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<p> 22 November 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, statement on financial assistance for Ireland </h1> <h2> Check against delivery </h2> <p> Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement regarding financial assistance for Ireland. </p> <p> I hope Members will understand that an announcement had to be made at the weekend, ahead of markets opening this morning. </p> <p> Last night I spoke to the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and the Shadow Chancellor to keep them informed of the latest developments. </p> <p> The United Kingdom, alongside the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the euro zone and other member states, is participating in the international financial assistance package for Ireland announced last night. </p> <p> We are doing this because it is overwhelmingly in Britain’s national interest that we have a stable Irish economy and banking system. </p> <p> The current Irish situation has become unsustainable. </p> <p> Their sovereign debt markets had effectively closed and had little prospect of re-opening. </p> <p> While Britain’s market interest rates had fallen over the past six months, theirs had risen to record levels. </p> <p> And Ireland’s banks had become completely reliant on central bank funding to maintain their operations. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, in the judgement of the Irish government, as well as the IMF and others, this situation could not go on. </p> <p> Members will understand that it wouldn’t have been appropriate for us in recent weeks to engage in public speculation about whether Ireland’s should request assistance from the international community. </p> <p> I can now report that we have been engaged in intensive private discussions with the G7, the IMF, the EU and the Irish government on plans for the eventuality that Ireland would request support. </p> <p> At the G20 meeting in South Korea two weeks ago, I was one of the European Finance Ministers who issued a joint statement that provided a brief respite. </p> <p> At the ECOFIN meeting last Wednesday, my colleagues and I discussed the Irish situation with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, with whom I have also kept in touch directly. </p> <p> Following meetings in Brussels, the Irish government committed to engage in a short and focused consultation with the IMF and the EU. </p> <p> On Thursday a joint mission arrived in Dublin. </p> <p> And in the last few days I engaged with my counterparts in the G7, the euro area and the EU about the way forward. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, following intense work over the weekend between the Irish and international authorities, last night Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen made a formal request for assistance. </p> <p> This was followed by statements from the G7, the IMF, the Eurogroup and European finance ministers, to “provide the necessary financial resources for Ireland to implement its fiscal reform plans and stabilise its banking system”. </p> <p> The statements made clear that there were two components to the rescue package. </p> <p> The first puts beyond doubt Ireland’s ability to fund itself. </p> <p> The international assistance package will support an ambitious four-year fiscal strategy which the Irish government will set out later this week. </p> <p> This will see a fiscal consolidation of €15billion by 2014, of which €6 billion will be implemented next year, as part of a strategy leading to a target budget deficit of 3% of GDP in four years’ time. </p> <p> The second part of the assistance package is a fund for potential future capital needs of the banking sector. </p> <p> This will support measures to promote deleveraging and ensure restructuring of their banks, so that Ireland’s banking system can perform its role supporting the economy. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, let me turn to how the package will be financed. </p> <p> This is a joint programme with funding from both the IMF and the EU. </p> <p> The amount of money involved will in part depend on the IMF analysis of what is needed, and Prime Minister Cowen has said he expects it to be less than €100billion. </p> <p> The international community is working on the rough assumption that the IMF will contribute around one-third of the total. </p> <p> The total European package will provide the other two thirds. </p> <p> Based on the significant reform of the IMF agreed by G20 Finance Ministers last month, the IMF is well-placed to play a leading role in this international effort. </p> <p> The UK, of course, is an important shareholder of the IMF and we will meet these multilateral obligations. </p> <p> I would like to reassure the House that the IMF is currently well-resourced and able to meet the cost of the package for Ireland. </p> <p> The European element of this package will primarily come from two sources of funding agreed in May before this Government came into office – the €60billion European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism and the €440billion European Financial Stability Facility. </p> <p> The balance between the European mechanism and the eurozone facility will be determined in the coming days. </p> <p> The United Kingdom is not a member of the euro – and will not be a member of the euro while we’re in government – and so we will not participate in the eurozone stability fund. </p> <p> However, the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed to UK involvement in the European mechanism two days before I took office. </p> <p> I made it clear at the time that I did not believe he should make that commitment. </p> <p> But it operates according to Qualified Majority Voting and so we can’t stop it being used, and to exercise that vote at a time like this I judge would be very disruptive. </p> <p> So the EU will lend money to Ireland on behalf of all 27 member states. </p> <p> And the UK must accept its share of this contingent liability, which would arise in the unlikely scenario that Ireland should default on its obligations to the EU. </p> <p> On top of this, I have agreed the UK should consider offering a bilateral loan to Ireland, as part of the IMF and European package. </p> <p> I judge this to be in Britain’s national interest. </p> <p> Let me explain why. </p> <p> We have strong economic relations with Ireland. </p> <p> Ireland accounts for five percent of Britain’s total exports abroad. </p> <p> Indeed, we export more to Ireland than to Brazil, Russia, India and China put together. </p> <p> Ireland is the only country with which we share a land border, and in Northern Ireland our economies are particularly linked, with two-fifths of their exports going to the Republic. </p> <p> And just as our two economies are connected, our two banking sectors are also interconnected. </p> <p> I should stress that the resilience of our own banks, which is now well capitalised, means that they are well placed to manage any impact from the situation in Ireland. </p> <p> But two of the four largest high street banks operating in Northern Ireland are Irish-owned, accounting for almost a quarter of personal accounts. </p> <p> The Irish banks have an importance presence in the UK. </p> <p> What’s more two Irish banks are actual issuers of sterling notes in Northern Ireland. </p> <p> So it is clearly in Britain’s interest that we have a growing Irish economy and a stable Irish banking system. </p> <p> By considering a bilateral loan we are recognising these deep connections between our two countries. </p> <p> And crucially, it has helped us be at the centre of the discussions that have shaped the conditions of an international assistance package that is of huge importance to our economy. </p> <p> Of course, this is a loan and we can expect to be repaid. </p> <p> In fact, Sweden has also deemed it in their national interest to consider a bilateral loan to Ireland. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, now that the Irish Government has requested assistance, a lot of the detailed work of putting together the package can take place. </p> <p> I understand members are keen to hear the specifics, like the rate of interest on the loans, the repayment periods and the contribution from each of the various elements of this package.  </p> <p> I will keep the House informed. </p> <p> Later this week the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and my HF the Financial Secretary will be in Northern Ireland to discuss the situation there. </p> <p> And I will ensure there is a specific discussion in the House if there is a bilateral loan, as we will need to take primary powers. </p> <p> Finally, let me say something about the future of the various European support funds, which are being discussed later this year. </p> <p> Both the Prime Minister and I are very clear that when it comes to putting in place a permanent eurozone bail-out mechanism, the UK will not be part of that. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, this is a situation of great difficulty for Ireland, and it is a tragedy when they did so much to improve their competitiveness with low taxes and flexible labour markets. </p> <p> But the truth is that they had hugely leveraged banks and a badly regulated financial sector –  a pattern that we have had to deal with in our own country. </p> <p> In addition, because Ireland is a member of the euro, exchange rate flexibility and independent monetary policy were not tools available to them when the financial crisis took hold. </p> <p> The arguments against Britain joining the euro are well-rehearsed, no least by me. </p> <p> But while “I told you so” may be correct, it does not amount to an economic policy. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, when this coalition Government came into office Britain was in the financial danger zone. </p> <p> We have taken action to put our own house in order. </p> <p> Whereas we were once seen as part of the problem, we are now part of the solution. </p> <p> Ireland is a friend in need, and it is in our national interest that we should be prepared to help them at this difficult time. </p> <p> And I commend this statement to the House. </p> <h2> ENDS </h2> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_221110.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, statement on financial assistance for Ireland 2010-11-22 HM Treasury unknown
<p> 15 December 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Accounting for Sustainability Annual Forum </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. </p> <p> I would like to start by thanking you for the opportunity to address the Prince&#8217;s Accounting for Sustainability Annual Forum. </p> <p> It is very encouraging to see so many of you here today from across the international business community, leading names from academia, as well as representatives from the public and voluntary sectors &#8211; all of you playing a leading role in this important issue. </p> <p> We all know that our planet&#8217;s natural resources are limited. </p> <p> We also know that the world&#8217;s population is growing and its material expectations are ever increasing. </p> <p> And that is precisely the dilemma facing all of us. </p> <p> The implications for the natural environment, for the biodiversity of our planet, for the future of international development and climate change are &#8211; to put it simply &#8211; enormous. </p> <p> Let us consider the following three facts about the catastrophic impact of human activity on our environment: </p> <p> By 2050 we may lose services from natural habitats equivalent to 7% of global GDP; </p> <p> By 2070 large parts of northern Brazil and southern Africa could lose their tropical forests, and if this happens global vegetation will no longer absorb carbon dioxide but become a source of carbon; </p> <p> By 2080 it is estimated that up to an additional three billion people could suffer increased problems accessing clean water, and sea levels are expected to rise by up to 60cm. </p> <p> The task is clear. </p> <p> Dealing with these problems will be the greatest challenge of our generation. </p> <p> And I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the Prince&#8217;s Accounting for Sustainability Project represents a crucial step towards helping us understand the impact of human activity on the natural environment. </p> <p> As we have just heard, the project is proving a real success. </p> <p> It is only six years since its inception, and already it is making a considerable difference. </p> <p> Much of that is down to the leadership and vision of the Prince of Wales. </p> <p> Sir, yours has been a consistent and untiring voice arguing for the importance of sustainability and calling for the protection of our natural resources. </p> <p> It may fashionable these days to care about the environment, but you Sir were making the environmental case years ago &#8211; when few others were. </p> <p> And crucially, you understood where the pressure points were and you were willing to work within the system to help it adapt to the realities of sustainability. </p> <p> It is all well and good to be concerned about the problem. </p> <p> It is a lot harder to find practical solutions. </p> <p> Unless you get close enough to the detail of corporate financial accounts, unless you make the argument for sustainability, and convince decision-makers that this is the way forward &#8211; you will not make a difference. </p> <p> The work of A4S is so impressive precisely because it recognises and encourages the link between the pro-sustainability decisions of top management and their detailed financial and non-financial consequences within organisations. </p> <p> The depth and reach of your work is demonstrated by the sheer number of organisations taking part in your project. </p> <p> Over two hundred public and private sector organisation have so far created a Connected Reporting Framework for their operations, embedding sustainability into their operations. </p> <p> Household names like Sainsbury&#8217;s &#8211; and it is very good to see you Justin joining us here today &#8211; HSBC, BT, Aviva or EDF Energy. </p> <p> And as we have just heard, this year has seen the establishment of the International Integrated Reporting Committee, to help integrate sustainability, social and corporate governance impacts into companies&#8217; annual reports. </p> <p> This is a very welcome development and I am sure it will make a valuable contribution to the debate around corporate responsibility. </p> <p> So, Sir, I recognise and celebrate your achievements at A4S. </p> <p> But the success of the Accounting for Sustainability project is also down to the great work all of you do in your own individual companies and organisations. </p> <p> I want to be crystal clear with you today and tell you that I fully support your initiative. </p> <p> What&#8217;s more, for some time now I have advocated the principles which underpin your project. </p> <p> Economists will tell you that complete and perfect information, as well as assignable property rights, are the way to deal with environmental market failures. </p> <p> To put it in a language the rest of us will understand &#8211; we need to know what the problem is before we can set about finding a solution. </p> <p> Better and fuller information is a crucial first step towards promoting environmental sustainability. </p> <p> As some you will know, the Government is on course to formally introduce many elements of the Accounting for Sustainability approach into our own accounts. </p> <p> We have benefited from a healthy exchange of views and expertise between A4S and the Treasury. </p> <p> Your excellent Project Director, Jessica Fries, has been a member of the steering group helping the public sector put together the guidance on how to implement sustainability reporting requirements. </p> <p> And the Treasury&#8217;s Group Director of Finance, until recently Louise Tulett, was on the supervisory board of A4S. </p> <p> So I am very pleased that this cross-fertilisation has proved fruitful. </p> <p> The public sector has adapted the Project&#8217;s integrated reporting guidance and during this financial year it is being piloted across the whole of central Government. </p> <p> We want to go further than that. </p> <p> So from April we are planning to fully implement sustainability reporting across Government. </p> <p> For the first time there will be a mandatory requirement for all central government departments and the NHS to publish in their Annual Reports and Accounts a Sustainability Report. </p> <p> These sustainability reports will include details of departments&#8217; carbon emissions, waste management and use of finite resources &#8211; reflecting the integrated reporting requirements recommended by Accounting for Sustainability. </p> <p> For example, in terms of non-financial reporting, departments will now report data on: </p> <ul> <li>Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, </li> <li>The absolute cost of waste disposal; </li> <li>And data on water consumption. </li> </ul> <p> And departments will also report the related financial information, for example gross expenditure on greenhouse gas emissions. </p> <p> These steps will undoubtedly increase transparency and accountability across the public sector. </p> <p> And over time we aim to move towards more advanced sustainability reporting in Government. </p> <p> I am sure you will all agree with me that these are very welcome developments in the way the public sector accounts for its activities, and fully in line with the objectives of your project. </p> <p> I also know how important it is for all of you that international accounting standards are adapted in order to reflect sustainability concerns. </p> <p> Of course, the UK Government is active in supporting international efforts to improve financial reporting standards and will continue to support such efforts in international fora, including through the G20. </p> <p> Making sure financial reporting fully reflects the impact on the environment is no easy task. </p> <p> It will take a long time to change the way we do things and challenge vested interests. </p> <p> But that doesn&#8217;t mean we shouldn&#8217;t do it. Or that we should wait for future generations to do it. </p> <p> In my mind, the promotion of sustainability is a constant struggle against the forces of short-termism. </p> <p> And nowhere is that struggle greater than when governments of all colours pursue their environmental policies. </p> <p> As you have pointed out Sir, people&#8217;s enjoyment of life is not solely determined by a profit and loss calculation. </p> <p> Of course, at a time like this, as we exit recession and enter recovery, people are naturally focused on their livelihoods and their material wellbeing. </p> <p> That is understandable. But we must not lose focus. </p> <p> We all love and enjoy the natural environment in which we live. </p> <p> So we need to protect it. </p> <p> Each in our own way and with our own resources must do what we can to further this cause. </p> <p> Let me tell very briefly about what the Government is doing. </p> <p> First on biodiversity. </p> <p> We are almost doubling spending, in this difficult time, on the higher level stewardship scheme, which will pay farmers to look after ecologically sensitive areas. </p> <p> We will designate the first Marine Conservation zones by the end of 2012. </p> <p> In October, our Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman worked to reach an international agreement at Nagoya to protect global biodiversity. </p> <p> To support that agreement, I committed &#163;100million as part of the Spending Review to fund biodiversity projects in forest regions. </p> <p> And in the spring we will publish the Natural Environment White Paper, the first such paper for 20 years, which will include measures to protect wildlife, analyse the state of our natural asset base and value natural capital complementing the national accounts. </p> <p> But protection alone cannot be the complete answer. </p> <p> We also need to lessen the impact of human activity on the natural environment. </p> <p> And in just a few months we have already put in place the foundations of an ambitious green agenda. </p> <p> I have still committed up to &#163;1 billion to fund one of the world&#8217;s first commercial scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. </p> <p> We are also investing in the development and manufacturing of off-shore wind technology. </p> <p> We are in the process of setting up a new Green Investment Bank, something I have long argued for, and which will be initially funded with &#163;1 billion of public money plus additional funds from asset sales. </p> <p> Our aim is for Britain to be a leader of the new green global economy. </p> <p> And this comes at the end of a week when we have seen greater international agreement on climate change than seemed possible only a few months ago. </p> <p> The international talks on climate change in Cancun exceeded expectations, with agreements on: </p> <ul> <li>Urging deeper mitigation targets for all developed countries; </li> <li>International assessment of emerging market emissions; </li> <li>Establishing a Green Climate Fund; </li> <li>A new framework for dealing with deforestation; </li> <li>And an agreement to define 2050 global emission targets by next year&#8217;s meeting in South Africa. </li> </ul> <p> When it comes to the natural environment, we face tremendous challenges. </p> <p> We can make a difference. </p> <p> Because both in politics and in business, it falls to our generation to have the foresight and the prescience to start thinking beyond our lifetimes. </p> <p> So that we can leave to our children a safer and cleaner planet than that which we ourselves inherited. </p> <p> I wish you the best of luck in taking forward your project. </p> <p> Thank you very much.<br></p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_151210.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Accounting for Sustainability Annual Forum 2010-12-15 HM Treasury Accounting for Sustainability Annual Forum
<p> 23 November 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, to the Board of Deputies of British Jews 250th anniversary dinner </h1> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmtreasury/5204130959/" target="new">Photo: Chancellor George Osborne and Lord Sacks at the dinner (Flickr, opens in new browser window)</a> </li> </ul> <p> Chief Rabbi, Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen &#8211; good evening. </p> <p> And thank you Lawrence for the very kind introduction. </p> <p> Let me start by saying that it is a huge pleasure to be here tonight to address such a distinguished audience on such a special occasion. </p> <p> In every walk of life and across every aspect of our civil society, from business to charity, from the arts to the sciences, I can see many people here who have made a massive contribution to British life. </p> <p> I am delighted to be your guest. </p> <p> I asked a friend of mine what to expect tonight and he said 500 people, 600 opinions and 700 cars. I told him that this sounded exactly like the Coalition Government. </p> <p> And it is also a great pleasure to speak tonight alongside Tony Blair. </p> <p> I think this is the first time we have shared a joint platform since we last appeared together at a &#8216;who does Gordon Brown like least&#8217; competition. </p> <p> I am sure everyone here is really looking forward to hearing Tony speak. His will be a great speech, full of humour, drama and insight. </p> <p> And you can buy a signed copy in the foyer afterwards. </p> <p> When he was Prime Minister, of course we had our differences. I wanted to win an election. He made sure I kept losing them. </p> <p> But he is a dedicated servant of our country, who has taken hard decisions to promote liberty and democracy around the globe and I pay tribute to him and his achievements. </p> <p> Let me also pay tribute to the Board of Deputies of British Jews on this its 250th Anniversary year. </p> <p> For centuries the Board has fought against the prejudice, ignorance and discrimination so often faced by British Jews. </p> <p> Over that time, you have helped your community become a vibrant, generous and fully integrated part of our society today. </p> <p> You represent the views and defend the rights of the Anglo-Jewish community. </p> <p> The Board of Deputies does a tremendous job, and I applaud you for it. </p> <p> Tonight&#160; we meet together in celebration of your work. </p> <p> But we celebrate more than that. We celebrate our united determination to advance the causes of freedom, of enterprise and of community. </p> <p> First, freedom. </p> <p> In this room, there are many of you, perhaps most of you, with family stories to tell that give testimony to the value of freedom. </p> <p> Stories of family members murdered, of property stolen, of whole communities wiped out by those who are the enemies of freedom. </p> <p> There are very few Jews, anywhere in the world, whose lives, through their families, haven&#8217;t been touched by the politics of totalitarians and the crimes of dictators. </p> <p> This country&#8217;s proudest boast is that here, in Britain, in our land, refugees found a home. Here they lived in peace. Here they rebuilt&#160; their lives. </p> <p> Because here we live in freedom. </p> <p> For me freedom is the most important guiding principle of any moral or political outlook. </p> <p> In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt spoke of his belief in four freedoms. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. </p> <p> This belief guided him and his great country through a terrible war. They should guide us still. </p> <p> When I say this I know that I am today among friends, among those willing to engage in the hard arguments and the controversies necessary to ensure that these freedoms are enjoyed across the globe and extended to those who are denied them. </p> <p> For you, in different times in history and in different places in the world, the quest for freedom has defined the Jewish faith. </p> <p> But I find it deeply upsetting that still after all that we have been through anti-Semitism has not been eradicated across Britain and Europe. </p> <p> While anti-Semites daub gravestones and attack Jews in the street we do not have freedom of worship. </p> <p> I have friends who send their children to school behind big fences and security guards just because they choose to send their children to Jewish schools. </p> <p> While the guards stand outside primary school classes we do not have freedom from fear. </p> <p> Which reminds me &#8211; I would like to acknowledge the work of the Community Security Trust and their many volunteers who are right outside here tonight watching out for us &#8211; thank you. </p> <p> It is my deeply held view that civilised societies are defined by the attitudes of the many towards the few. </p> <p> So this Government will fiercely oppose anti-Semitism wherever we encounter it both at home or abroad. </p> <p> As part of this, I made sure that we maintained funding for the Holocaust Educational Trust at the Spending Review. </p> <p> The visit I made as a child with my parents to Dachau gave me a more vivid life-long understanding of the suffering of the Holocaust than any school textbook could. </p> <p> And I think the Holocaust Educational Trust do an amazing job organising trips for British schoolchildren to visit Auschwitz, helping each new generation understand the enduring horrors of the Holocaust. </p> <p> But we need to do more than fighting prejudice. </p> <p> We must and we will protect the Jewish community&#8217;s right to self-expression. </p> <p> Whether it is your right to observe the Sabbath, celebrate Rosh Hashanah or buy kosher meat &#8211; you will be protected. </p> <p> We are also determined to bring to an end the wholly unacceptable situation that sees many high-profile visitors from Israel threatened with arrest in Britain under the excuse of universal jurisdiction. </p> <p> British laws should not be manipulated to threaten visitors to this country with arrest. </p> <p> While this travesty continues, we do not have freedom of speech. </p> <p> I know how important this issue is to your community. It is an important issue to me as well. </p> <p> And I can confirm that we will introduce an amendment to fix this situation, with legislation published very shortly. </p> <p> We have waited long enough, politicians have talked long enough, it is time to act. And act we will. </p> <p> In this country, your Government will fight with you for freedom of speech, freedom from fear, and freedom of worship. </p> <p> And we will fight for freedom from want too.&#160; </p> <p> As Chancellor, I believe in the economic freedom of people to see the fruits of their labour, to provide for their family, to aspire to a better life for them and their children. </p> <p> That's why we in this hall are united as believers in a second core value &#8211; enterprise. </p> <p> The priority for our coalition Government since we came into office has been to provide much-needed macroeconomic stability. </p> <p> You in the Jewish community recognise and value stability, as it is the foundation on which everything else can be built. </p> <p> It is the foundation of sustainable growth. </p> <p> This May, when I became Chancellor, I inherited the largest budget deficit in the G20 at a time where questions were being asked about the solvency of governments across Europe. </p> <p> I wanted to make sure that these questions were never asked about the UK. </p> <p> So we took action: </p> <ul> <li>We made immediate in-year cuts to spending; </li> <li>We restored confidence in official figures by creating an independent Office for Budget Responsibility; </li> <li>We presented an Emergency Budget within 50 days; </li> <li>And within six months we completed a far-reaching Spending Review that set out a credible plan for restoring confidence in our public finances. </li> </ul> <p> Our decisive actions have taken Britain out of the financial danger zone. </p> <p> And for those who still wonder whether this was necessary, whether we needed to be so decisive, I say &#8211; look at Europe today. </p> <p> The fears about debts and deficits have not disappeared &#8211; they have grown. </p> <p> I&#8217;ve spent the last few weeks dealing with the situation in Ireland. </p> <p> They are our closest neighbours. It is in our national interest to help them in this time of need. </p> <p> But let us be grateful that we are now part of the solution not part of the problem. </p> <p> That will help promote stability &#8211; but stability is not enough to secure growth. </p> <p> To grow we need to make annual cuts to our corporation tax rate to keep it one of the most competitive in the world &#8211; and the Budget did that. </p> <p> We need to improve the quality of teaching and make sure our schools equip our children with the skills they need for tomorrow&#8217;s economy &#8211; and our education white paper we publish tomorrow does that. </p> <p> We need to invest in infrastructure, science and research &#8211; and our Spending Review made them the priority. </p> <p> We need to promote our exports in new markets &#8211; and the PM&#8217;s recent trade missions to India and China have taken the lead on that. </p> <p> We are allowing the spirit of enterprise to drive the economic recovery. </p> <p> And I really believe that the Jewish community embodies that spirit of enterprise to the full. </p> <p> With so many members with a keen business acumen and unrivalled entrepreneurial flair you are a central part of Britain&#8217;s economic fabric. </p> <p> It is rather telling that the Board of Deputies was founded 250 years ago at the Bevis-Marks synagogue in the City of London. </p> <p> Out of that ancestral event have emerged hundreds of household company names. </p> <p> In retail, giants like Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Shell all have Jewish roots. </p> <p> Across banking, Jewish innovators were the driving force behind merchant banking and stock broking. </p> <p> Towering figures in the history of the City such as Siegmund Warburg and Marcus Samuel. </p> <p> And even more important are the thousands of small businesses run by members of your community and which are the true lifeblood of the British economy. </p> <p> It really is no exaggeration to say that the Anglo-Jewish community encapsulates the spirit of enterprise and innovation. </p> <p> So tonight I would like to pay tribute to your entrepreneurial achievements and thank you for making such a significant contribution to the British economy over the past 250 years, and thank you for the contribution you make to our economy today. </p> <p> And economic prosperity is instrumental in achieving social cohesion. </p> <p> This illustrates the third of my political values that I want to touch on tonight alongside the value of freedom and enterprise &#8211; the value of community. </p> <p> I would like to offer you the following observation. </p> <p> There is precious little in life where the endeavour of any one of us alone can surpass the efforts of the many working together. </p> <p> Society is made stronger when we all take part in trying to achieve our common goals. </p> <p> This is my personal belief. </p> <p> It is my belief as a Conservative politician. </p> <p> And it is what this coalition Government believes. </p> <p> We together face huge challenges &#8211; economic, social, international &#8211; and we will only overcome them if we all work together in the common interest. </p> <p> This motivates us to build the Big Society. </p> <p> Of course, we could learn a thing or two about big societies from the Jewish community... </p> <p> You have an enviable tradition of charitable endeavour and voluntary work. In other words, you look out for each other. </p> <p> Institutions like Norwood, Jewish Care, World Jewish Relief, the Community Security Trust, they are hugely successful and are exactly the sort of thing we need to make the Big Society a reality. </p> <p> Let me say something about the institution at the heart of our communities &#8211; schools. </p> <p> I know some of you have concerns about the future of single faith provisions and the impact of the equalities act. </p> <p> Jewish schools are a model for community and family involvement in children&#8217;s education. </p> <p> And that&#8217;s a model that helps inspire Michael Gove&#8217;s policy of free schools. </p> <p> I am absolutely delighted that two of the very first sixteen free school proposals are Jewish faith schools. </p> <p> And I would also say this &#8211; whether it is providing care for the elderly at single faith homes or providing education for the young at single faith schools &#8211; I urge you to remain outward-looking. </p> <p> There is some great work going on &#8211; hugely admirable &#8211; but the answer for the Jewish people running them is to reach out and connect the rest of society. </p> <p> Some of the most successful schools of all faiths already do this. </p> <p> At times it means working with different faiths and secular organisations. </p> <p> And this speaks to the deeply ingrained value of community that defines the Jewish world. </p> <p> So we in this hall are the friends of freedom, the friends of enterprise, the friends of community. </p> <p> But there is one more thing that unites us. </p> <p> I stand here proud to say: I am a friend of Israel. </p> <p> On Holocaust Memorial Day there are plenty of politicians to be found to review the history of fascism and say "Never Again". </p> <p> But after the war when the United Nations studied the fate of Jewish refugees it became obvious that never again had a practical meaning. That the Jews needed a home, a safe haven. </p> <p> So when I say never again let me tell you what I mean. </p> <p> Never again will the Jews be driven from their homes with nowhere to go, and no one to call a friend. </p> <p> Never again should the land of the Jews fear destruction. </p> <p> Never again should the enemies of freedom and peace and justice make the Jews their victim. </p> <p> We must stand by the land of Israel, see its existence and its safety as our duty. </p> <p> To Iran, to Hezbollah, to Hamas, to terrorists everywhere who make the Jews their target, understand that this nation is a friend of the Jewish people. </p> <p> Understand that this nation is a friend of Israel. </p> <p> A candid friend at times, yes. </p> <p> Like many, many people in this room we want to see the Israeli Government negotiate peace, and we urge upon them an end to settlement building, and an opening up of Gaza. </p> <p> I remember very clearly my first trip to Israel. </p> <p> I visited Jerusalem, met with the Government, and went to Tel Aviv. </p> <p> And while I was there in that city, a suicide bomber brought death to the bustling market of Carmel. </p> <p> In any other country in the world they would have taken the visiting politician as far away as possible from the terror threat. </p> <p> In Israel, they took me &#8211; within the hour &#8211; to the exact spot where three innocent people had just died. </p> <p> I remember as if it were yesterday the scene of destruction: </p> <ul> <li>The twisted metal of the market stalls; </li> <li>The distraught family of the young Russian lady who had come to Israel to build a life and instead met with her death; </li> <li>The people from the ZAKA organisation doing their extraordinary work. </li> </ul> <p> I saw all this. </p> <p> And the next day I went back to the market, to the same place, and I saw something else remarkable: </p> <ul> <li>I saw the market bustling with shoppers; </li> <li>I saw the market stall where one of the young market-traders had died reopened; </li> <li>&#160;saw the return of life, a people fighting back. </li> </ul> <p> So, yes, I am a strong supporter of the peace talks. </p> <p> Yes, I believe in a two-state solution in the Middle East. </p> <p> But I have seen how Israelis live in daily fear and I say to its opponents - whatever you believe the justice of your cause to be: </p> <ul> <li>You cannot bomb your way to peace with Israel; </li> <li>Or murder your way to peace with Israel; </li> <li>You must talk your way to peace with Israel. </li> </ul> <p> Ladies and gentlemen. </p> <p> Perhaps in 50 years time our successors - yours and mine - will meet in celebration of the 300<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. </p> <p> Let us hope that when they do, they will do so in celebration of the peace and security of the Jewish people everywhere. </p> <p> Let us hope they will also be able to drink a toast to Britain, a land of freedom for all, of enterprise and prosperity for the many. </p> <p> And let us make sure we have passed to our children and our grandchildren an even stronger community than the one we were all born into. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_231110.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, to the Board of Deputies of British Jews 250th anniversary dinner 2010-11-23 HM Treasury Board of Deputies of British Jews 250th anniversary dinner
<p> 17 August 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Bloomberg </h1> <p> George Osborne spoke to an invited audience at Bloomberg in London&#160; about the current state of the economy. He looked ahead to the Spending Review in the autumn, describing it as "a crucial stepping stone on the way to recovery." He added that "the choices within that review will lay the foundations for future growth and for a fairer society." </p> <p> The Chancellor's speech, "Building the economy of the future",&#160;was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 37/10: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_37_10.htm">Pn37/10 "Building the economy of the future" speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Bloomberg</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_170810.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Bloomberg 2010-08-17 HM Treasury Bloomberg
<p> 28 July 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai </h1> <p> George Osborne visited India with the Prime Minister and other senior members of the Goverment as part of a trade delegation. While there he delivered the following speech on the growing economic partnership between the UK and India. </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmtreasury/sets/72157624600140784/detail/" target="new">View of gallery of images from the visit (opens in new browser window)</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://ukinindia.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&amp;id=22597303" target="new">More about the Chancellor's visit to India, from the FCO (opens in new browser window)</a> </li> </ul> <h2> UK and India: a new economic partnership </h2> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Welcome everyone. </p> <p> I want to thank the Indian Banks&#8217; Association, as well as UK Trade and Investment, for hosting this speech. </p> <p> It is a real pleasure to be back in Mumbai today. </p> <p> I was last here in 2006, when David Cameron and I came to meet with and talk to the leading figures of Indian business and politics. </p> <p> On the way back from that trip we resolved that if ever we formed a Government we would return with a large delegation to enhance this relationship. </p> <p> This visit makes good on that promise. </p> <p> Put simply, this is the strongest and most high-profile British delegation to visit India in modern times. </p> <p> It includes six senior ministers &#8211; alongside the Prime Minister David Cameron and myself, we are joined by: </p> <ul> <li>The Business Secretary Vince Cable; </li> <li>The Foreign Secretary William Hague; </li> <li>The Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Greg Barker; </li> <li>And the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. </li> </ul> <p> While it took one of my predecessors as Chancellor ten years to visit India, I have made it a priority to come here in my first ten weeks. </p> <p> Our delegation also includes leading figures from British business, sports and academia. </p> <p> Top chief executives of some of the world&#8217;s best-known businesses, like Vodafone, BAe, and Rolls Royce, and leading financial sector firms, including Barclays, Standard Chartered, Deutsche, Clifford Chance, Aviva, Standard Life, and the London Stock Exchange. </p> <p> Senior academics from Cambridge, Imperial College and our other universities. </p> <p> Cultural leaders like the directors of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Library. </p> <p> And sporting figures, such as Olympic medal winners Sebastian Coe, Kelly Holmes and Stephen Redgrave to see the new facilities for the Commonwealth Games. Next time I will bring some cricketers. </p> <p> And the scale of our visit is a demonstration of how serious we are about India. </p> <p> Britain&#8217;s new coalition Government is here to renew and strengthen the partnership between our two countries. </p> <p> Based on our shared interests, shared values, shared sense of threats and ever-burgeoning personal and business ties. </p> <p> India&#8217;s economic success within the framework of a secular and plural democracy is of strategic importance to all open societies and all open economies. </p> <p> The UK has a vital stake in India&#8217;s rise to global power and prosperity and we are here to listen and to learn, to find out how our strong relationship can grow stronger still. </p> <p> So I want to talk today about those three core ingredients which I believe are needed in this new enhanced economic partnership. </p> <p> They are, first, greater efforts to improve trade and investment flows between our countries &#8211; a partnership in trade and investment. </p> <p> Second, a deeper understanding of the links between our financial services sectors &#8211; a partnership in finance. </p> <p> And third, a better recognition of our shared goals on the international economic policy arena &#8211; a partnership for the world economy. </p> <p> Let me say a few words about each in turn. </p> <p> Starting with our trade and investment. </p> <p> Our two countries have much to gain from expanding our trade relationship. </p> <p> In the past, this has been a disappointing aspect of our bilateral ties. </p> <p> The UK and India have slipped down the rankings of each other&#8217;s trading partners &#8211; we could and should be doing much more with each other. </p> <p> In 2008, India was only the 19th most important source of foreign goods for the UK market and the 12thmost important source of services. </p> <p> A decade ago, the UK was India&#8217;s fourth most important source of imported goods. By 2009, we had fallen to being the 18th largest. </p> <p> In other words, the UK has been losing its share of India&#8217;s booming trade with the outside world. </p> <p> Now, it is all too easy to set eye-catching targets that disappear without trace after they have served a short-term need to grab headlines. </p> <p> In January 2007, when the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer visited India, he promised great things for the bilateral trade relationship. </p> <p> Gordon Brown announced that he aimed to double exports to India by 2010 &#8211; that is to say this year &#8211; and to quadruple exports by 2020. </p> <p> A noble ambition, but easier said than done. </p> <p> The value of UK exports of goods stood at &#163;2.7bn at the time of that announcement; by 2009, it had reached just &#163;2.9bn. </p> <p> It will be a stretch for us to reach the target of doubling exports in what remains of this year. </p> <p> That is why we want to make progress on free trade talks. </p> <p> We must make every effort to complete the Doha trade round. And we should ask trade experts to report to G20 leaders on steps to achieve this before the Seoul G20 Summit. </p> <p> We should strengthen significantly EU-India trade links. Indeed, an ambitious Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and India will generate jobs and growth by tackling the unnecessary barriers to trade and investment between our regions. </p> <p> By 2020, it could deliver benefits worth a combined &#8364;4.5bn per annum shared between India and the EU. </p> <p> Negotiations are now entering their fourth year. We need to provide the leadership to complete the free trade agreement by early next year. </p> <p> We must reduce the costs of trade &#8211; particularly the frictions and delays at borders &#8211;which are often a far larger barrier to market access than tariffs. </p> <p> The World Bank estimates that a 2 percent reduction in the costs of doing trade is equivalent to an ambitious Doha deal on tariffs. </p> <p> So we need to do more, and do better, on trade between our two countries. </p> <p> We need to build on what has already been achieved. There is a strong investment base: </p> <ul> <li>700 out of 1,200 Indian firms in the European Union operate from within the UK; </li> <li>The largest single manufacturing employer in the UK is the Indian conglomerate Tata, which owns Jaguar, Land Rover and in the constituency I represent Brunner Mond; </li> <li>And the UK receives over 10 per cent of India's outward investment flow. </li> </ul> <p> So when it comes to investment, ours is not a one-way relationship. </p> <p> But while the UK stock of inward investment is the fourth largest in India, the UK&#8217;s share of foreign direct investment has been declining. I want to change that. </p> <p> Yesterday I launched Vodafone&#8217;s solar powered mobile phone, and exchanged greetings with a villager in Jharkhand. </p> <p> Communicating from a mobile phone shop in Mumbai directly to a village a thousand miles away &#8211; this is the scale of the change in which British companies can participate. </p> <p> The Government of India have set out ambitious plans for $500bn infrastructure investment. </p> <p> This is a massive opportunity for British engineers, architects, designers and construction firms to strengthen cooperation further. </p> <p> I welcome that the Government of India is taking forward proposals for foreign insurers and pension funds to play a role in delivering this finance. </p> <p> We should bring together CEOs from the UK and India to identify how we can further improve collaboration in this area. </p> <p> So we need an enhanced trade and investment partnership. We also need to strengthen our partnership in financial services. </p> <p> So this is the second crucial element of an enhanced economic relationship &#8211; the increasing importance of the financial links between our two economies. </p> <p> Lack of access to finance is a major barrier to poverty reduction all over the world. </p> <p> British banks are fully committed to the Government of India&#8217;s financial inclusion agenda and to the challenge of serving the needs of poorer communities in rural areas and smaller towns and cities. </p> <p> We are here for the long haul. Indeed some UK banks have been in India for over 150 years. </p> <p> Standard Chartered, HSBC and RBS are three of the top four foreign retail banks in India. </p> <p> Offer them licences in the medium-sized towns and smaller cities and they will jump at the opportunity to be part of the huge effort to bring modern banking services to millions more Indians. </p> <p> Just look at what they are already doing &#8211; Standard Chartered and HSBC have extensive networks of more than 100 branches between them covering 31 cities. </p> <p> I also want to see British banks doing more to help India increase its financial capacity so that access to capital is not a brake on India&#8217;s economic growth. </p> <p> A Confederation of Indian Industry report published this month noted that foreign banks held only 8.5 per cent of the banking sector&#8217;s assets and that this limited the country&#8217;s ability to secure higher investment growth. </p> <p> But let&#8217;s also be clear about something else. </p> <p> It is essential that we learn the lessons of the crisis and create financial systems that support growth rather than put it at risk. </p> <p> India&#8217;s attention to macro-prudential risks enabled it to weather the storm better than the UK and other economies. </p> <p> In the UK I have announced a new approach to financial regulation, including a stronger focus on macro-prudential risks to the financial system as a whole, stronger regulation of individual firms by the Bank of England, and enhanced consumer protection. </p> <p> I know from my conversation this morning with Reserve Bank of India Governor Subbarao, how much both our countries have to gain from sharing our experiences in macro-prudential regulation. </p> <p> I look forward to strengthening our cooperation as we both develop our global financial centres. </p> <p> As the Governor said in his speech to the Indian Merchant&#8217;s Chamber, the Indian banking system will become increasingly international, with Indian banks increasing their presence abroad and foreign banks taking a larger presence in India. </p> <p> India has seen tremendous benefits from the liberalisation of the financial sector, as I saw this morning at the Bombay Stock Exchange. </p> <p> The dynamism of India&#8217;s capital and equity markets demonstrate the potential for other parts of the financial sector: for example in banking, through the implementation of the reforms set out in the RBI&#8217;s 2005 Roadmap. </p> <p> And in insurance, by following through on India&#8217;s welcome commitment to raise the cap on foreign investment from 26% to 49% </p> <p> I have another key message for financial regulators and financial institutions here in this great financial centre of the future. </p> <p> And it is this &#8211; I believe in reciprocity. </p> <p> I would like to see Indian banks establishing themselves even more prominently as big players in the City of London and throughout the UK. </p> <p> Indian financial services firms are also increasingly active in the UK. </p> <p> There are currently 9 Indian banks in the UK and all of them are growing and have plans to open more branches in the UK. </p> <p> The UK is now home to more Indian banks than any other country in the world. </p> <p> I very much welcome the fact that the India Infrastructure Finance Company based itself in London &#8211; a move symbolic of the depth of the financial services relationship between our two countries. </p> <p> And I&#8217;m pleased to announce today that Exim Bank, India&#8217;s premier development bank for trade and investment, has been given a license from the FSA to set up their bank in the UK &#8211; bringing that number to 10 Indian banks and with more to follow I hope. </p> <p> I can also announce that the State Bank of India, the oldest commercial bank in this country, will be making London their European Headquarters this year and will be adding to their network of branches across the UK. </p> <p> This is precisely the kind of reciprocity our banking sectors need. </p> <p> And I would welcome the arrival of more Indian banks in the UK as well as the expansion of the existing players already serving customers the length and breadth of the country. </p> <p> So we will develop a partnership in finance to complement the new partnership in trade and investment. </p> <p> And these will together help us form a new partnership for the global economy. </p> <p> India&#8217;s policies of trade and investment liberalisation are reintegrating India into the world economy, allowing it to regain an influence it had three centuries ago. </p> <p> Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once famously quoted Victor Hugo saying that &#8216;no power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come&#8217;. </p> <p> The emergence of India as a major economic power in the world is certainly one such idea. </p> <p> That is why it is time to acknowledge that the post-1945 system of international financial institutions &#8211; particularly the IMF and the World Bank &#8211; needs to change. </p> <p> It was built for a world of closed economies and just 50 states. </p> <p> In a world in which relative economic power is shifting eastwards, we urgently need modernisation and reform. </p> <p> We need a new global financial architecture that reflects the re-emergence of India and a number of other countries as linchpin powers in the world economy. </p> <p> We need institutions that have the resources, the tools and the legitimacy to ensure countries can withstand economic shocks and prevent crises from spreading: </p> <ul> <li>Enhancing IMF resources &#8211; and I am pleased that this week the UK Parliament ratified our commitment to provide extra resources; </li> <li>Improving the IMF&#8217;s crisis prevention tools; </li> <li>And completing the reform to IMF quotas to give greater weight to under-represented and dynamic economies. I am determined the UK will take a lead this autumn in making sure India is fairly represented. </li> </ul> <p> We need institutions that reflect the huge changes that have been taking place in the world economy, not ones that mask them. </p> <p> India now has a strategic stake in multilateralism that it did not have for much of the post-war period. </p> <p> The UK supports the G20&#8217;s emergence as the pre-eminent global grouping, in which the world&#8217;s largest economies work together to create a global order that is supportive of our mutual aspirations and ambitions: </p> <ul> <li>coordinating macroeconomic policies and agreeing actions in each G20 country to ensure sustainability and foster global growth; </li> <li>implementing reforms to strengthen the global financial system, in particular improving the quality and quantity of capital; </li> <li>and resisting protectionism and promoting open markets. </li> </ul> <p> It is essential that India can play the significant role in these debates to which it is entitled because of the size and dynamism of its economy. </p> <p> It is not just about multilateral relations. I also want our bilateral relationship to be strong. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s not make this visit and these conversations a one-off, but rather ensure that: </p> <ul> <li>we meet annually; </li> <li>follow through on summit agreements; </li> <li>expand the dialogue to include other government ministries and regulators; </li> <li>and strengthen the involvement from the private sector. </li> </ul> <p> Ladies and gentlemen. </p> <p> Let me conclude by saying that India&#8217;s success is of strategic importance not just to the UK, but to all open societies and open economies and the UK is determined to do all it can to be a partner in that process. </p> <p> We can be strong partners in trade. </p> <p> We can be strong partners in finance. </p> <p> And through this, we will be strong partners in the world. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> <p> <strong>ENDS</strong> </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_280710.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai 2010-07-28 HM Treasury unknown
<p> 16 June 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Mansion House </h1> <p> George Osborne has delivered his first Mansion House speech since coming into office. </p> <p> The speech set out the Government&#8217;s plans to reform financial services following the financial crisis. He put forward plans to establish a Financial Policy Committee, move prudential regulation of financial firms to the Bank of England and create a new Consumer Protection and Markets Authority to regulate the conduct of firms. </p> <p> The speech also confirmed that a new banking commission would be set up to investigate the structure of banks and competition in the banking sector. </p> <p> The Chancellor's speech was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 12/10. </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_12_10.htm">Pn12/10 Speech at The Lord Mayor&#8217;s Dinner for Bankers &amp; Merchants of the City of London by The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Mansion House</a> </li> <li> <a href="/press_11_10.htm">Sir John Vickers to Chair the Independent Commission on Banking</a> </li> </ul> <p> Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Lord Mayor hosts an annual dinner where the Chancellor of the Exchequer gives a speech on the state of the economy. </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Local_history_and_heritage/Buildings_within_the_City/mansion_house.htm" target="_blank">Find out more about Mansion House (opens in new window)</a> </li> </ul> <p> <a href="/press_12_10.htm"></a>&#160; </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_160610.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Mansion House 2010-06-16 HM Treasury Mansion House
<p> 08 June 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Queen's Speech economy debate </h1> <p> Please note that parts of this speech have been removed due to their political nature. A full transcript of the Chancellor's speech will be available on <a href="http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/" target="_blank">Hansard from 9 June (opens in new window).</a> </p> <h2> Check against delivery </h2> <p> Mr Speaker, let me start, as this is my first substantial opportunity to do so, by paying tribute to the Right Honourable Gentleman for the service he gave our country as Chancellor. </p> <p> He did the job in difficult times, did it with the best of motives, and although we often disagreed with each other, he was always courteous to me. </p> <p> I thank him for that &#8211; and thank him for the fact I have inherited a Treasury machine far less chaotic and far more functional than the one he inherited from his predecessor. </p> <p> Can I also wish another member of his shadow team well? </p> <p> The Right Honourable Member for East Ham suffered the most horrific attack in his constituency surgery and I am very glad to hear that he has already appeared back in Parliament. </p> <p> But it is good to see the Right Honourable Member the Shadow Chief Secretary in his place. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> But getting over a &#163;156 billion deficit is not so easy. </p> <p> Getting over the worst economic inheritance any modern government has been bequeathed by its predecessor is not so easy. </p> <p> That is the backdrop to this Queen&#8217;s Speech and the debate that ends today. </p> <p> I have just returned from the G20 meeting in South Korea where I was representing the country with the worst budget deficit of any sat round the table. </p> <p> Our national debt has doubled and is set to double again in the space of just five years. </p> <p> Those who believe that this is some abstract problem should pay heed to warning noises from the European continent. </p> <p> Countries that cannot live within their means face higher interest rates, greater economic shocks and larger debt interest bills. </p> <p> Consider this one fact, which the previous Chancellor refused to publish, but which we have. </p> <p> On the spending plans we inherited, British taxpayers are going to be paying out &#163;70 billion in debt interest a year by the end of this Parliament. </p> <p> &#163;70 billion. That is more than we spend on educating our children, defending our country or policing our streets. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> The deficit is our most pressing national problem, but it is symptomatic of deep rooted problems that have been ignored for too long. </p> <p> Our economy has become deeply unbalanced. </p> <p> Unbalanced between different parts of the country, as the gap between the wealth of regions has widened over the last ten years. </p> <p> Unbalanced between different sections of society, as a higher proportion of our children grow up in workless households than any other advanced society on earth. </p> <p> Unbalanced between different parts of our economy, as the public sector booms to half our national income, while the private sector struggles out of recession. </p> <p> This Queen&#8217;s Speech, with its landmark reforms of welfare and education, begins the task of righting these wrongs. </p> <p> We will hear more from the Right Honourable Member for Chingford later, who has done more than almost anyone to highlight the trap of low aspiration, poor education and welfare dependency that our fellow citizens don&#8217;t deserve and our country cannot afford. </p> <p> The five Treasury sponsored Bills in the Queen&#8217;s Speech play their part too in sorting out the country&#8217;s economic mess. </p> <p> There is the National Insurance Bill, so that we stop the jobs tax that the other side would impose. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> Our reforms to national insurance will not just stop the most damaging part of this jobs tax, but by raising employer thresholds we will actually reduce the cost of employing people on lower incomes. </p> <p> In the Budget there will be further measures to stimulate private sector employment and proclaim to the world that Britain is open for business. </p> <p> Then we have the Financial Services Regulation Bill, to fix the previous Government&#8217;s system of banking regulation that failed so spectacularly. </p> <p> I will say more about the details of this legislation at the Mansion House next week, [&#8230;political content&#8230;]. </p> <p> Under this Government our banks will serve the economy instead of enslaving it. </p> <p> And we are urgently working to ensure that in serving the economy, they lend to the small and medium businesses who for the last two years have faced such a shortage of credit. </p> <p> There is a Terrorist Asset Freezing Bill, to put the vital work of disrupting the finances of those who would do us harm on a secure legal footing after the previous Government&#8217;s arrangements collapsed in court. </p> <p> Then there is the Bill that should have been introduced by the previous Government years ago &#8211; and it is to their eternal shame that it was not. </p> <p> The Equitable Life Payments Bill, to help those who lost everything and have been given nothing by the party opposite. </p> <p> And finally there is our Bill to give the independent Office for Budget Responsibility statutory authority and to bring transparency and honesty to our nation&#8217;s finances.<br> It is a revolutionary step in budget making, removing forever the Chancellor&#8217;s historic power to make the official forecasts. </p> <p> Yet it is based on a very simple idea, completely alien to the thinking of the previous Government: that in future we fit the budget to fit the figures, instead of fixing the figures to fit the budget. </p> <p> I have already established, with the help of Sir Alan Budd, the Office for Budget Responsibility on a non-statutory basis &#8211; because I wanted all of us to get independent forecasts before the first Budget. </p> <p> I am today publishing by Written Ministerial Statement the terms of reference that I have agreed with Sir Alan. </p> <p> With his consent, I can also confirm in this House for the first time that the Office will produce its independent assessment of the growth forecast and other forecasts next Monday 14th June. </p> <p> The Budget will be presented just over a week later, well within fifty days of the election &#8211; as we promised. </p> <p> We have called it an emergency Budget, and indeed it will address the immediate debt situation this country faces. </p> <p> But it will also begin the long term task of moving an economy built on debt to an economy where we save and we invest and we export and we spread the growth more widely. </p> <p> If anyone needs reminding what the immediate debt situation we have inherited is, then I suggest they read the report on the United Kingdom published today by the credit rating agency Fitch. </p> <p> They warn of &#8220;a rise in public debt &#8230; faster than any other AAA rated sovereign [country]&#8221;. </p> <p> They point to &#8220;the largest cyclically-adjusted budget deficit in Europe&#8221;. </p> <p> And what does this rating agency say about the previous Government&#8217;s plans to reduce this deficit we&#8217;ve inherited alongside this economic mess. </p> <p> They say they&#8217;re &#8220;distinctly weak&#8221;. </p> <p> They say they lack &#8220;credibility&#8221;. </p> <p> They say we&#8217;re the only European economy set to run a budget deficit above 3% in five years time. </p> <p> This is all at a time when they point out that the fiscal crisis in Greece has caused a major shift in investors&#8217; attitude to sovereign risk. </p> <p> Something we have long warned would happen. </p> <p> And that is why they say a &#8220;more ambitious deficit reduction plan&#8221; is needed to help &#8220;underpin market confidence&#8221; in Britain. </p> <p> That is today&#8217;s report. </p> <p> It comes on top of similar reports from the European Commission, from the OECD, from the investors we rely on to buy our gilts, from business organisations, from the Governor of the Bank of England, and now &#8211; as of this weekend &#8211; from the G20. </p> <p> The communiqu&#233; signed in South Korea by the world&#8217;s leading economies is clear. </p> <p> &#8220;Those countries with serious fiscal challenges need to accelerate the pace of consolidation&#8221;. </p> <p> So that is the situation the last Government bequeathed to Britain. </p> <p> The biggest budget deficit in the developed world, when the whole world is looking at the size of budget deficits. </p> <p> Spending plans that nobody believes are credible, when market credibility is today everything. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> I notice that the Shadow Chancellor&#8217;s amendment notes &#8220;the need for a clear plan to bring down the deficit&#8221;. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> Let me explain how we propose to do that. </p> <p> Alongside other measures to support the recovery, the Budget on 22nd June will set out the overall mandate for bringing the deficit under control, against which the Office for Budget Responsibility will judge the Government&#8217;s fiscal policy. </p> <p> It will set the overall envelope for spending, but it will not allocate spending between departments. </p> <p> That is what the Spending Review this autumn will address. </p> <p> Today, I am placing in the Library of both Houses a paper that explains how the Review will work. </p> <p> Given the scale of the spending reductions required, it needs to be quite different from any Review we&#8217;ve seen in this country before. </p> <p> For the last thirteen years, Spending Reviews have been, shall we say, not exactly collegiate affairs. </p> <p> More of a one way process. </p> <p> The Treasury told departments what they were getting and precisely what they should do with the money. </p> <p> No room for innovation, no acknowledgement that some of the best ideas for doing things differently might come from the front line and not from the centre. </p> <p> And the result of this top-down, centre-knows-best approach? </p> <p> Falling public sector productivity and the largest budget deficit in our history. </p> <p> Less for more. </p> <p> We cannot afford to continue in that direction. </p> <p> Instead we need to look to Canada and their experience in the 1990s when they too faced a massive budget deficit. </p> <p> They brought together the best brains both inside and outside government to carry out a fundamental reassessment of the role of the state. </p> <p> They asked probing questions about every part of government spending. </p> <p> They engaged the public in the choices that had to be made. </p> <p> And they took the whole country with them. </p> <p> This Government will do the same. </p> <p> We are committed to carrying out Britain&#8217;s unavoidable deficit reduction plan in a way that strengthens and unites the country. </p> <p> The Spending Review will be guided by the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility. </p> <p> It will deliver the Government&#8217;s commitment that health spending will increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament, and we will honour the promise we as a people made to the developing world on overseas aid. </p> <p> It will limit as far as possible the impact of reductions in spending on the most vulnerable in society, and on those regions heavily dependent on the public sector. </p> <p> And it will protect as far as possible the spending that generates high economic returns &#8211; so we build the economy of the future while cleaning up the mess of the past.<br> In short, it will demonstrate that we really are all in this together. </p> <p> Let me set out how it will work. </p> <p> First, we will build on the in-year savings that we have already made in order to deliver a step change in the drive for efficiency and value for money in the public sector. </p> <p> The new Efficiency and Reform Group at the heart of government will support departments to deliver savings in specific areas, including renegotiating contracts, maximising collective buying power and using benchmarking to improve performance. </p> <p> Departments will be asked to reduce administrative spending in central Whitehall and quangos by at least a third. </p> <p> Each Secretary of State will appoint a Minister with specific responsibility for driving value for money across their department. </p> <p> And we will embed strong financial discipline at all levels of government, by placing an obligation on public servants to manage taxpayers&#8217; money wisely and by strengthening the role of the departmental Finance Director. </p> <p> Second, the Spending Review will challenge departments, local government and others to consider fundamental changes to the way they provide public services. </p> <p> As part of this process every part of government and every spending programme will have to answer a series of probing questions: </p> <ul> <li>Is the activity essential to meet Government priorities? </li> <li>Does the Government need to fund this activity? </li> <li>Does the activity provide substantial economic value? </li> <li>Can the activity be targeted to those most in need? </li> <li>How can the activity be provided at lower cost? </li> <li>How can the activity be provided more effectively? </li> <li>Can the activity be provided by a non-state provider or by citizens, wholly or in partnership? </li> <li>Can non-state providers be paid to carry out the activity according to the results they achieve? </li> <li>And can local bodies as opposed to central government provide the activity? </li> </ul> <p> The answers to these questions will inform a fundamental reassessment of the way that government works. </p> <p> To deliver this will require the input of the brightest and best that Britain has to offer. </p> <p> So we will bring together a group of experts &#8211; a &#8220;brains trust&#8221; from within government and outside &#8211; to act as independent challengers and champions for departments throughout the process. </p> <p> I want the best civil servants helping us in this collective effort, not defending their Whitehall silos. </p> <p> I want the inspirational head teacher, the farsighted police chief, the nurse with new ideas about solving age old problems. </p> <p> Their remit will be to innovate, to challenge entrenched ways of doing things, and to identify the best ideas from around the world. </p> <p> And in order to ensure that the resulting reform programme is achieved, we will establish robust mechanisms to ensure accountability to the public. </p> <p> Third, the Spending Review will cover the large cross cutting areas of government spending. </p> <p> We will set out our plans to reform the welfare system, and to restrain the cost of public sector pay and pensions. </p> <p> For capital spending, we will undertake a fundamental review of spending plans to identify the areas of spending that will achieve the greatest economic returns. </p> <p> And departments will be asked to examine their assets and consider how they can be managed more effectively, and whether they need to be held at all. </p> <p> Mr Speaker, with these reforms, the Spending Review will shape the Government&#8217;s reform agenda for this Parliament, and the role of the state for the next generation.<br> It is not for the Treasury to impose these decisions on departments. </p> <p> Nor is it the sole responsibility of the Treasury to deliver fiscal consolidation. </p> <p> This Government will work collectively to reduce spending in a way that is in line with its values. </p> <p> To lead this collective approach in government, the Prime Minister has appointed a Committee of senior Cabinet Ministers &#8211; the Public Expenditure Committee, or PEX. </p> <p> I will chair the Committee, supported by the Chief Secretary, and initially the membership will be restricted to those Cabinet Ministers with very small budgets of their own. </p> <p> Other Cabinet Ministers will be eligible to be considered as members of the Committee once they have settled their departmental allocation. </p> <p> I&#8217;m sure that Members will draw their own conclusions about the incentives this will create. </p> <p> Finally, over the summer we will conduct a wide public engagement exercise so that the whole country has a chance to get involved. </p> <p> We have already begun to implement the most radical transparency agenda the country has ever seen. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> The raw data in the COINS database of government spending is available online. </p> <p> Let me tell you just three shocking examples of wasteful spending under the last Government. </p> <ul> <li>Some &#163;1.5bn spent on consultants. </li> <li>&#163;1bn spent on advertising. </li> <li>&#163;4.5bn of defence projects allowed to over-run. </li> </ul> <p> The Treasury will publish more user-friendly subsets of COINS by August, and is committed to publishing online all new items of central government spending over &#163;25,000 from November. </p> <p> For the first time the public will be able to hold the Government to account in real time for how it spends their money. </p> <p> But we will go much further than this, with a series of events to debate different parts of government spending. </p> <p> All parts of government and society will have the chance to make their voice heard. </p> <p> For this is the great national challenge of our generation. </p> <p> After years of waste and debt and irresponsibility, to get Britain to live within its means. </p> <p> It is a time to rethink how government spends our money. </p> <p> We didn&#8217;t choose the terrible economic situation we inherited. </p> <p> [&#8230;political content&#8230;] </p> <p> But we can work to put it right, to deal with our debts, to set our country on a brighter economic course, and show that we are all in this together. </p> <p> And I commend the Gracious Speech to the House. </p> <h2> Ends </h2> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_080610.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Queen's Speech economy debate 2010-06-08 HM Treasury Queen's Speech economy debate
<p> 24 May 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, announcing &#163;6.2billion savings </h1> <p> The Chancellor's speech was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 05/10: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_05_10.htm">Pn05/10 Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, announcing &#163;6.2billion savings</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_240510.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, announcing £6.2billion savings 2010-05-24 HM Treasury unknown
<p> 19 May 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the CBI Annual Dinner, Grosvenor House Hotel, London </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Thank you Helen.&#160; </p> <p> I am very grateful for the opportunity to speak at your annual dinner. </p> <p> This is my first major speech as Chancellor, and Richard, you were the first person I called after I got the job. </p> <p> That is a reflection of the importance I attach to Britain's business community, and it is testament to the effectiveness of the CBI as the leading voice of that community. </p> <p> I'd like to begin by thanking so many of the businesses here, who normally stay out of the political frame and are independent of any political party, for coming together in their hundreds in a newspaper letter-writing campaign to make the case for enterprise during the election campaign. </p> <p> With your help we fought and won an argument about the best way to build a sustainable private sector recovery. </p> <p> Instead of more wasteful spending and more taxes on job creation, we said we would start identifying savings immediately so that we could stop the jobs tax. </p> <p> And that is exactly what we have done. </p> <p> I can confirm that we will deliver on our promise to stop most of the increase in employer National Insurance Contributions in the Budget in order to save jobs and support the recovery. </p> <p> As a result, we will make employing someone less expensive than it would have been, regardless of income. </p> <p> And it will help protect people, especially those on low incomes. </p> <p> This will do more than anything else to protect those on low and middle incomes from rising unemployment. </p> <p> This argument &#8211; that government needs to do everything it can to support a private sector recovery &#8211; will be my guiding principle as Chancellor. </p> <p> Because I believe that when you succeed, Britain succeeds. </p> <p> Back in the late 1990s this seemed a rather obvious argument to make. </p> <p> All politicians paid lip service to enterprise. </p> <p> But the events of the last 13 years have shown that we can never assume that the argument is won. </p> <p> Today, public spending has risen to almost 50 per cent of the economy. </p> <p> Over 5 million people are out of work and on benefits. </p> <p> Record numbers are economically inactive. </p> <p> Even now, there are still those who argue seriously that yet more increases in public spending are the answers to our problems. </p> <p> No wonder too many people around the world thought that Britain had put up a sign that said &#8216;closed for business&#8217;. </p> <p> Today we take that sign down. </p> <p> And we need to start making the case for enterprise all over again. </p> <p> This is something every generation needs to do in its own way. </p> <p> Let me tell you about my generation. </p> <p> We were shaped by the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin wall. </p> <p> This Government is comprised of people whose views are forged by that experience. </p> <p> For us it was a vindication of our economic arguments, but perhaps we were too slow to understand that the free market and smaller government needs to go hand in hand with a Big Society. </p> <p> We understand that now. </p> <p> And it brought to the fore a new breed of liberals &#8211; such as my excellent Chief Secretary David Laws &#8211; who understood that a fair society needs free markets to sustain it. </p> <p> Just as we have looked to the future and reached back to our One Nation tradition, so they have looked to the future by reaching back to the inspiration of Gladstonian Liberalism. </p> <p> So together we will use the opportunity provided by this new coalition Government to send a new signal that Britain is, once again, open for business. </p> <p> I want people around the country and all over the world to know that if you want to come here, invest here, and create jobs here, then we will be on your side. </p> <p> We will back enterprise, not just as an end in itself, but as the way to build a stronger and fairer society. </p> <p> I believe that is what this coalition is all about. </p> <p> And on the subject of coalitions, let me be absolutely frank. </p> <p> As a member of the negotiating team, we did consider whether we could try to bluff our way into a minority government. </p> <p> But it was David Cameron&#8217;s bold vision and Nick Clegg&#8217;s great foresight which saw, before anyone else, that that option would be the greatest compromise of all. </p> <p> A weak, unstable government, risking defeat night after night in Parliament. </p> <p> Struggling to take the tough decisions that have been put off for too long. </p> <p> How much better to try and form a stable government with a majority of about 80, able to govern in the national interest? </p> <p> And at the heart of the agreement that we reached is a firm commitment to tackle Britain&#8217;s debts and create the space for a private sector recovery. </p> <p> The very first item on the very first page of the coalition agreement &#8211; &#8220;deficit reduction and continuing to ensure economic recovery is the most urgent issue facing Britain.&#8221; </p> <p> Of course, the question I get asked all the time is "where is the growth going to come from?" </p> <p> I was asked this question in my very first press conference as Chancellor. </p> <p> Certainly we can no longer rely on ever increasing public spending, or debt-fuelled consumption, to drive growth. </p> <p> Over the past decade, over half of all jobs created were associated in some way with public spending. </p> <p> Over the past decade, business investment grew at around 1 per cent each year, only a quarter of what it was in the 1990s. </p> <p> Of course we were not the only country affected by the financial crisis. </p> <p> But our consumers became the most indebted, our banks became more leveraged, and our Government borrowed more than any other major economy. </p> <p> So Britain does need a whole new model of economic growth, where we save and invest for the future, instead of building our economy on debt. </p> <p> An economy where we sell our goods and services to China and the rest of Asia, instead of simply borrowing from them in order to buy the things they make for us. </p> <p> But let&#8217;s be clear &#8211; when you ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer the question &#8216;where is the growth going to come from?&#8217; &#8211; there is not some lever in my office I can pull to get the answer. </p> <p> Because actually the answer is that the growth will come from you, the businesses of Britain. </p> <p> So this evening I want to explain briefly how this Government will make the case for enterprise, and how we will help you to succeed. </p> <p> And I want to explain how we will do that while building a fairer society and an economy that works for everyone. </p> <p> I believe that enterprise needs three things above all. </p> <p> First, the sunlight of confidence and stability, instead of living in the shadow of debt and uncertainty. </p> <p> You need to know that the Government is controlling spending, dealing with its debts, so that you are not hit by ever higher interest rates and never-ending tax increases. </p> <p> Second, the freedom to compete. </p> <p> You might have the best product in the world, but how can you win the order when the taxes you&#160; pay and the regulation you face price you out of the market?<br> &#160;<br> And third, the raw materials to succeed. </p> <p> I don&#8217;t just mean the iron ore, copper and oil &#8211; important as our heavy industry is. </p> <p> I mean the raw materials of new industries, like an educated workforce, a welfare system that rewards work, modern energy, digital and transport networks. </p> <p> Tackling the deep underlying problems in our economy and our society that have been holding Britain back for too long. </p> <p> <br> Let me take you through each in turn. </p> <p> First, controlling public spending and delivering economic stability. </p> <p> The situation we inherit is the worse any modern government has bequeathed its successor. </p> <p> The British state is borrowing one pound for every four that it spends. </p> <p> Sitting at my first Ecofin council meeting yesterday, I was very conscious I represented the country with the biggest budget deficit of any of the 27 around the table. </p> <p> That is a heavy responsibility, but it is a challenge that I am determined to meet. </p> <p> And having mentioned it, let me tell you my approach in Europe &#8211; engage, understand, seek agreement, don&#8217;t be afraid to disagree, and never forget that I am there to do what is right for our country. </p> <p> We should pay heed to what is happening in the Eurozone, not just because they are our largest trading partner, but because it is a vivid demonstration of the threat our public finances pose to the recovery. </p> <p> This is the reason that we must tackle our record deficit &#8211; because otherwise there will be no recovery at all. </p> <p> It will be undermined by rising interest rates, falling confidence and the fear of higher taxes. </p> <p> We simply have to do this. </p> <p> And let me be blunt &#8211; don&#8217;t rely on me to make this argument alone. </p> <p> We need to do it together so that we can take the whole country with us. </p> <p> We need to explain why what seems like the easier option in the short term will actually lead to rising unemployment and decline. </p> <p> The case for early and accelerated action is already supported by the main governing party, their coalition partners, the Governor of the Bank of England and the analysis of the Treasury. </p> <p> I want the business community to join us in actively making that case &#8211; not for my benefit, but for the national interest. </p> <p> You can explain how a higher budget deficit will mean higher interest rates and rising business insolvencies. </p> <p> You can explain how out of control debt will mean ever higher taxes. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s make the argument together against all the vested interests that exist to defend every single line item of government spending. </p> <p> We have already started to take action. </p> <p> Let me tell you what we have done already, in the space of a week. </p> <p> We have launched a programme to identify &#163;6 billion of in-year savings, while protecting the vulnerable and the quality of key front line services. </p> <p> We will do what you have all done over the last two years &#8211; renegotiate contracts, cut out discretionary spending, control recruitment and reduce overheads. </p> <p> &#163;6 billion represents less than one in every hundred pounds the government spends &#8211; show me the business that has not cut its costs by more than that in the last two years. </p> <p> In addition we have started a review of all spending decisions taken since the beginning of the year. </p> <p> It is increasingly clear that the last Government embarked on a reckless and irresponsible spending spree in the run up to the election. </p> <p> Their attitude was summed up in the letter that the former Labour Chief Secretary Liam Byrne left on the desk for his successor. </p> <p> &#8220;Dear Chief Secretary, I&#8217;m afraid there is no money&#8221;. </p> <p> Let that letter stand as the handwritten testament to their period in office. </p> <p> I have also announced a complete change to the way budgets are made, by giving away the power to make forecasts to an independent Office for Budget Responsibility. </p> <p> We need to fix the budget to fit the figures, not fix the figures to fit the budget. </p> <p> And I have set an ambitious timetable for an emergency Budget on Tuesday 22nd June &#8211; because we need to get on with it. </p> <p> That Budget will set the fiscal path for the coming years, and the mandate for the public finances against which the independent OBR will judge us. </p> <p> Over the summer we will conduct a far-reaching spending review to allocate spending to the different departments within the overall envelope set out in the Budget. </p> <p> Britain will then have what it has been lacking &#8211; a comprehensive and credible plan to deal with our debts and live within our means. </p> <p> By turning the tide of debt threatening our economy, we will help businesses up and down the country. </p> <p> Creating the space for the independent Bank of England to keep interest rates lower for longer while maintaining low and stable inflation. </p> <p> Safeguarding Britain&#8217;s credit rating. </p> <p> Boosting confidence, promoting stability and attracting foreign investment into our country. </p> <p> That is our first and most urgent task. </p> <p> <br> The second thing that enterprise needs to succeed is the ability to compete. </p> <p> This presents us with a huge agenda. </p> <p> Reducing the burden of inappropriate regulation and red tape. </p> <p> Ensuring that businesses have a sufficient supply of affordable credit &#8211; something that Vince Cable and myself will be making a priority. </p> <p> We will also be working together to reform our banking system &#8211; a subject I will return to in my Mansion House speech next month. </p> <p> But in particular I believe we have an opportunity to boost our economy and improve our society with radical tax reform. </p> <p> I believe that we can make our tax system both more competitive and more fair. </p> <p> The tax system has become hugely complex over the last thirteen years. </p> <p> Since 1997, the tax legislation handbook has more than doubled in length. </p> <p> It is now over 11,000 pages long. </p> <p> This spider-web of tax rules is holding back people who want to set up businesses. </p> <p> And our corporate tax rates are increasingly uncompetitive. </p> <p> A World Economic Forum report ranks the UK 84th out of 133 countries in terms of the competitiveness of the tax system. </p> <p> So we need wholesale reform. </p> <p> I particularly want to focus on corporate taxes. </p> <p> I want corporate tax reform to be a priority for this government, and I can confirm that the final coalition agreement that we will publish tomorrow will commit us to lower and simpler corporate tax rates. </p> <p> Let me give you advance notice of what it will say. </p> <p> &#8220;We will reform the corporate tax system by simplifying reliefs and allowances, and tackling avoidance, in order to reduce headline rates&#8221;. </p> <p> &#8220;Our aim is to create the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20, while protecting manufacturing industries&#8221;. </p> <p> At the Budget I want to set out a 5 year road map for a big reform of corporation tax. </p> <p> As well as lower rates and a simpler system, I want to reform the complex Controlled Foreign Companies rules that have driven businesses overseas. </p> <p> I want multinationals coming to the UK, not leaving. </p> <p> I am under no illusions. </p> <p> Achieving all this will be hard and it won&#8217;t happen overnight. </p> <p> But let us work together for the long term, because ultimately all of Britain&#8217;s businesses will be winners if we succeed. </p> <p> Of course reforming corporation tax is not the only goal. </p> <p> I want Britain to be the easiest place in the world to start a business. </p> <p> I want to do everything we can to support small companies. </p> <p> And I want to help new businesses by abolishing employers national insurance contributions on the first ten jobs they create. </p> <p> But as well as a making the tax system more competitive, we need to make it fairer. </p> <p> When times are difficult, we want to give people more of a stake in the economy. </p> <p> I believe it is right that people on low and middle incomes should be helped through the tax system. </p> <p> This is why at the Budget I will be announcing a substantial increase in the personal income tax allowance.&#160; </p> <p> And our longer term goal is to raise the allowance to &#163;10,000, with real terms steps in that direction every year. </p> <p> This will ensure millions of people pay less tax. </p> <p> It will send a message that if you put the effort in, you get a job and earn yourself an income, you will keep more of your money. </p> <p> I also believe that the same principle must apply to those who invest in new businesses and create jobs. </p> <p> So while we will increase the rates of capital gains tax for non-business assets, there will be generous relief for entrepreneurial investment in businesses, as made clear in the coalition agreement. </p> <p> <br> Third and finally, this coalition government understands that enterprise needs much more than just the freedom to compete. </p> <p> We have a radical programme to tackle the underlying structural problems that have been holding Britain back for far too long. </p> <p> We want to be far more than just deficit cutters &#8211; we want to lay the foundations of a more prosperous society, and a fairer economy that works for everyone. </p> <p> So we will launch a programme of radical education reform under Michael Gove. </p> <p> David Willets and Vince Cable will ensure our universities are among the best in the world for decades to come. </p> <p> Iain Duncan Smith and David Freud will reform our welfare system so that we reward work and support those who need help. </p> <p> And Chris Huhne, Jeremy Hunt and Philip Hammond will ensure that we attract the right mix of public and private investment in Britain&#8217;s creaking energy, broadband and transport infrastructure. </p> <p> Next week, in the Queen&#8217;s Speech, you will see a truly ambitious agenda, the scale of which I do not believe that most people yet appreciate. </p> <p> And at its heart is the understanding that it is not government ministers who create the jobs we need. </p> <p> You will create those jobs. </p> <p> Let me finish by saying that &#8211; despite the challenges we face &#8211; I am profoundly optimistic about our future. </p> <p> As a country we have spectacular opportunities ahead of us &#8211; we have reasons to be cheerful. </p> <p> There is a prize that is there for the taking. </p> <p> Every day around the world, in places like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam, people leave the grinding poverty that has trapped their families for centuries and become connected to today&#8217;s global economy. </p> <p> They go to work for low wages in factories &#8211; and I know the massive challenge that presents to our businesses here. </p> <p> But from Asia to America, from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa &#8211; nations of manufacturers are taking their first step in their journey to prosperity. </p> <p> And as they become richer, they will become nations of consumers, just as we did after our Industrial Revolution. </p> <p> According to the World Bank, the middle class in emerging and developing countries is expected to treble by 2030. </p> <p> That&#8217;s 1,200 million people who will want to buy the things that we can sell them. </p> <p> Modern medicines and branded goods. </p> <p> Aircraft engines, high-tech machinery, green vehicles and renewable energy. </p> <p> Computer software, television programmes, oil and gas expertise. </p> <p> Pensions, insurance, advertising, accountancy and legal services. </p> <p> British goods and services, made in Britain, exported around the world. </p> <p> The whole world must be our marketplace. </p> <p> Our whole future depends on it. </p> <p> So let us tell the world. </p> <p> Loud and clear. </p> <p> That Britain is once again open for business. </p> <p> <strong>ENDS</strong> </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_190510.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the CBI Annual Dinner, Grosvenor House Hotel, London 2010-05-19 HM Treasury CBI Annual Dinner, Grosvenor House Hotel, London
<p> 17 May 2010 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, on the OBR and spending announcements </h1> <p> The Chancellor's speech was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 02/10: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_02_10.htm">Pn02/10 Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, on the OBR and spending announcements</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_170510.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, on the OBR and spending announcements 2010-05-17 HM Treasury unknown
<p> 08 November 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the National Business Awards </h1> <p> Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. </p> <p> Thank you Carolyne for the kind words of introduction. </p> <p> It&#8217;s an honour to be invited to speak at the National Business Awards and to celebrate everything that is so exciting about the business community in our country. </p> <p> You may represent very different businesses in very different parts of the country &#8211; there are firms here tonight from Glasgow to Bournemouth and from Ipswich to Belfast. </p> <p> But you all have one thing in common &#8211; you embody the spirit of enterprise that must be at the heart of Britain&#8217;s economic future. </p> <p> Tonight we celebrate your success stories. </p> <p> I know how difficult things are for many thousands of businesses right now. </p> <p> The last few months have seen a steady flow of difficult economic news across the world. </p> <p> Rising energy prices. Eurozone debt markets in turmoil. An international crisis of confidence. </p> <p> There is no doubt that the entrepreneurial spirit represented in this room can build a bright future for our economy. </p> <p> But that hopeful prospect will be pushed even further into the future if your efforts and the efforts of thousands like you are blown off course by these global headwinds. </p> <p> The biggest threat to the British economy right now is uncertainty itself. </p> <p> People have confidence in Britain&#8217;s long term future. </p> <p> They see a Government taking difficult decisions to deal with its debts &#8211; unlike so many governments around the world. </p> <p> They see a workforce becoming more flexible and more skilled. </p> <p> And they see an economy recovering its competitive edge step by step, as tax rates come down and the regulatory burden is pushed back. </p> <p> After years of slipping back, they see Britain re-enter the top ten in the league table of the best places in the world to do business. </p> <p> They urge us not to take our foot off the pedal on any these fronts. And we won&#8217;t. Indeed there is more we can and we will do. </p> <p> But overlaid on all of this is the &#8220;chilling effect&#8221; of the uncertainty hanging over Europe&#8217;s immediate economic prospects. </p> <p> Will the Eurozone come up with a convincing answer to its structural problems? </p> <p> Will Greece deliver on a plan to deal with its debts and make its economy more competitive inside the Eurozone? </p> <p> Will Italy regain credibility in the bond markets? </p> <p> In the face of all these unanswered questions, the answer for many businesses risks being &#8220;wait and see&#8221;. </p> <p> Sit tight, rebuild your balance sheet, and make sure you&#8217;re ready to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. </p> <p> That may be the decision of any one individual business, but collectively it can do real damage to our economy. </p> <p> We need to see cash come out of corporate balance sheets into real investment projects, creating jobs and prosperity. </p> <p> That is the challenge we face &#8211; restoring confidence, removing uncertainty, and doing what we can to change the default answer from &#8220;wait and see&#8221; to &#8220;let&#8217;s go for it&#8221;. </p> <p> That&#8217;s why my most important job as Chancellor is to help you do your job &#8211; and grow your business. </p> <p> To provide you with stability and leadership in an uncertain world economy so that you can get on with creating the prosperity we all depend on. </p> <p> So that, together, we can ride out this storm and emerge from it stronger and more competitive than ever before. </p> <p> The first thing we need to do is reduce the uncertainty currently gripping the world economy. </p> <p> I have just got back from yet another meeting of European Finance Ministers in Brussels. </p> <p> Just a few hours ago I was sitting around a table with my counterparts in the Eurozone. </p> <p> It&#8217;s clear what needs to be done. </p> <p> The Eurozone collectively has to stand behind their currency. </p> <p> They have to turn the agreement reached two weeks ago into a concrete plan of action. </p> <p> We need to see the money that will increase the firepower of the Eurozone bail-out fund. </p> <p> We need to see that actual recapitalisation of the European banking sector. </p> <p> We need to resolve Greece&#8217;s unsustainable debts with what looks like being a new government in Athens. </p> <p> And over time we have to allow the Eurozone to follow the remorseless logic that leads from monetary union to greater fiscal integration, while Britain&#8217;s interests are protected. </p> <p> At the same time the whole European Union, including Britain, needs to make itself more competitive and stop pricing itself out of the world economy. </p> <p> As Europe does this, there are responsibilities for the rest of the world as well. </p> <p> The IMF must continue to play its systemic role supporting the international monetary system to the benefit of its whole membership. </p> <p> Because, at the end of the day, the whole world economy depends on more stable financial markets, a more prosperous trading environment and a stable euro. </p> <p> A lasting solution to the euro crisis would provide the single greatest boost available to the British economy this autumn. </p> <p> But we can&#8217;t rely on international events alone. </p> <p> The Government has a duty to provide economic stability at home. </p> <p> That&#8217;s the second thing we&#8217;re doing. </p> <p> When this coalition Government came to office, Britain was forecast to have a larger budget deficit than Italy, Greece or Spain. </p> <p> Britain needed a government that was going to get a grip &#8211; and we did. </p> <p> We held an Emergency Budget last summer on our own terms &#8211; not this summer on the market&#8217;s terms like so many of our neighbours. </p> <p> Yesterday my French counterpart announced France&#8217;s second emergency budget in three months. </p> <p> Even though their deficit is smaller than ours, France has been forced to announce faster fiscal consolidation over the next two years, just in order to protect their AAA credit rating.&#160; </p> <p> Our AAA rating was on negative outlook 18 months ago from the same credit rating agency that downgraded the United States, but after the Spending Review a year ago they put it back on a stable outlook. </p> <p> And our deficit plan has delivered record low interest rates. </p> <p> Today our market interest rates were below 2.5% - in Italy tonight they were 6.8%. </p> <p> You know better than anyone what damage a rise in market interest rates would do to our recovery. </p> <p> Fiscal responsibility by the Government allows interest rates to stay lower for longer. </p> <p> It allows for greater monetary activism and space for our independent Bank of England to undertake quantitative easing. </p> <p> This has helped counteract the powerful forces of deleveraging unleashed by the contracting balance sheets of our banks. </p> <p> The Merlin agreement that requires the banks to lend more to small and medium sized firms has helped too. </p> <p> Tomorrow the last bank will report its figures &#8211; what we&#8217;ve seen so far has been promising. </p> <p> But negotiated deals cannot be a permanent solution in a market economy. </p> <p> We want to reduce the risk of another credit crunch and improve access to finance for mid-sized and small businesses &#8211; something I know many of you think is holding the recovery back. </p> <p> So the credit easing programme that I will announce at the Autumn Statement later this month will help to channel money directly to where it is needed most. </p> <p> This action will sit alongside the third part of our approach &#8211; removing the obstacles that stand in the way of your growing businesses. </p> <p> I understand that governments can&#8217;t create successful businesses &#8211; that is something the people in this room can do. </p> <p> What we can do is create an environment in which your business endeavour is supported rather than stifled. </p> <p> Take for example our tax reforms. </p> <p> We are cutting taxes on patents and research and development. </p> <p> We&#8217;ve doubled and doubled again the amount of relief for entrepreneurs. </p> <p> Multinational are now moving to Britain instead of moving away. </p> <p> We are engaged in a huge simplification of the tax system. </p> <p> And even in these straitened times, when money is short, we are lowering the main rate of corporation tax from 28% to 23% - the lowest rate in the G7, and on our way to the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20. </p> <p> Take regulation. </p> <p> This autumn we&#8217;ve announced that for the first time there will be a fee for taking a case to an employment tribunal &#8211; a fee if you only get back if you win. </p> <p> That ends the one-way bet against business. </p> <p> We&#8217;re also changing the rules to double the probation period before a new employee can make an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two years. </p> <p> So that means it&#8217;s not such a risk hiring new people. </p> <p> We are putting a presumption in favour of sustainable development into our planning system. </p> <p> All these changes have vociferous opponents &#8211; but we&#8217;re taking them on to help you grow. </p> <p> We are also helping British businesses export. </p> <p> Stephen Green, our new trade minister and one of Britain&#8217;s global business leaders, is helping companies enter new markets &#8211; especially small businesses. </p> <p> Our goods exports to China in the first half of this year were up by almost 20% - making China our third largest export market after the US and EU. </p> <p> And we are putting money into Britain&#8217;s critical economic infrastructure too. </p> <p> Not just in our road, rail and telecoms networks &#8211; which we are. </p> <p> The largest infrastructure investment anywhere in the Western world &#8211; Crossrail &#8211; is happening right here, under London, as we speak. </p> <p> So let&#8217;s not hear defeatist talk that we can&#8217;t manage this project. </p> <p> But today&#8217;s economic infrastructure is more than just physical. </p> <p> Our far reaching and often contested reforms to welfare, schools and universities are making the British workforce more educated and better skilled. </p> <p> In everything we do, we are being unashamedly pro-business and pro-growth. </p> <p> Later this month in the Autumn Statement, I will be announcing new measures to support you and support a private sector recovery. </p> <p> Many of these changes we are undertaking are controversial. </p> <p> Some are just as politically difficult as are the tough decisions we are taking on the deficit. </p> <p> And you can bet that for every regulation reduced, every infrastructure project approved or public service reformed there will be special interests lining up to attack us and unions to oppose us. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s make sure that the voices of British business &#8211; the people who actually create the wealth that everyone depends on &#8211; are heard just as loudly in the months ahead. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s hear from the job creators. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s weather the storm. </p> <p> And let&#8217;s create the conditions in which thousands more businesses can enjoy the success that you are celebrating tonight. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> <p> ENDS<br></p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_081111.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the National Business Awards 2011-11-08 HM Treasury National Business Awards
<p> 09 September 2011 </p> <h1> Opening remarks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Chatham House, Challenges for the global economy </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Let me start by thanking DeAnne Julius and the staff here at Chatham House for organising today&#8217;s event. </p> <p> And I am very pleased to welcome to London the new Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. </p> <p> I first knew her as a formidable French finance minister, and France&#8217;s loss is the world&#8217;s gain as she is already making her presence felt at the Fund. </p> <p> Christine has taken over at the IMF at a crucial time for the global economy. </p> <p> We are just eight hours away from the start of the first international meeting of the autumn &#8211; later this morning we will travel to the G7 summit in Marseille, to join finance ministers and central bank governors from the world&#8217;s major economies. </p> <p> Those meetings need to produce a coordinated plan of action that helps us navigate through the economic turbulence we are all experiencing. </p> <p> And I think Christine has just set out an extremely clear agenda to achieve precisely that. </p> <p> As she has just said &#8220;global activity has slowed ... downside risks have increased [and the] global rebalancing of demand growth ... has stalled&#8221;. </p> <p> The challenges we face are more complex than those we faced at the beginning of this crisis, but the underlying cause is the same &#8211; excessive levels of debt. </p> <p> A debt crisis in the banking sector has now turned into a wider crisis of sovereign, banking and private sector debt. </p> <p> Then we faced a straightforward battle against the forces of deflation and instability. </p> <p> Now we must contend with competing pressures &#8211; market pressures on indebted sovereigns, continued banking instability, a crisis in the Eurozone and continuing imbalances in global demand. </p> <p> Just as the problems as different, so must be the international response. </p> <p> And, as Christine has said, each country&#8217;s response needs to be differentiated. </p> <p> To repeat the sporting analogy I used on Tuesday &#8211; in 2008 the world had to act like a tug of war team, all pulling in the same direction. </p> <p> Today, we need to be like a football team &#8211; with everyone&#8217;s role suited to their positions and abilities if the team is to be successful. </p> <p> The agenda for coordinated global action should be clear. </p> <p> Indeed I agree with Tim Geithner&#8217;s prognosis that the three most important things are more forceful action in Europe to resolve the debt crisis, getting the US economy moving, and a rebalancing of global demand towards surplus countries. </p> <p> First, to state the obvious, a debt crisis must be confronted by tackling the debt. </p> <p> Those countries with large budget deficits and significant fiscal vulnerabilities &#8211; including the UK with one of the largest deficits of all &#8211; must continue to set out and implement credible deficit reduction plans that will get debt as a percentage of GDP onto a declining path. </p> <p> As the Managing Director says &#8220;the United Kingdom strong fiscal consolidation is essential to restore debt sustainability, given the UK&#8217;s very high structural budget deficit and large financial sector relative to GDP&#8221;. </p> <p> That&#8217;s why our &#8220;policy stance remains appropriate&#8221;. </p> <p> And I agree with her that policymakers must remain alert to risks, and that&#8217;s why the automatic stabilisers and the ability of monetary policy to respond are key parts of the flexibility built into our plan. </p> <p> Britain will stick to the deficit plan we&#8217;ve set out. </p> <p> It&#8217;s the rock of stability on which our recovery is built. </p> <p> It&#8217;s delivered record low interest rates. Abandoning it would put that at risk. </p> <p> For nothing would be more damaging for Britain at this fragile moment for the world&#8217;s economy than an increase in mortgage rates for families and an increase in the cost of borrowing for businesses. </p> <p> It&#8217;s crucial to remember that simply announcing deficit reduction plans is not enough. They need to be implemented too. </p> <p> And, of course, in order to be credible, plans must be rooted within credible fiscal frameworks. </p> <p> In the Eurozone that means member countries should follow the remorseless logic of monetary union and make more progress on institutional reform and fiscal integration. </p> <p> While, at all times, making sure the UK is not part of it and that our interests are protected and promoted. </p> <p> The second element of the global response is to accompany credible fiscal consolidation with credible action to strengthen banking systems. </p> <p> If banking systems are allowed to remain impaired and fragile, then not only will financial instability persist, but the monetary transmission mechanism will remain broken, denying businesses and families the full benefits of low interest rates that are so crucial for recovery. </p> <p> And here, too, each country&#8217;s response should be differentiated. </p> <p> As Tim Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, said in the Financial Times today &#8220;countries that forced more capital into their banking systems early in the crisis are better placed to support the recovery. Those that did not should move more forcefully now&#8221;. </p> <p> I think the IMF has a huge role to play in making sure this agenda is taken forward, for example with their Financial Sector Assessment Programmes &#8211; which are now compulsory for systemic countries. </p> <p> So dealing with the fundamental causes of this crisis &#8211; excessive debt &#8211; is critical. </p> <p> Unless we do that we will simply make the problem worse. </p> <p> At the same time, however, we need a global rebalancing of demand &#8211; the third part of the international response. </p> <p> We are all familiar by now with what that means. </p> <p> Current account surplus countries should do more to rebalance their economies and encourage domestic sources of demand. </p> <p> I spent the whole of yesterday with my Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, who explained how China is boosting domestic demand through its 12th Five Year plan. </p> <p> While this global rebalancing is under way, different countries should take different paths to support demand. </p> <p> For example, as I said on Tuesday, the US with its reserve currency faces different constraints from other countries, allowing the US the flexibility to take the actions proposed by President Obama yesterday. </p> <p> For countries with higher deficits, who lack the security of the global reserve currency, and are more exposed to a loss of market confidence, the best way to support demand is to show they can live within their means, helping to keep interest rates low and monetary conditions supportive of growth. </p> <p> This is precisely what Christine has just explained. </p> <p> Again, I think the IMF has a central role in this. </p> <p> With this year&#8217;s annual Article IV economic assessments of the key economies, they have also produced for the first time what is known as a &#8220;spill-over report&#8221;. </p> <p> This new analysis is exclusive to the countries whose economies have been identified as systemically important &#8211; the US, Eurozone, China, Japan and the UK. </p> <p> They look at the relationship between the individual country&#8217;s domestic policies and the wider stability of the global economy. </p> <p> They are an important innovation in macroeconomic surveillance, and complement the other work the Fund has been doing to advise the G20 Finance on how to deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth. </p> <p> The final element of the global agenda must be a concerted effort to open up markets and reform our economies to make them more productive. </p> <p> In particular, at a global level there could be no greater stimulus than renewed progress on global trade talks. </p> <p> And we urgently need a real push towards improving the functioning and transparency of oil markets, increasing supply and bringing oil prices down from their current elevated level. </p> <p> This is the right international agenda for the world economy. </p> <p> I support it. </p> <p> The IMF has advocated it. </p> <p> It should form the basis for our international discussions later today. </p> <p> And for all the international meetings that are to come later this autumn. </p> <p> The world needs political leadership, and with this agenda we have the chance of delivering just that. </p> <p> Thank you very much. </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_090911.htm George Osborne Opening remarks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Chatham House, Challenges for the global economy 2011-09-09 HM Treasury Chatham House, Challenges for the global economy
<p> 06 September 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, the Lloyd&#8217;s of London Annual City Dinner </h1> <p> The Chancellor's&#160;speech&#160;at Lloyd's of London&#160;was published as HM Treasury press notice 101/11: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_101_11.htm">Pn101/11 Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, the Lloyd&#8217;s of London Annual City Dinner</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_060911.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, the Lloyd’s of London Annual City Dinner 2011-09-06 HM Treasury unknown
<p> 15 June 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Lord Mayor&#8217;s dinner for bankers and merchants of the City of London, Mansion House </h1> <p> The Chancellor's speech was published as HM Treasury press notice 58/11. </p> <p> <a href="/press_58_11.htm">Pn58/11 Speech at the Lord Mayor&#8217;s dinner for bankers and merchants of the City of London by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mansion House, London</a> </p> <p> Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Lord Mayor hosts an annual dinner where the Chancellor of the Exchequer gives a speech on the state of the economy. </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Local_history_and_heritage/Buildings_within_the_City/mansion_house.htm" target="_blank">Find out more about Mansion House (opens in new window)</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_150611.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Lord Mayor’s dinner for bankers and merchants of the City of London, Mansion House 2011-06-15 HM Treasury Lord Mayor’s dinner for bankers and merchants of the City of London, Mansion House
<p> 06 June 2011 </p> <h1> Remarks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV concluding statement </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> It gives me great pleasure to be able to introduce John Lipsky, the acting Managing Director of the IMF, and his team here in the Treasury building. </p> <p> The need for better international scrutiny of national economies is one of the main lessons that we have learnt from the last few years. </p> <p> As John will explain shortly, this year&#8217;s annual Article IV economic assessment by the IMF has been accompanied by two additional reports. </p> <p> One is an in-depth analysis of the UK financial sector. </p> <p> The other is the first ever IMF &#8220;spillover&#8221; report. </p> <p> This is the new work exclusive to the five economies that have been identified as systemically important &#8211; the US, China, Japan, the Eurozone and the UK. </p> <p> This looks at the relationship between the UK&#8217;s domestic policies and the wider stability of the global economy. </p> <p> This is an important policy innovation in macroeconomic surveillance, which will complement the work of G20 Finance Ministers to deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth. </p> <p> Both are important steps. We should all hope these new tools will help us avoid future financial and economic crises on the scale of the one we have just experienced. </p> <p> But more scrutiny and early warning is not enough on its own &#8211; national governments need to listen to what independent international organisations like the IMF are saying. </p> <p> Indeed the IMF&#8217;s own independent evaluation of its performance in the run up to the crisis revealed that in the case of the UK many warnings were made in private, especially about the precarious fiscal position. </p> <p> If those warnings had been heeded, rather than suppressed, then we would not find ourselves confronting such a huge fiscal challenge today. </p> <p> So let me very briefly set out the main lessons that I draw from today&#8217;s IMF&#8217;s report on the UK. </p> <p> First, I welcome the IMF&#8217;s continued strong support for our overall macroeconomic policy mix, including our deficit reduction strategy. </p> <p> As the opening sentence of their report states, &#8220;the post-crisis repair of the UK economy is underway&#8221;. </p> <p> Difficult decisions on tax and spending inevitably generate opposition and lead some to argue that there is an easier way. </p> <p> The IMF expert team have spent two weeks here engaging with all shades of opinion, including those who have been calling on us to change course. </p> <p> The IMF have publicly asked themselves the question &#8220;whether it is time to adjust macroeconomic policies&#8221; &#8211; in other words, is it time to change course? </p> <p> And they have concluded definitively that &#8220;the answer is no&#8221;. </p> <p> As they state in their concluding statement, &#8220;strong fiscal consolidation is underway and remains essential&#8221;. </p> <p> I also agree that the policy mix of deficit reduction and interest rates that stay lower for longer is the best way to rebalance our economy towards exports and investment. </p> <p> Of course, the IMF note that the economic data in the UK has shown stronger job creation and tax receipts than expected, but &#8211; like many countries &#8211; weaker GDP growth and higher inflation than was forecast last year. </p> <p> Their analysis suggests that a significant reason for this has been the unexpected spike in global oil and commodity prices. </p> <p> Around the world this has led to slower growth and higher inflation than was forecast a year ago. </p> <p> Here in the UK we have taken some domestic action to ease the pressure on households and businesses, such as the 6 pence per litre cut in fuel taxes relative to previous plans that I announced in the Budget. </p> <p> And we should look at whether we can do more internationally to improve supply conditions and the operation of oil markets in order to stabilise prices and support the global recovery. </p> <p> The second lesson I take from today&#8217;s IMF report is that we need to press on with medium and long-term reforms to improve the sustainability of our public finances. </p> <p> The IMF today explicitly reference the reforms we have proposed to the state pension age, and John Hutton&#8217;s proposals on public sector pensions. </p> <p> It is essential that we now see these through. </p> <p> The IMF also reference our Plan for Growth, published earlier this year, which set out ambitious reforms to planning and regulation. </p> <p> We are now working on a second phase of the Growth Review for publication in the Autumn. </p> <p> Finally, we are reminded today that we must complete fundamental reforms to our financial system, both domestically and internationally. </p> <p> I strongly agree with the IMF&#8217;s view that financial stability in the City of London is not just good for Britain, it is good for the world. </p> <p> I welcome their recognition that this Government has shown global leadership on financial reform, including the creation of the Independent Commission on Banking and a new system of regulation. </p> <p> And I particularly welcome the IMF&#8217;s support for proper international implementation of Basel 3 in a way that provides a level playing field, while retaining national discretion to operate macro-prudential tools. </p> <p> I will have more to say on these issues in my Mansion House speech next week. </p> <p> Let me conclude by saying we welcome the IMF here today. </p> <p> We have had extremely good engagement with them that I believe has benefitted both sides. </p> <p> And let me ask you all to welcome John Lipsky to present the IMF&#8217;s findings in detail. </p> <p> Thank you.<br></p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_060611.htm George Osborne Remarks by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV concluding statement 2011-06-06 HM Treasury International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV concluding statement
<p> 16 May 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Google Zeitgeist 2011 </h1> <p> The Chancellor's speech at&#160; Google Zeitgeist 2011 was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 48/11: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_48_11.htm">Pn48/11 Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at&#160;Google Zeitgeist 2011&#160;</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_160511.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at Google Zeitgeist 2011 2011-05-16 HM Treasury Google Zeitgeist 2011
<p> 11 May 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Institute of Directors Annual Convention </h1> <p> The Chancellor's speech at the Institute of Directors Annual Convention was published as HM Treasury Press Notice 47/11: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="/press_47_11.htm">Pn47/11 Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Institute of Directors Annual Convention</a> </li> </ul> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_110511.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the Institute of Directors Annual Convention 2011-05-11 HM Treasury Institute of Directors Annual Convention
<p> 07 April 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference, in London </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Good morning. </p> <p> Let me start by thanking Sue for the very kind introduction and also David Frost for inviting me to speak at your annual conference today. </p> <p> David is a great advocate for Britain&#8217;s businesses community and a tireless campaigner for the issues that matter to your members. </p> <p> In fact, this is the third time I have addressed this annual conference. </p> <p> I know just how important the network of local Chambers of Commerce is in providing support and advice to so many small and medium businesses. </p> <p> My message to all of you today is simple &#8211; this Government is unashamedly pro-enterprise, pro-business and pro-aspiration. </p> <p> We are going to put you &#8211; the job creators of Britain &#8211; centre-stage. </p> <p> It is also a message of optimism, tempered with realism. </p> <p> Let&#8217;s start with a dose of the realism. </p> <p> We are recovering from the biggest banking crisis in the entire history of our country. </p> <p> We have been through the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s. </p> <p> And next week, when I go to the G7 meetings in Washington, I will represent the country with the single biggest structural budget deficit &#8211; indeed the largest deficit in the peacetime history of Britain. </p> <p> This is the new Government&#8217;s inheritance. </p> <p> So it is no surprise, as both the Bank of England Governor and I warned last year, that the recovery is proving choppy. </p> <p> But that realism comes now with optimism that Britain is putting its house in order. </p> <p> We have put in place a credible deficit reduction plan which is now taking effect. </p> <p> That has provided a crucial bedrock of stability at home and commanded near universal confidence abroad. </p> <p> I say this to people in Britain. </p> <p> If you hear the stories about the cuts and still wonder why our country needs to take these difficult decisions, then look at what is happening around us. </p> <p> First Greece, then Ireland, today Portugal. </p> <p> All of them countries that did not convince the world they could pay their debts. </p> <p> Two of them countries with smaller budget deficits than Britain. </p> <p> Now all of them being bailed out, at huge costs to their populations. </p> <p> Today of all days we can see the risks that would face Britain, if we were not dealing with our debts and paying off our national credit card. </p> <p> These risks are not imaginary &#8211; they are very, very real. </p> <p> Those in our country who deny the urgent need to deal with our deficit are playing Russian roulette with Britain&#8217;s national sovereignty. </p> <p> I will not do that. </p> <p> We have brought credibility where there was doubt &#8211; and stability where there was none. </p> <p> The real practical economic benefits of this Government&#8217;s policy are there for businesses and families every day. </p> <p> We now have almost the same market interest rates as Germany, despite having a bigger budget deficit than Portugal, Greece and Spain. </p> <p> And I want to thank the British Chambers of Commerce for their steadfast support. </p> <p> You are absolutely right, David, when you say that our &#8220;decisive moves to cut the deficit will have positive effects on business and investor confidence&#8221;. </p> <p> So the measures we have taken to rescue our economy from the financial danger-zone should give us grounds for optimism. </p> <p> But stability on its own is not enough, we have to do more. </p> <p> You and other business organisations welcomed our plan to deal with the deficit, but you rightly asked &#8220;where is your plan for growth?&#8221; </p> <p> In this year&#8217;s Budget we have answered those questions &#8211; and the response to our plan for growth has been very positive. </p> <p> Let me remind you why we had to act. </p> <p> Over the past decade Britain fell behind, our economy became too unbalanced, while other countries made themselves more competitive. </p> <p> Too much debt, not enough savings. In many regions, too big a public sector and too small a private sector. Too many imports compared to too few exports. </p> <p> The household savings ratio plummeted. </p> <p> Manufacturing halved as a share of our economy. </p> <p> Between 2000 and 2009 Britain&#8217;s share of world exports fell by a third, while Germany&#8217;s share actually rose. </p> <p> We need to step up a gear. </p> <p> Britain needs to out-compete, out-smart and out-pace the rest of the world. </p> <p> That is now a central objective of this Government. </p> <p> And so in the Budget we set four economic ambitions for Britain. </p> <p> The first ambition is that we should have the most competitive tax system in the G20. </p> <p> In the late 1990s, we had the third lowest corporate tax rate in Europe. By last year, we had the sixth highest. </p> <p> That had to change &#8211; and in last year&#8217;s Budget and this year&#8217;s, we took action. </p> <p> On Friday, the UK&#8217;s main rate of corporation tax came down from 28% to 26%. </p> <p> It will keep coming down each of the next three years to reach 23% in 2014 &#8211; the lowest rate ever and the lowest in the G7. </p> <p> Instead of going through with the last government&#8217;s planned increase in the small companies rate to 22%, we have cut it to 20%. </p> <p> Three years ago I announced to the BCC annual conference in Liverpool that we would do that &#8211; and we have delivered. </p> <p> And let me tell you, when you&#8217;re a democratically elected politician with such a high budget deficit, the easiest thing is to increase taxes on business &#8211; because businesses don&#8217;t vote. </p> <p> So not only have we avoided that temptation, we are actually cutting your taxes. </p> <p> We have made our taxation of international profits more competitive too. </p> <p> Instead of leaving Britain, businesses are moving back. </p> <p> We&#8217;ve introduced a patent box. </p> <p> And we have also started the enormous task of simplifying the tax system. </p> <p> We&#8217;ve made a start by abolishing over 40 complex tax reliefs in the Budget. </p> <p> But let me be honest, I am going to need your help to go further. </p> <p> For other reforms &#8211; like merging the operation of income tax and national insurance &#8211; will need to be done in step with organisations like yours &#8211; so that we reduce the burdens on business instead of increasing them. </p> <p> Our second ambition is that Britain should be the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business. </p> <p> Over the last decade the UK sank in the Global Competitiveness Index from 4th in 1998 to 12th in 2010. </p> <p> So what are we going to do about it? </p> <p> On regulation, in the Budget we removed &#163;350m of costly business regulations. </p> <p> As Vince Cable will tell you later, we are imposing a moratorium on new domestic regulations for the smallest businesses. </p> <p> But many new regulations still come from Europe. </p> <p> So we are building new alliances. </p> <p> Last week David Cameron and eight other European prime ministers wrote to the Commission asking for a reduction in the burden of EU regulation. </p> <p> And I would urge all of you to make links with other Chambers of Commerce across Europe, so that together you can win the argument that we shouldn&#8217;t be pricing our continent out of the world economy. </p> <p> On planning, one of the great obstacles to growth that no government has had the courage to tackle, we are now shifting the balance from delay and objection towards development and expansion &#8211; and I know this is something that the BCC has been campaigning for this year. </p> <p> On research and development, we have just increased the support available to small companies through R&amp;D tax credits from 175% to 200%. Next year it will go up again to 225%. </p> <p> On finance for start-ups, I have made it easier to attract investment capital, including with an increase in income tax relief from 20% to 30%, which came into effect yesterday. </p> <p> We have also delivered on our pre-election promise to scrap the most damaging part of the planned increase in employer&#8217;s National Insurance. </p> <p> Since yesterday it has now actually become cheaper for businesses to employ anyone earning under &#163;21,000 a year. </p> <p> And when the day comes when you want to sell your business, we have doubled and then doubled again the level of entrepreneurs&#8217; relief. </p> <p> My third ambition is for Britain to become a more balanced economy, by encouraging exports and investment. </p> <p> Here is one shocking fact. During the decade before the recession, private sector employment actually fell in a region as important as the West Midlands. </p> <p> Our country needs to see growth across every region. </p> <p> The BCC knows precisely how important this is, because your members cover the whole of the country &#8211; and I welcome your involvement in the new national network for local enterprise partnerships. </p> <p> We are also going to need your help in making a success of the 21 new Enterprise Zones we are establishing to help parts of our country that need an extra boost. </p> <p> Next week, we will launch the new &#163;400m Regional Growth Fund, which will provide finance for regional capital projects and support private sector job creation. </p> <p> But a more balanced economy also means more exports and investment across every sector of our economy. </p> <p> In our Plan for Growth, published at the Budget, we set out a host of specific measures to do that in sectors like advanced manufacturing, tourism and life sciences. </p> <p> Let me tell you today that that work does not stop. </p> <p> I can announce that we are launching the next phase of our Growth Review, to be published at the time of the Autumn Statement, looking at new issues and new sectors. </p> <p> Work with us through this year on new measures so that we can become more competitive still. </p> <p> Our fourth ambition is to have a more educated workforce that can be the most flexible in Europe. </p> <p> Between 2000 and 2009, Britain fell from 4th to 16th place in the world league tables of science, 8th to 28th place in mathematics. That is unacceptable. </p> <p> So not only are we undertaking radical reforms to education &#8211; opening up schools, supporting poorer pupils, reforming the curriculum, and increasing the participation age to 18. </p> <p> But we are now also addressing the long-standing issue of vocational training. </p> <p> We will do that with 100,000 work experience places for young people and at least 24 University Technical Colleges. </p> <p> And also 250,000 new apprenticeships over the next four years &#8211; the largest apprenticeship programme ever. </p> <p> More competitive taxes. More support for businesses. More balanced growth. And a better educated workforce. </p> <p> That is our Plan for Growth. </p> <p> But let me tell you &#8211; as I have said before &#8211; there are forces out there who will try to stand in our way. </p> <p> Forces of stagnation who will try to stop the forces of enterprise. </p> <p> And let me give you just one example. </p> <p> Over the years one of the issues that businesses keep raising with me is the burdensome effect of our employment tribunal regime. </p> <p> And all those years no Minister has been willing to stand up and say &#8211; yes, employees have rights and they should be protected, but what about the right to get a job and not be priced out of the market? </p> <p> What about the right to start a business and not be sued out of existence by vexatious claims and unreasonable costs? </p> <p> Well, this Government has had the courage to answer those questions. </p> <p> We&#8217;ve said that there will be fees to deter vexatious claims; compulsory arbitration; and the right to seek redress only after two years of employment, rather than one year. </p> <p> These are controversial measures. The unions and others oppose them. </p> <p> So I say to you &#8211; to the business community &#8211; don&#8217;t stand on the sidelines. </p> <p> Get involved and help us make the argument for enterprise. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain cannot be built by government alone. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain comes about when its businesses say &#8216;we won&#8217;t be held back any more&#8217;.<br><br> An enterprising Britain comes when its business people believe that their aspirations in life are shaped by the fruits of their labours. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain is a Britain open for business. </p> <p> That is what I want to build. </p> <p> And I need your help to do it. </p> <p> Thank you. </p> <p> <strong>ENDS<br></strong> </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_070411.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference, in London 2011-04-07 HM Treasury British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference, in London
<p> 10/11 </p> <p> 28 January 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the British Business Leaders' Lunch, in Davos </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery<br></strong><br> Thank you Michael for the kind introduction. </p> <p> It is great to see so many top figures from across the world of business in this room. </p> <p> I will make some remarks and leave plenty of time for questions afterwards. </p> <p> There has been much talk in Davos this week of a two, or even three, speed recovery. </p> <p> While emerging markets are continuing to power ahead, many Western economies &#8211; and European economies in particular &#8211; are only slowly emerging from the trauma of the last two years. </p> <p> My argument today is that there is nothing inevitable about European decline &#8211; we do not have to accept life in the slow lane. </p> <p> As Mervyn King and I have both said, the recovery is likely to be &#8220;choppy&#8221;. </p> <p> But I am an optimist. And I believe that if we get policy right over the next two or three years, then the opportunity is great for Britain and Europe. </p> <p> The challenge may be formidable, but the future will favour the bold. </p> <p> And if we are bold enough, the prize will be worth the effort: nothing less than a new model of sustainable growth. </p> <p> Many European governments face this challenge. But as this week&#8217;s growth figures demonstrate, the challenge is particularly acute in the UK. </p> <p> Over the last decade, our economy became perhaps the most extreme example of any major economy of the dangerous imbalances that now need to be unwound. </p> <p> The biggest housing boom, the most leveraged banks, the most indebted households, the biggest budget deficit. </p> <p> An illusion of growth built on easy money that has now turned to dust. </p> <p> As the work of Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart shows, recoveries from this kind of debt-fuelled boom and bust tend to be slower and more protracted than those from other kinds of recession. </p> <p> How could it be otherwise when our banking system is nursing the wounds of the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s and the economy is 10% below its pre-crisis trend? </p> <p> Our goal should be that new model of economic growth, built not on unsustainable debt in the public and private sectors, but on the entrepreneurial dynamism that creates lasting prosperity. </p> <p> Not overly concentrated in one region of the country or one sector of the economy, but more balanced both geographically and economically. </p> <p> A model in which investment and exports replace debt-fuelled consumption in the public and private sectors as the drivers of growth. </p> <p> Building this new model of growth will not be easy &#8211; if it was then we wouldn&#8217;t have been tempted down the path of easy money in the first place. </p> <p> And it&#8217;s clear that for some that temptation remains &#8211; a bit more government spending here, pumping the bubble back up a bit there. </p> <p> We are absolutely clear &#8211; allowing ourselves to be seduced by those siren voices would only lead to even greater disaster down the line. </p> <p> Right now the right long-term choices for the economy are the difficult choices. </p> <p> Adjustment will not be without struggle. </p> <p> While almost everyone agrees in general terms that Government spending needs to be cut, vested interests will line up to defend every line item when it comes to specifics. </p> <p> While everyone pays lip service to welfare reform, actually tackling our dependency culture and cutting the ballooning benefits bill requires tough and controversial decisions. </p> <p> And while everyone argues that we need to promote enterprise and growth, opposition to specific measures is often no less entrenched than in opposition to specific spending cuts. </p> <p> So we have to fight for this new economic model. </p> <p> Let me explain my vision for sustainable growth. </p> <p> It has three crucial ingredients: a stable macroeconomy; competitive taxes; and removing the barriers that are holding Britain back. </p> <p> The foundation must be a strong and stable macroeconomy. </p> <p> That means dealing with Britain&#8217;s massive debt problem. </p> <p> When the new coalition Government came into power in May our public finances were in a dire state. </p> <p> We inherited from our predecessors the biggest budget deficit in the whole of the G20 &#8211; the second largest in Europe with the single exception of Ireland. </p> <p> And we inherited that deficit slap bang in the middle of a European sovereign debt crisis. </p> <p> So we set about the immediate reductions to in-year spending to buy us a breathing space in the sovereign debt storm; </p> <p> We created an independent Office for Budget Responsibility to bring honesty back to official forecasts &#8211; and the OBR is already established as a permanent feature of our macroeconomic framework. </p> <p> At the Emergency Budget in June last year, and then at the Spending Review in October, I set out a four-year plan to remove the bulk of the budget deficit over this Parliament. </p> <p> We based our plan on the leading academic evidence on successful fiscal consolidations. </p> <p> We ensured, like successful consolidations elsewhere, that the great majority of the deficit reduction will happen through reducing spending and not increasing taxes. </p> <p> We prioritised capital spending over wasteful welfare spending. </p> <p> And where taxes do have to go up, we will prioritise increases in indirect taxes which are more economically efficient and do less damage to enterprise. </p> <p> It is notable that many of these principles have been adopted by the Fiscal Commission in the US. </p> <p> Earlier this month we saw the plan start to take effect with the tough, but necessary step of increasing Value Added Tax to 20%. </p> <p> After this week&#8217;s growth figures it is no surprise that one disappointing weather-affected quarter of growth has brought the critics out of the woodwork. </p> <p> Never mind that the Government&#8217;s current spending was higher this December than in any other December in our history, government should spend more they say. </p> <p> It&#8217;s always their answer. In boom and in bust, in good times and bad, more government spending is what&#8217;s required. </p> <p> Just imagine if they got their way &#8211; if I stood up in the House of Commons on Monday and said: &#8220;we&#8217;re abandoning our deficit reduction plan&#8221;. </p> <p> Imagine the reaction. The soaring market interest rates. The widening spreads. The credit rating back under threat. </p> <p> That would be disastrous for our economy. </p> <p> We have to keep focused on the big picture. If we don&#8217;t deal credibly with our debts, then we cannot build a more balanced economy that works for everyone. </p> <p> That is the verdict of the IMF this week in their World Economic Outlook. </p> <p> It is also the verdict of the Secretary-General of the OECD who said on Wednesday about the UK that &#8220;dealing with the deficit is the best way to prepare the ground for growth in the future. In fact if you don&#8217;t deal with the deficit, you can be assured that there will not be growth, because confidence will not recover&#8221;. </p> <p> So the British economy must be stable, but it also has to compete. </p> <p> The second part of our vision for growth is simply put: I want Britain to have the most competitive business taxes of any major western economy &#8211; in Europe or North America. </p> <p> So that when you are next considering where to invest and where to do business, you choose the UK. </p> <p> Our four-year fiscal plan will cut the deficit without increasing taxes on business. </p> <p> And let me tell you, when you are doing my job, the easiest thing is to increase taxes on business &#8211; because businesses don&#8217;t vote. </p> <p> Not only have we avoided that, in fact we have cut the taxes faced by business. </p> <p> We reversed the most damaging part of the planned jobs tax. </p> <p> From this April it will be cheaper to employ people on low and middle incomes, which in turn will save jobs and support the recovery.&#160; </p> <p> Small businesses will see their tax rates cut. </p> <p> And from April, you will see the first of four annual reductions in the main rate of corporation tax. </p> <p> That will bring corporation tax to 24%, its lowest ever rate, the lowest in the G7. </p> <p> Interestingly, the corporate tax plan announced by President Obama in his State of the Union speech is based on the same principles &#8211; a simpler system with a broader base and lower rates. </p> <p> But we are not stopping there &#8211; our corporate tax roadmap has set out the direction of travel so that you can plan ahead with more certainty. </p> <p> In the coming Budget we will reform Britain&#8217;s outdated and complex rules for Controlled Foreign Companies. </p> <p> We have seen a steady stream of companies that have left the UK in recent years. </p> <p> This Government is not content to sit by and watch our competitiveness leech away and our corporate tax base undermined. </p> <p> And to encourage high-tech businesses to invest in the UK and create high-value jobs, we will introduce from 2013 a lower 10% corporate tax rate on profits from newly commercialised patents. </p> <p> Our patent box will mean that Britain&#8217;s tax regime for intellectual property will be among the lowest in the western world. </p> <p> Let me repeat: our goal is the most competitive business tax regime of any major western economy. </p> <p> Let me also make clear: I am very conscious of the impact of personal tax rates on our ability to compete. </p> <p> That&#8217;s why the personal tax allowance is increasing by one thousand pounds from April. </p> <p> And it&#8217;s why I have said very clearly that I regard the 50p tax rate as a temporary feature of the tax system. </p> <p> We need stability. We need to compete. And we need to grow. </p> <p> So the third part of our vision for growth is a war on all the barriers that stop your businesses expanding, investing and taking new people on. </p> <p> The barriers that stop new businesses starting up, growing their operations and taking on the world. </p> <p> In planning, we will tip the balance from delay and objection to expansion. </p> <p> In energy, we will provide a carbon price floor and regulatory certainty to secure investment. </p> <p> In trade, we will lead from the front, as we have already done on major delegations to China and India, and we have launched a new concerted commercial effort in the Gulf. </p> <p> In competition, we will simplify the system and open up all sectors to challenge by new entrants. </p> <p> In transport, we are completing Crossrail, investing in our roads, and connecting our great cities with high speed rail. </p> <p> In higher education, we have had the courage to ensure funding for a world class university system in the face of the most opportunistic opposition. </p> <p> In welfare, we are taking the tough decisions no government has ever been prepared to take to make work pay. </p> <p> In skills, we have found scarce resources to fund more apprenticeships and we are bringing colleges closer to business. </p> <p> We are protecting the science budget in cash terms, when so many other budgets have to be cut, and creating technology transfer centres to turn cutting edge innovation into practical application. </p> <p> We will create a Green Investment Bank to support new clean energy infrastructure. </p> <p> We are expanding support for venture capital funds and supporting small business loans. </p> <p> And on banking, let me be very clear. </p> <p> We want Britain to be the undisputed European home of financial services and the leading world centre for finance. </p> <p> But we also want banks to play their proper role in society. </p> <p> So I am seeking a new settlement with the banks, which will secure financial stability and result in a banking system where banks: </p> <p> &#8226;&#160;lend more to the British economy, especially small and medium sized businesses;<br> &#8226;&#160;contribute more to the British exchequer;<br> &#8226;&#160;pay less in bonuses;<br> &#8226;&#160;are more transparent about what they pay;<br> &#8226;&#160;and make a greater contribution to society. </p> <p> I hope we can reach agreement soon so that we can provide the boost that our small businesses need. </p> <p> All these things are part of our vision for growth. </p> <p> Achieving them all will not be easy. </p> <p> In almost every area that is holding British business back, whether it is regulation, planning, poor skills or a hideously complex tax system , the forces of stagnation are lined up to defend the status quo. </p> <p> That is the reason why these problems have lain unsolved for so many years. </p> <p> That&#8217;s why for too long the response from government has been to succumb to the pressure for more regulation and more bureaucracy, while papering over the cracks with yet more spending. </p> <p> But the taxes and borrowing needed to pay for that spending were unsustainable, and the creeping march of regulation has slowly undermined our entrepreneurial spirit. </p> <p> Our competitiveness has suffered a lost decade. </p> <p> That is why this Coalition Government will be just as bold in promoting enterprise as we have been in dealing with the deficit. </p> <p> The ambition of my Budget on the 23rd of March will be to turn the tide on the forces of stagnation. </p> <p> And the guiding principle as I put the Budget together will be: the future favours the bold. </p> <p> We saw one example yesterday of what we can achieve when we are willing to be bold. </p> <p> For years now the issue that businesses have raised with me more than any other is the deadening effect of our employment tribunal regime on job creation. </p> <p> And no Minister has been willing to stand up and say: yes, employees have rights and they should be protected, but what about the right to get a job and not be priced out of world labour markets? </p> <p> What about the right to start a business and not be sued out of existence by vexatious claims and unreasonable costs? </p> <p> Well yesterday, this Government, this Coalition Government, had the courage to answer that question. </p> <p> The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced that the system will change: there will be fees to deter vexatious claims; compulsory arbitration; the right to seek redress only after two years of employment instead of one today. </p> <p> These are controversial measures, but they are the first major shift in well over a decade in the balance of power away from regulation and towards enterprise. </p> <p> People are already lining up to oppose them. </p> <p> And I say to business: don&#8217;t stand on the sidelines and watch us fight the forces of stagnation. Join us in defeating them. </p> <p> We need your help. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain cannot be built by government alone. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain comes about when its businesses say &#8216;we won&#8217;t be held back any more&#8217;. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain is born when its citizens believe that their aspirations in life are shaped by the fruits of their labours, not the circumstances of their birth. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain is one that sees a world with a resurgent China, a booming India, a thriving Brazil and understands that it is an opportunity not a threat. </p> <p> An enterprising Britain. </p> <p> A Britain open for business. </p> <p> That is what I want to build. </p> <p> And I need your help to do it. </p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_280111.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the British Business Leaders' Lunch, in Davos 2011-01-28 HM Treasury British Business Leaders' Lunch, in Davos
<p> 06 January 2011 </p> <h1> Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the New World New Capitalism seminar, in Paris </h1> <p> <strong>Check against delivery</strong> </p> <p> Let me start by saying thank you to Minister Besson for inviting me to speak here today. </p> <p> This is my second visit to Paris since becoming Chancellor and builds on the Anglo-French Summit in London last year. </p> <p> It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to address such a prestigious audience. </p> <p> In my remarks today I would like to briefly touch on what I see as some of the key economic challenges in 2011. </p> <p> What are the three key questions facing the international community this year? </p> <p> The first challenge facing economic policy-makers relates to the future of the international financial institutions. </p> <p> How can institutions created in the 20th Century be relevant in the economy of the 21st Century? </p> <p> Or to put it another way &#8211; how can the IMF, the WTO or the FSB remain relevant during the economic recovery? </p> <p> In an economic crisis, different countries face a common problem, so it is easier to find a common solution. </p> <p> Now we need to create a system that can manage the new pressures. </p> <p> There has been considerable progress already &#8211; on financial regulation, with Basel 3, and on reform of the IMF governance, for example. </p> <p> Two years ago few people would have said that these deals were possible. </p> <p> I think this year there is a great opportunity for the French Presidency of the G20, and I welcome their ambitious vision. </p> <p> I am aware that the issue of how to manage the huge flows of capital circulating around the world economy, and the issues around the international monetary system, will be a major challenge.&#160; </p> <p> But the starting point must be strong, legitimate and well-resourced global economic and financial institutions. </p> <p> We need an IMF that is more focused on identifying the major risks, especially from the systemic economies and the interaction between them. </p> <p> That&#8217;s why the G20 Finance Ministers need to deliver on what we promised in Seoul, to help us identify any build up of large global imbalances. </p> <p> We need a World Trade Organisation that can drive forward liberalisation of trade in goods and services. </p> <p> We now have a critical window of opportunity to conclude the Doha trade round, and as the G20 agreed conclude it we must. </p> <p> The Financial Stability Board has proved to be a flexible and useful platform for reform, as we have seen in the agreement of Basel 3. </p> <p> All members of the G20 must now make sure that Basel 3 is implemented. </p> <p> We also need to give the FSB more muscle, by making sure it is better resourced and more accountable. </p> <p> There is a huge G20 agenda ahead of us, and I want to say very clearly that the British Government wants to work with the French Presidency so that we can make good progress in 2011. </p> <p> There are very good signs that the French G20 agenda is going to be ambitious and significant. </p> <p> But there is also a great responsibility to make it successful. </p> <p> I wish you all the best in this endeavour. </p> <p> The second key question facing us in 2011 relates to the problems in Europe. </p> <p> And I want to be clear &#8211; I include the UK in my definition of Europe. </p> <p> Last year I was the first ever British Chancellor to attend a meeting of the Eurogroup &#8211; so that alone must tell you that something wasn&#8217;t quite right. </p> <p> Over the past year we have been seen instability and uncertain across the Eurozone. </p> <p> We really do not want to be back here, a year from now, in January 2012, still discussing the future of the euro. </p> <p> We need a comprehensive package early this year to address this. </p> <p> The Eurozone must follow the logic of the single currency and stand behind the euro in a more convincing way. </p> <p> Britain, of course, is not a member of the euro. </p> <p> But Britain wants the euro to be a complete success and we will support you in achieving that. </p> <p> Ultimately that cannot happen, however, without a credible plan to reform and strengthen Europe&#8217;s banks. </p> <p> That is the next challenge facing European governments. </p> <p> The inability of many European banks to absorb losses on their balance sheets was at the heart of the crisis and underpins much of the current market uncertainty. </p> <p> Dealing with this issue will first require an understanding of the depth of the problem. </p> <p> It is rather revealing that the stress tests conducted last July identified a capital shortfall, across the whole of Europe, of just &#8364;3.5billion. </p> <p> A few months later the Irish banks alone required ten times that amount - &#8364;35billion. </p> <p> That is why the UK has already gone much further with tougher stress tests and now has banks that are well capitalised. </p> <p> As well as tackling today&#8217;s problems, we need to strengthen Europe&#8217;s banks so that they, and not taxpayers, pick up the bill for future crises. </p> <p> Basel 3 does this by increasing bank capital, introducing new liquidity requirements, moving to a binding leverage ratio, and ending the double-counting for certain financial instruments. </p> <p> Don&#8217;t forget &#8211; this was a package put together by Europeans. </p> <p> These proposals were developed under the leadership of three of the Eurozone&#8217;s most distinguished central bankers: Mario Draghi, Jean-Claude Trichet, and Nout Wellink.&#160; </p> <p> Their work has ensured that Europe&#8217;s concerns are reflected. </p> <p> Having agreed this balanced package, it is vital that we do not now weaken the measures as they are translated into European law. </p> <p> This is an urgent task for ECOFIN this year. </p> <p> Any talk of &#8220;European specificities&#8221; not already accounted for, and any delay to the agreed timetable will simply reaffirm markets&#8217; suspicion that we are failing to address the difficult issues. </p> <p> Similarly, let me say the following about the competitiveness the financial services sector in Europe. </p> <p> Badly thought-through regulations will needlessly undermine European competitiveness in financial services. </p> <p> Talk of competition between London, Paris and Frankfurt misses the point. </p> <p> It is the relative competitiveness of Europe and rival centres in Asia and America that is the real issue. </p> <p> And alongside a more competitive financial sector, we also need a structural reform programme to make our whole economies more competitive. </p> <p> Opening up product markets, liberalising labour markets, promoting enterprise and reforming welfare states &#8211; those must be our priorities. </p> <p> We need an ambitious structural reform plan to kick-start growth and boost employment, including in new growth sectors such as green goods and the digital economy. </p> <p> But of course the biggest challenge this year is perhaps a domestic one. </p> <p> We need to get our own houses in order. </p> <p> The rest of the world does not owe Europe a living. </p> <p> If we are to calm the fears around the solvency of sovereigns across our continent, action at a European level needs to be matched by difficult domestic decisions. </p> <p> The sense of crisis may have eased since the start of last year, but wide spreads and high market interest rates still stalk several European economies. </p> <p> Countries need plans to reduce deficits, tailored for their circumstances, based on credible institutions that can underpin market confidence, especially in countries with large financial sectors. </p> <p> Here the British experience offers a useful insight. </p> <p> When we came into Government in the UK, we were predicted to have the largest budget deficit in the G20. </p> <p> Until Ireland overtook us, we were going to have the largest budget deficit in the European Union. </p> <p> The affirmation of the UK&#8217;s triple-A credit rating and the fall last year in our market interest rates, at a time when other countries&#8217; are going up, demonstrates that it is possible to earn credibility with a convincing deficit reduction plan. </p> <p> This week saw the plan start to take effect with the tough but necessary step of increasing Value Added Tax to 20%. </p> <p> And deficit reduction can also go hand-in-hand with greater structural reform across our economies. </p> <p> We are investing in our priorities &#8211; early years education, transport infrastructure and, almost alone in the world, putting resources into meeting our 0.7% target for international aid. </p> <p> I would like to finish on an optimistic note. </p> <p> Because despite these challenges, I remain profoundly optimistic about the future. </p> <p> The opportunities offered by the modern world economy are immense. </p> <p> Because every day around the world, in places like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam, millions of people leave the grinding poverty that has trapped their families for generations and become connected to the global economy. </p> <p> They leave behind subsistence farming and go to work in factories. </p> <p> And so nations of manufacturers are taking their first step in their journey to prosperity. </p> <p> And as they become richer, they will become nations of consumers, hundreds of millions of people who will want to buy the things that British and French companies can sell them. </p> <p> Our pharmaceutical firms will provide them with modern medicines and branded goods. </p> <p> British and French companies will sell them insurance, banking, accountancy. </p> <p> Over time they will become consumers of tourism and visit Paris and London. </p> <p> And they will hopefully fly here on Airbus planes with Rolls Royce engines. </p> <p> The whole world can be our market place. </p> <p> And that is why we should be optimistic about this world we have helped create. </p> <p> Thank you.<br></p> <p id="backToTop"> <a href="#primaryContentFull">Back to top</a> </p> None http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/speech_chx_060111.htm George Osborne Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, at the New World New Capitalism seminar, in Paris 2011-01-06 HM Treasury New World New Capitalism seminar, in Paris
March 2014
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