Kahn has announced his bid to become the next Mayor of London. Khan, 44, also attacked Boris Johnson when he launched his campaign. More »

  • UK censured over EU budget target
    UK censured over EU budget target Wed, May 13, 2015

    David Cameron and George Osborne have been criticised by the European Union for missing a Brussels-set target to cut Britain's budget deficit. More »

  • PM Tells Cabinet: Give Working People A Chance
    PM Tells Cabinet: Give Working People A Chance Tue, May 12, 2015

    David Cameron has met his new Cabinet for the first time as his Government starts putting together legislation which will be a test of his authority. It followed the completion of his Cabinet , with many of those who had previously been Secretaries of State in the last government staying in place. Top of Mr Cameron's agenda is the referendum on Britain's EU membership, which he has promised by the end of 2017, and negotiating a better to deal for Britain. He has put Chancellor George Osborne in charge of negotiations. More »

  • British PM re-appoints Lidington as Europe minister Tue, May 12, 2015

    LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron has re-appointed David Lidington as Europe Minister in the Foreign Office, Downing Street said on Tuesday. Lidington will take a key role beside Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in renegotiating Britain's ties with the European Union ahead of a referendum on membership by the end of 2017. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton) More »

  • George Osborne: Britain will be constructive but firm with EU
    George Osborne: Britain will be constructive but firm with EU Tue, May 12, 2015

    British Finance Minister George Osborne said on Tuesday (12 May) that the new British government would be constructive but firm in negotiations with other EU partners to reform the European Union before a British referendum on its membership of the bloc. "We come here with a very clear mandate to improve Britain's relationship with the rest of the EU and to reform the EU so that it creates jobs and increases living standards for all its citizens," Osborne said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers. "We go into the negotiations aiming to be constructive and engaged, but also resolute and firm and no one should underestimate our determination to succeed for the working people of Britain, indeed the working people of the whole of the European Union," Osborne added. Austria's Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said such a referendum was a way for politicians to avoid taking the responsibility for tough decisions. More »

  • Cameron can count on friends in Brussels as he seeks EU reform
    Cameron can count on friends in Brussels as he seeks EU reform Tue, May 12, 2015

    By Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS (Reuters) - David Cameron is not the best liked European leader in Brussels, yet as he seeks changes in the EU to persuade Britons they should stay in, he will not lack offers of friendship They will come from presidents and fellow prime ministers across the 28-nation European Union and its institutions, none of whom wants to lose the economic, geopolitical and military clout Britain brings to the bloc, however exasperating many find its traditional resistance to closer EU integration. Those allies may press Cameron to put a deal to voters before his self-imposed 2017 deadline for a referendum on Britain's EU membership. Cameron's lead negotiator, finance minister George Osborne, came to Brussels on Tuesday promising to improve relations with Europe: "We go into the negotiations aiming to be constructive and engaged," he said. "But also resolute and firm." Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and fellow conservative who chairs summits of EU leaders, has said he shares many of Cameron's concerns. More »

  • Taxpayer's Stake In Lloyds Now Below 20%
    Taxpayer's Stake In Lloyds Now Below 20% Tue, May 12, 2015

    The Government's stake in Lloyds Banking Group has now fallen below 20% following the latest share sale. The Government has reduced its stake by 5% in the past three months, raising about £2.5bn as part of a trading plan launched in December by the chancellor, George Osborne. He wants a further £9bn of Lloyds shares to be sold over the next 12 months so long as they continue to make a profit. Lloyds closed at just above 86p last night. More »

  • Osborne warns EU not to underestimate reform drive
    Osborne warns EU not to underestimate reform drive Tue, May 12, 2015

    Britain's finance minister George Osborne on Tuesday warned his EU partners not to underestimate his government's determination to seek reform of the 28-nation bloc ahead of a planned referendum on British membership. More »

  • Britain will be constructive but firm with EU - Osborne
    Britain will be constructive but firm with EU - Osborne Tue, May 12, 2015

    British Finance Minister George Osborne said on Tuesday that the new British government would be constructive but firm in negotiations with other EU partners to reform the European Union before a British referendum on its membership of the bloc. "(We have) a very clear mandate to improve Britain's relationship with the rest of the EU and to reform the EU so that it creates jobs and increases living standards for all its citizens," Osborne told reporters before a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels. Osborne said no one could be in any doubt that Britain would hold a referendum on its membership of the European Union having conducted negotiations. More »

  • Osborne tightens grip on cabinet after Cameron reshuffle
    Osborne tightens grip on cabinet after Cameron reshuffle Mon, May 11, 2015

    By William Schomberg and Maytaal Angel LONDON (Reuters) - British Chancellor George Osborne has emerged as a winner in a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron after last week's election, with several close allies moving into top jobs in the new government on Monday. Osborne, who has been mentioned by Cameron as a potential successor as leader of the Conservative Party, saw four of his former aides brought into the cabinet or promoted, including new business secretary Sajid Javid and energy secretary Amber Rudd. Another -- Priti Patel, now a minister for work and pensions -- was a junior minister at the Treasury under him. More »

  • Cameron names Hands to number two job at Treasury Mon, May 11, 2015

    Re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron named Greg Hands as chief secretary to the Treasury on Monday, giving him a key role in the government's renewed push to cut spending and bring down the budget deficit. Hands, a 49 year-old former banker, was once an aide to Chancellor George Osborne to whom he will now play the role of deputy. Hands worked most recently as a government whip, a job which enforces party discipline in parliament. He replaces Danny Alexander whose Liberal Democrats party was a coalition partner in Cameron's first government but is now in opposition after suffering big losses in the May 7 election. More »

  • Cameron names Javid as UK's new business secretary
    Cameron names Javid as UK's new business secretary Mon, May 11, 2015

    Newly re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed Sajid Javid as his business secretary, handing the challenge of improving the country's poor productivity record to one of the rising stars of the Conservative Party. Javid, a 45 year-old former investment banker who is the son of a bus driver, was first elected in 2010 and worked closely with Chancellor George Osborne before becoming culture minister in Cameron's first government. Javid worked for Chase Manhattan Bank and Deutsche Bank before starting his career in politics and is widely tipped as a future Conservative Party leader. More »

  • Cameron sends in top gun Osborne to push for EU reform - paper
    Cameron sends in top gun Osborne to push for EU reform - paper Sun, May 10, 2015

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron plans to make Chancellor George Osborne his lead negotiator as he speeds up his push for concessions from the EU before a planned referendum on Britain's membership of the bloc, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. European leaders lost no time on Friday in offering Cameron talks on EU reform, bidding to ease uncertainty about Britain's future in the bloc after the Conservative party won a parliamentary majority on Thursday. The Sunday Times said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond would back up Osborne - who was made the highest-ranking member of the cabinet after Cameron on Friday - and that both ministers would visit Berlin and Brussels as part of Cameron's first 100-day plan. On Friday France's Socialist president Francois Hollande invited Cameron to Paris once he had formed a government. More »

  • Inquiry To Be Held Into Election Poll Accuracy
    Inquiry To Be Held Into Election Poll Accuracy Sat, May 9, 2015

    An independent inquiry is to be carried out into the accuracy of election polls after they consistently underestimated the Conservatives' lead over Labour. In the end, David Cameron's party secured an overall majority, something even the exit poll of 22,000 voters at 141 polling stations did not detect. The British Polling Council (BPC), which acts as the association for opinion pollsters, will look into the causes of the "apparent bias" and make recommendations for future polls. Chancellor George Osborne said the pollsters would have "a big post-mortem" while Michelle Harrison, a pollster at TNS, said it had been a "mixed night for the polling community". More »

  • Cameron keeps Osborne as Chancellor to pursue deficit push Fri, May 8, 2015

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron reappointed George Osborne as his Chancellor on Friday and gave him a bigger cabinet role after Britain's economic recovery helped their party to an unexpectedly big election victory. Osborne will have a freer hand in his purge of Britain's public finances after the Conservative Party won an outright majority on Thursday, meaning it no longer has to seek consensus with its former Liberal Democrat coalition partners. As well as keeping Osborne in charge of Britain's economy, Cameron named him first secretary of state, making him the most senior member of cabinet after the prime minister. More »

  • Foreign, finance ministers unchanged in new UK government
    Foreign, finance ministers unchanged in new UK government Fri, May 8, 2015

    Finance Minister George Osborne and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will remain in their posts in Britain's new government, Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday, after his general election win. More »