Latest George Osborne news

  • 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 »

  • Osborne vows exporters loans boost
    Osborne vows exporters loans boost Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    Billions of pounds of extra lending will be made available to exporters and costs cut under plans announced by George Osborne to boost Britain's trade with emerging markets. More »

  • George Osborne Unveils UK Export Finance Boost During Brazil Trade Jaunt
    George Osborne Unveils UK Export Finance Boost During Brazil Trade Jaunt Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    Chancellor George Osborne has beefed up a financial support package for British exporters in another attempt to boost trade and hit his £1tn trade target. He unveiled the new exports support in a speech while on a visit to Brazil, an emerging Latin American economy – and the world's seventh largest – that Osborne hopes to do more business with. Just 1% of the UK's exports in 2013 went to Brazil, though trade between the two has grown by 50% in four years. "We were doing twice as much trade with Denmark, a country almost seven times smaller," said Osborne in Brazil's capital, Rio de Janeiro. More »

  • Margot James MP: Time for Britain to catch up and trade with Brazil Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    With George Osborne currently in Brazil emphasising the benefits of UK trade, chair of the APPG on Trade and Investment, Margot James, explains why it is worth Britain ‘playing catch up’ with countries already taking advantage of the market. More »

  • Britain seeks to boost exports with new BoE funding rules
    Britain seeks to boost exports with new BoE funding rules Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    Britain announced new measures on Monday to help exporters raise financing as the government seeks to add more balance to an economic recovery reliant on domestic demand. The changes will allow financial institutions to use export credit notes guaranteed by the British government's trade promotion agency as collateral at the Bank of England, the central bank said. Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne said that would make it much less risky for banks to lend money to British exporters and so cheapen finance for firms looking to sell abroad. The Bank said it was working with the government to allow future export credit loans to be used as collateral. More »

  • Labour steps up tax changes attack
    Labour steps up tax changes attack Fri, Apr 4, 2014

    Families will be almost £1,000 a year worse off as a result of Chancellor George Osborne's tax and benefit changes, Labour has claimed as it escalated its attack on the Government's "cost-of-living crisis". More »

  • UK Households £1,000 a Year Poorer by 2015, Labour Warns
    UK Households £1,000 a Year Poorer by 2015, Labour Warns Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    Households will be £974 a year worse off by the time of the next general election because of tax and benefit changes since the Coalition Government came to power. According to research from the Labour Party, which used figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a family with children where both parents are working will be on average £2,073 ($3,438, €2,499)a year worse-off, and where only one parent is working they will be on average £3,720 a year out of pocket. "These figures also show that families with children, and one-earner families in particular, have been hit hardest of all by David Cameron and George Osborne's choices," said Ed Balls MP, Labour's shadow chancellor. More »

  • Osborne says vigilance needed on house prices
    Osborne says vigilance needed on house prices Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday vigilance is needed about the rise in British house prices, but that there is a distinction between London, where prices are booming, and elsewhere in the country. "I think we have to keep a close eye, clearly house prices have started to rise..." Osborne told a committee of lawmakers. "You should at least draw distinction between some of the phenomena you see in central London, which is caused by international money and the like coming into central London property as a form of investment, and what you see in most other places." Osborne also said he had not seen evidence that the Help to Buy mortgage equity loan programme had boosted house prices. More »

  • Osborne 'close eye' on house prices
    Osborne 'close eye' on house prices Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    Chancellor George Osborne has spoken of the need to be "vigilant" about increases in housing prices, but insisted that fears of a bubble should not get in the way of giving older people more flexibility on how they deal with their pensions. More »

  • Cameron Focuses on Jobs as He Concedes Voters Not Feeling Effects of Growth
    Cameron Focuses on Jobs as He Concedes Voters Not Feeling Effects of Growth Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    David Cameron has attempted to meet Labour's "cost of living" crisis attacks head-on by admitting people were not yet feeling the benefits in their pay packets. As the prime minister and chancellor George Osborne continued their post-budget campaign to keep the political argument firmly on their territory, Cameron said the benefits of recovery had been coming in job creation. More »

  • UK Housing Bubble? George Osborne 'Not Seen Evidence' Help to Buy Fuelling …
    UK Housing Bubble? George Osborne 'Not Seen Evidence' Help to Buy Fuelling … Thu, Apr 3, 2014

    George Osborne has claimed that his controversial Help to Buy scheme to make mortgages cheaper is not pushing up house prices in the UK. Speaking to MPs on parliament's Treasury select committee (TSC), the chancellor said he has "not seen any evidence" that Help to Buy is fuelling the rise in house prices. This is despite several leading housing market researchers, including Nationwide and Halifax, reporting higher demand triggered by Help to Buy as helping on the housing recovery, which has seen prices start rising in all regions of the UK. "It has not been the fuel to house prices that the parliamentary critics of the scheme thought it would be," Osborne said. More »