Latest George Osborne news

  • Australia, Britain to take on firms avoiding taxes
    Australia, Britain to take on firms avoiding taxes Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (L) welcomes Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey, outside No. 11 Downing Street in London, on October 14, 2014 More »

  • Britain backs eventual yuan inclusion in IMF's SDR basket Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Randall Palmer WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain favours the eventual inclusion of the Chinese yuan in the International Monetary Fund's SDR basket of currencies, finance minister George Osborne said on Friday, saying it was important to include emerging powers in the world system. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, however, voiced disappointment with Britain's surprise decision last month to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on its own, instead of taking a joint Western approach on the issue. More »

  • Osborne - IMF/G20 meetings more gloomy due to Greek situation Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The Greek financial crisis has helped make the mood at international financial talks in Washington this week "notably more gloomy," British Chancellor George Osborne said on Friday. "It's clear now to me that a misstep or a miscalculation on either side could easily return European economies to the kind of perilous situation we saw three to four years ago," he told reporters on the sidelines of meetings of officials from the Group of 20 and the International Monetary Fund. More »

  • Osborne says IMF deficit forecast is reason to vote Conservative
    Osborne says IMF deficit forecast is reason to vote Conservative Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    British Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday an International Monetary Fund forecast that Britain is likely to miss his budget deficit forecasts means people should vote for his Conservative Party next month. Osborne was reacting as some newspapers said the IMF report on Wednesday undermined forecasts included in his recent budget statement that Britain would have a surplus of 0.3 percent of gross domestic product in the 2019/20 fiscal year. The IMF said Britain would have a budget deficit of 0.3 percent of GDP in 2020. More »

  • Political battles bring more powers to England's north
    Political battles bring more powers to England's north Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Estelle Shirbon MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Despite being on opposite sides in Britain's election campaign, city bosses from the opposition Labour Party in Manchester have struck deals with the Conservative Chancellor to give new powers and funds to England's lagging north. Known for tight-fisted austerity, George Osborne has pledged to spend billions on roads and railways linking northern cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to create a conurbation with the scale and resources to compete with London. More »

  • Tories trying to "fund NHS on IOU"
    Tories trying to "fund NHS on IOU" Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    Labour has accused the Conservatives of trying to "fund the NHS on an IOU" after Chancellor George Osborne pledged to increase spending by £8 billion by 2020. More »

  • HSBC Faces New Hit Under Labour Bank Levy
    HSBC Faces New Hit Under Labour Bank Levy Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    HSBC faces an additional bill running to several hundred million pounds under Labour plans to increase a tax on the balance sheets of Britain's biggest lenders. The hike would be likely to come on top of an increase announced in last month's Budget by the Chancellor, George Osborne, who said the tax was "here to stay". Mr Osborne's comments, and Labour's plans to increase the Bank Levy still further, are fuelling disquiet among some of HSBC's largest shareholders, who are pressing its board to re-evaluate the growing cost of its UK domicile. One investor, who asked not to be named, said the growing tax burden on the bank meant that the case was becoming "unanswerable" for HSBC to conduct a further formal review of the location of its headquarters. More »

  • 'Radical' Pension Changes Come Into Force
    'Radical' Pension Changes Come Into Force Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    People aged over 55 are now able to cash in their pensions and spend them as they wish. The changes were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement and were expanded in last month's Budget . More »

  • Tories Accused Of 'Secret Tax Plan' By Labour
    Tories Accused Of 'Secret Tax Plan' By Labour Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    The Conservatives have been accused by Labour of favouring the rich after the Chancellor refused to rule out cutting the top rate of income tax in a Sky News interview. George Osborne told the Murnaghan programme his party had "no plans" to further reduce the top rate of tax and insisted it was not a priority. But Labour claim the Chancellor has been "flushed out", pointing out Mr Osborne used the same words about VAT before the last election, which he then raised from 17.5% to 20%. Pressed on whether top earners could be in line for another tax cut, Mr Osborne said: "You can judge us by what we say we want to do. More »

  • Tories Pledge 1980s-Style Housing Revolution
    Tories Pledge 1980s-Style Housing Revolution Sun, Apr 5, 2015

    The plan would mean half a million people a year getting their feet on the housing ladder, George Osborne said. Ed Miliband's party unveiled plans on Saturday to take the new ISA scheme for first-time buyers announced in the Budget and use it to finance wide-scale house building. Speaking on Sky News' Murnaghan programme, Mr Osborne said: "We do need to build more homes. And he pointed to government help being provided to assist people onto the housing ladder, including the new ISA where savings are topped up for a deposit. More »

  • Labour accuses Tories over tax rate
    Labour accuses Tories over tax rate Sun, Apr 5, 2015

    David Cameron and George Osborne have been accused by Labour of favouring the richest in society after failing to rule out cutting to the top rate of income tax to 40p in the next parliament. More »

  • Labour Adapts Tory Policy On Housing Fund
    Labour Adapts Tory Policy On Housing Fund Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    The Labour Party has taken the unusual step of adapting a recent Tory announcement to create a £5bn housebuilding fund. In George Osborne's budget last month he unveiled a first-time buyers ISA savings account. The ISA sees investors' savings boosted with up to £3,000 of government money to help them buy a home. The Labour Party says it would ensure that savers' money in these accounts was used by the banks to invest in housebuilding. More »

  • Parties trade blows on job policies
    Parties trade blows on job policies Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    The big parties exchanged blows on jobs on the third day of the General Election campaign, with Chancellor George Osborne accusing Ed Miliband of "an assault on everyday working people", while the Labour leader said Tories were only interested in "looking after a few big firms and individuals at the top". More »

  • George Osborne to stay Chancellor if Conservatives re-elected - Cameron
    George Osborne to stay Chancellor if Conservatives re-elected - Cameron Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    George Osborne will remain Chancellor if the Conservative Party wins a closely-contested national election on May 7, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday. Osborne has overseen Britain's economic policy since 2010, when he launched an austerity programme, fiercely criticised by some, designed to eliminate the country's deficit. He missed his fiscal targets, but Britain's $2.8 trillion (1.90 trillion pounds) economy has returned to growth ahead of the vote. Osborne has set out a post-election fiscal plan to convert Britain's large budget deficit into a surplus in 2018/19 without increasing taxes, by cutting spending by government departments, and by slashing the welfare bill. More »

  • UK growth revised higher at end of 2014, boosted by exports
    UK growth revised higher at end of 2014, boosted by exports Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Andy Bruce and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought at the end of last year, helped by strong growth in exports, a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron before a national election on May 7. Finance minister George Osborne also seized on data on Tuesday that showed household incomes rising at the fastest annual pace in more than four years. Gross domestic product between October and December grew by a quarterly 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics said. Alan Clarke, an economist with Scotiabank, said the big picture for Britain, which grew faster than any other developed economy last year, was positive. More »

  • UK consumer confidence hits 12-year high in March - GfK
    UK consumer confidence hits 12-year high in March - GfK Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    British consumer morale rose to its highest level in more than 12 years this month, continuing an upward trend which economic polling company GfK said could boost Prime Minister David Cameron's hopes of re-election in May 7's election. GfK said its monthly consumer confidence index rose to +4 in March from +1 in February, its highest since June 2002. Polling was mostly conducted before Chancellor George Osborne's final pre-election budget, and GfK said the initial public reaction to the modest changes in it had been "muted". "If people warm to it over the next few weeks then we may well see a further increase in the index next month," said Nick Moon, GfK's managing director of social research. More »

  • British taxpayers' stake in Lloyds falls below 22 percent
    British taxpayers' stake in Lloyds falls below 22 percent Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    By Anjuli Davies LONDON (Reuters) - British taxpayers have recovered 9 billion pounds from their bailout of Lloyds Banking Group , following a 500 million pound share sale that has reduced public ownership of the bank to just under 22 percent. British taxpayers held a 40 percent stake in Lloyds following its rescue in 2009 and that has fallen to 21.99 percent, UK Financial Investments, the government agency in charge of managing the stake, said on Thursday. "We have raised a further 500 million pounds through Lloyds share sales," British finance minister George Osborne said on Twitter. "Nine billion pounds now recovered and being used to pay down our national debt." The government has said it aims to raise at least 9 billion pounds selling shares in the bank in the coming year as it looks to recover 66 billion pounds of taxpayers' money spent bailing out banks in the financial crisis. More »

  • Osborne warns of rising risk of Greek euro zone exit Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    Chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday that the risk of Greece leaving the euro zone was rising because of the rancour between Athens and the rest of the currency union. "The risks of Greece leaving are rising, because the ill-will round the table is palpable between the euro zone and Greece," Osborne told members of parliament. More »

  • PM Branded 'Arrogant' As Third Term Ruled Out
    PM Branded 'Arrogant' As Third Term Ruled Out Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    David Cameron has been accused of arrogance and "taking the British public for granted" after ruling out seeking a third term as Prime Minister if he is returned to power in May. He also named three of his senior colleagues - Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne and London mayor Boris Johnson - as potential successors as Conservative leader when he steps down. Following Mr Cameron's comments, Downing Street moved quickly to insist the PM was focused on the need to win the election on 7 May. More »

  • George Osborne Says Economy Still Struggling
    George Osborne Says Economy Still Struggling Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    The Chancellor has admitted the UK's economic problems are not over and there is "lots more work to do". George Osborne also insisted Britain should be "in Europe, but not run by Europe" as he defended the Government's decisions on a range of issues including savers and zero hours contracts. Mr Osborne was answering questions at Sky News' Ask The Chancellors event at Facebook's central London offices. More »

  • Osborne: From Statesmanlike To Disingenuous
    Osborne: From Statesmanlike To Disingenuous Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    You didn't have to look too far for the main message George Osborne was trying to get across in this session. Having offered a stout defence of an independent Bank of England, someone might have come back to him, noting that the Chancellor sets the mandate for the Bank via the inflation target. More »

  • Osborne And Balls Prepare For Live TV Showdown
    Osborne And Balls Prepare For Live TV Showdown Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    George Osborne and Ed Balls are preparing to face questions from a live audience on Sky News, in an event that could decide which party voters trust with the public finances. "Ask The Chancellors", which will be held at the headquarters of Facebook in London, follows on from similar question and answer sessions for party leaders including David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Ask The Chancellors will be broadcast live on Sky News and all its platforms as well as live streamed to millions on the Sky News Facebook page and YouTube channel . More »

  • Insight - How Europe and U.S. stumbled into spat over China-led bank
    Insight - How Europe and U.S. stumbled into spat over China-led bank Sun, Mar 22, 2015

    By Paul Taylor and William James BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Sometime geopolitical shifts happen by accident rather than design. Historians may record March 2015 as the moment when China's chequebook diplomacy came of age, giving the world's number two economy a greater role in shaping global economic governance at the expense of the United States and the international financial institutions it has dominated since World War Two. This month European governments chose, in an ill-coordinated scramble for advantage, to join a nascent, Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in defiance of Washington's misgivings. British finance minister George Osborne, gleeful at having seized first-mover advantage, stressed the opportunities for British business in a pre-election budget speech to parliament last week. More »

  • Ask The Chancellors: Sky News To Host Q&A
    Ask The Chancellors: Sky News To Host Q&A Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    Sky News and Facebook are to host an "Ask The Chancellors" event on Monday, 23 March, with key opinion formers quizzing George Osborne and Ed Balls in a TV showdown. An audience of entrepreneurs, start-up companies and local businesses will ask tough questions of the Chancellor and shadow chancellor at an event in London hosted by Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam. More »

  • George Osborne, your budget is a pathetic bribe - thankfully the UK public haven't …
    George Osborne, your budget is a pathetic bribe - thankfully the UK public haven't … Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Norman Lamont's pre-election budget in 1992 ought to have stretched credulity beyond breaking point by offering nothing but sparkly goodies in the depths of a recession, and yet the electorate still preferred it to the more hard-headed and mildly redistributive shadow budget put forward by John Smith. George Osborne delivered his speech at exactly the same point in the electoral cycle as Lamont did, ensuring that many of the "announcements" have no meaning other than as an election pitch. If the Tories are re-elected, the proposals might possibly be enacted, in whole or in part, but all we've seen so far is one side of the balance sheet. More »

  • UK public finances improve in February, leaving Osborne on course for targe …
    UK public finances improve in February, leaving Osborne on course for targe … Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    By Andy Bruce and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne could beat his government borrowing target for this year after public finances improved sharply last month, bolstering his pitch to voters ahead of a national election in May. The Office for National Statistics said public sector net borrowing, which excludes state-controlled banks, totalled 6.9 billion pounds in February, down 34 percent from a year earlier. "With one month of this fiscal year still to go, borrowing looks set to come in at about 89 billion pounds, nearly 10 billion pounds lower than last year," said Samuel Tombs, economist at Capital Economics. "And looking ahead, we think there is scope for borrowing to come down at a faster rate than the Office for Budget Responsibility expects." The OBR is Britain's fiscal watchdog. More »

  • UK second-hand annuity market would boost retail focused fund firms - Moody … Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Asset managers with a strong retail focus and platforms that offer rival funds will be the big winners from British government plans to create a second-hand annuity market, Moody's Investors Service said. Schroders , Fidelity and BlackRock are all well placed to profit from the changes, announced by Chancellor George Osborne in Wednesday's Budget, which build on plans to scrap an obligation to buy an annuity for new retirees. While that change freed up the cash-piles of 320,000 savers a year, the second-hand annuity market could see up to 5 million people move retirement monies currently funding an annuity, or income for life, to investments in stock and other funds. "Given the size of the 'in retirement' market, even a modest shift by policyholders away from annuities into investment funds will lead to meaningful increased assets under management," it said in a report. More »

  • We face 'critical choice' - Osborne
    We face 'critical choice' - Osborne Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Britain faces a "critical choice" at the general election over the "big differences" between the main political parties' economic policy, George Osborne has said. More »

  • UK think tank sees 'remarkable' change of tack by Osborne
    UK think tank sees 'remarkable' change of tack by Osborne Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    By William Schomberg and Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne has shown a "remarkable" change of approach on public finances, a leading think tank said on Thursday, a day after Osborne scaled back his austerity plans for the end of the decade. Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the eye-catching fiscal number in a pre-election budget announced by Osborne on Wednesday was a big cut to the size of a budget surplus in the 2019/20 financial year. "But the apparent change in economic philosophy in the three months since the Autumn Statement is pretty remarkable." Osborne has made deficit reduction the central plank of his economic policy since he became Chancellor in 2010 and he is urging voters in the May 7 national election to stick with his plan to restore Britain to financial health. In December, Osborne said he was aiming for a budget surplus equivalent to 1 percent of gross domestic product in 2019/20. More »

  • UK needs to cut debt steadily to regain triple-A rating - Fitch
    UK needs to cut debt steadily to regain triple-A rating - Fitch Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    Credit ratings agency Fitch said on Thursday that it would be unlikely to restore Britain's top-notch sovereign credit rating until government debt started to fall steadily as a percentage of national income. "An upgrade to 'AAA' is unlikely without a lower and steadily declining government debt ratio," Fitch said in a statement. British Chancellor George Osborne said in his annual budget statement on Wednesday that Britain's government debt-to-GDP ratio would peak in the current financial year, and fall by a small amount in the new tax year starting in April. More »

  • FTSE touches record high as central banks stay dovish
    FTSE touches record high as central banks stay dovish Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    By Alistair Smout and Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's benchmark share index reached record highs on Thursday, with gold miners outperforming, after the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England both dampened prospects of interest rate rises in the near term. The FTSE 100 index rose as much as 0.5 percent to a record high of 6,982.79 points, beating the earlier record of 6,974.26 points set on March 2. Traders said the FTSE was supported by dovish comments from Bank of England official Andy Haldane, as well as Wednesday's Budget, where Chancellor George Osborne announced modest increases in the forecasts for Britain's 2015 and 2016 economic growth. Sterling fell to the day's low against the dollar, sending the FTSE 100 higher after Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said the chances of an interest rate rise or cut were evenly balanced. More »

  • Osborne Rejects Public Service Cuts Fears
    Osborne Rejects Public Service Cuts Fears Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    George Osborne dismissed fears over spending cuts to public services raised by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Speaking on Sky News, Mr Osborne said the cuts were necessary but did not pinpoint exactly where the axe would fall. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) report released on the day of the Budget says the Conservatives' cuts leave "a rollercoaster profile of implied public services spending through the next parliament". Discussing his plans for a further £12bn welfare savings cuts, Mr Osborne said: "I'm not suggesting that these things are easy, but they are necessary if we are going to go on living within our means. More »

  • Osborne challenged over big cuts
    Osborne challenged over big cuts Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    George Osborne was urged today to explain how he will achieve large cuts sketched out in the Budget - or leave voters guessing whether public services were heading for deepening post-election austerity. More »

  • Britain unveils tax evasion crackdown, targets corporations
    Britain unveils tax evasion crackdown, targets corporations Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    Britain unveiled new laws to crack down on tax evasion on Thursday, one of which will make large corporations criminally liable for failing to prevent economic crime within their organisations. Danny Alexander, Chancellor George Osborne's second-in-command, announced the measures a day after Osborne promised tough action on tax evasion in his final budget statement before a May 7 national election. "We are going even further," said Alexander. "We’re making it a crime if companies fail to put in place measures to stop economic crime happening in their organisations." Evading tax using offshore arrangements would also be made a "strict liability offence", meaning that pleading ignorance could no longer be used as a defence against criminal prosecution. More »

  • EnQuest says to increase North Sea investments after tax cuts Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    By Karolin Schaps LONDON (Reuters) - North Sea-focused oil producer EnQuest said it would be able to invest more money in some of its North Sea oil fields after Britain announced cuts to oil and gas taxes. Finance minister George Osborne on Wednesday unveiled a series of tax cuts aimed at helping oil firms in Britain's North Sea that have been hit by a double whammy of record-high costs and a steep decline in oil prices. EnQuest, which specialises in maximising oil output from mature fields that are not profitable enough for big producers, welcomed a reduction in a tax imposed on older North Sea fields, to 35 percent from 50 percent. EnQuest shares were up 8 percent at 8:33 a.m. The company said on Thursday that it booked $335 million (226 million pounds) in impairment charges last year due to the decline in oil prices on the back of a global supply glut, and reported a slight decrease in full-year pre-tax profit of $363 million. More »