Send your questions to George Osborne

October 23, 2009

osborneShadow Chancellor George Osborne will set out the Conservative Party’s strategy for rebuilding the UK economy in an exclusive Thomson Reuters Newsmaker at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 26.

We will bring you full coverage of Osborne’s speech, including a live video feed and blog, after which we will conduct a short social media interview with him.

We want you to send us your questions to put to him.

This is your chance to grill the man who, according to the latest opinion polls, looks set to inhabit Number 11 Downing Street after the upcoming general election.

Be it on bankers’ bonuses, tax havens or the Conservative Party’s plans for leading us out of a recession, send us your questions now using the form below or via Twitter using the hashtag #askosborne.

Click here to view the full live blog

Is your overall view of the future for banks and other financial institutions that they should be made smaller or atleast leaner and left to compete in a newly created environment of greater transparency and less endemic risk – or that detailed and proactive regulation of these institutions will obviate the need to restructure them?

Posted by Scott Shearer | Report as abusive

Dear Sir

I am an attorney specialised in banking law. What we have witnessed in the last 2 years shows how shallow and inadequate regulation of the financial markets has been in the United Kingdom. Regulation has been so lax that the UK is now marked in the eyes of the markets as a country which has to engage in micro managing and micro regulating its financial system in order to get rid of the stigma of a laxely regulated country in an age when financial products and particularly structured products if unregulated can bankrupt States.

Do you believe that as opposed to past thinking that the most liberal markets are the markets that generate growth that the growth now depends on how well an economy is regulated?

Posted by Konstantinos | Report as abusive

The governor of the BoE seems to feel that the current level of sterling vs. €uro and other major currencies is of overall benefit to UK plc. Is that the Conservative view or do you feel that having sterling at such a low level has some detrimental effects and where would you like to see it vs. €uro and US$?
Please – no politicking or mud slinging on the reasons for it being so low

Posted by Nick Cave | Report as abusive

what is the next Conservative govt going to do about increasing the Financial Literacy of Directors and also introducing some objective test to ensure Directors are ‘fit and proper’ to hold down the onerous responsibility of running a company.
It appears the only sanction we have for misbehaviour is an after the event ban, however some pro active screening of suitability may be in order to ensure , for example, that Directors of Banks actually have banking qualifications and are Financially Literate and can understand some of the complexities of the business model for which they are responsible.


Is George Osborne a member of any church or religious organisation?


How do you propose to ‘sell’ your proposed lengthy wage freeze for Public sector workers when inevitably they will continue to witness the ongoing wealth accumulation in the finance sector through unrestricted and uncontrolled salaries and bonuses?

Posted by David Goode | Report as abusive

David Cameron plans to get up to 800,000 people off invalidity benefit and into work. With public sector cuts also planned and over 2.5 million currently unemployed how do you intend to create this many new jobs ?

Posted by Nick Lucas | Report as abusive

What is the Conservatives’ attitude towards using PPP/PFI? Do you consider it an optimum solution for investments into the public infrastrucure? Are there alternatives to partnerships in your vision of public sector funding?

Posted by Petr Witz | Report as abusive

(1)With New Labours failure to encourage any enterprise in order to provide employment and wealth creation as the public sector is now being cut, what action will the Conservatives take to re-structure the whole economy so that it grows in all sectors to pay for New Labours debt?

(2)If the UK fails to get out of recession in 2 /3 years time, would the Conservatives consider imposing import taxes to encourage / protect home industries?

Posted by Tim Worlock | Report as abusive

Does Mr Osbourne subscribe to the view that one of the best methods to help mitigate the current and growing huge national debt is to encourage a healthy dose of inflation say 5% plus for a number of years.
Accepting that once inflation is encouraged it can be difficult to put the lid back on.

If he does would he consider leaving the Quantitive Easing package inplace indefinitely not undoing it as is currently planned?

Does he also concur that the Bank of England’s current remit for controlling monetary policy is too narrow being targeted at inflation only, and the rate setting committee should be given other economic indicators to target alongside inflation, with increased powers to go with it?


Will the pay freeze, 50k pension cap, and Number 11 special permission for high salaries extend to the state owned banks?

If yes- will they remain competitive with rivals?

If no-given that most of any money the owned banks make after salaries goes to the government, why are they to be treated differently to the rest of the public sector? Their talented staff could be poached by high paying rivals, but is that not also true for much of the public sector?

Posted by Russell | Report as abusive

The Conservatives currently sponsor a propsal to get previously employed ( and now redundant) individuals back into work via the formation and running of “job clubs” throughout the UK. This is clearly a laudible initiative, but it does not address the many thousands on young people who have left statutory education provision with little in the way of qualifications and skills and who are not employed, see little potential for further education or training (the so-called NEET group) and who are destined to become even more dissolusioned should the expected improvement in the economy take place in the future, potentially passing them by in the process. Unless this large group of young people can be engaged and motivated, there will be a huge loss of talent and resource to UK plc and intuitively it seems there must be a way to make it happen. Perhaps Mr Osborne might like to comment?

Posted by T M Melvin | Report as abusive

In my opinion, the greatest financial catastrophe facing this country is not the state of the banks, but the wholesale destruction of our pension funds.
I have no doubt that the banks will soon recover, but the failure of pension provision will affect this country for generations to come and has already sentenced millions to an impoverished retirement.

I suspect it may well be an impossible task, given the extent of the damage inflicted by Brown, but what can the Conservatives do to start the rebuilding of the funds?

Posted by John Ball | Report as abusive

What is your view of Public Private Partnerships? Are they good deals for the public sector? Would the Conservatives stick to this method of investments into the public infrastructure if they won the next general election?

Posted by Petr Witz | Report as abusive

in the past 13 years Labour has created approx 4,000 new laws regulating everything, to save costs and to bring back “normal” thinking back to the UK, what does the Tory party intend to do with all these laws as most are unnecassary and hinder the growth of small and medium size companies, also disadvantages charities in regard of the sinless health and safety regulations now in place.

Posted by daniel law | Report as abusive

Any regulation of the banks will have to be global. This is a huge challenge, very dependent on the US where the banking lobby is strong so nothing much has changed yet. There is less competition so fees for investment banking and government services are sky high. George – what can Government do to support customers (including itself!) in negotiating these fees down, surely that would help while the regulators ponder next steps? How will a Conservative government go about getting international co-operation on regulating capital/lending ratios for different branches of banking for example?


As I type this, Mr Osborne is on BBC Breakfast re-iterating the argument that we must get credit flowing again immediately. Yet frequently during the past 24 months he has advocated the view that we (individuals, companies, banks, and the government) must as quickly as possible transition from being “a nation of borrowers” to “a nation of savers.”

I have to assume that he sincerely holds both these views, but to many people they will appear mutually incompatible. Is Mr Osborne able to reconcile these two opposing viewpoints in terms more concrete than simply expressing good intentions or aspirations?

Posted by Ian Kemmish | Report as abusive

What is the Conservative party attitude and more importantly their plans to support women in science, engineering and technology – through education, through access to employment, to support in employment, to equal pay and to representation at senior levels – in short what is their attitude to gender equality in SET?


Will Mr Osborne please tell us how he will fund CrossRail and the High Speed Line to the north of England if he is Chancellor

Posted by Chris Hayes | Report as abusive

Mr. Osborne – as well as limiting bankers’ bonuses, are you committed to investing in the future financial literacy of the nation to ensure that today’s young people are not as vulnerable to financial crises as many of their parents’ generation are? Specifically, will you give your support to young people being helped to be more financially responsible though personal finance education whilst at school – by ensuring it is a compulsory subject on the curriculum and, even more important, by providing the funding that will enable teachers and schools to do it well?


Reference Post strike

Will you confirm that should the strike be settled, Crozier and Co will not receive bonus’s for cutting costs?

Posted by baker | Report as abusive

Will Mr. Osborne confirm that the Conservatives will tackle the serious problem regarding pensions apartheid?…Public Sector pensions vs. Private Sector pensions creates an unacceptable social imbalance which cannot be allowed to continue.

Posted by Callum Campbell | Report as abusive

I would like to ask Mr.Osborne if he will look into the extremely low ISA rates on offer by banks and building societes to the general public.
There is absolutely no real incentive in using an ISA at these rates when a tax-bearing “vehicle” on offer gives far better interest, even after tax.
There was also no point in increasing the upper limit on ISA savings at the moment and I find it insulting that, yet again, this government ignores regular savers who are trying to help themselves and are also helping these banks ride out the storm.
I suspect that the whole thing is a ploy by this government to get us to use taxed savings plans, thereby gleaning even more tax from us.

Posted by Martin Stevenson | Report as abusive

Banning big cash bonuses for bankers is a surefire votes winner – the more noise and fuss you make on the subject the more likely it is the present government will announce something similar -for which you can then claim the credit. But why stop there? Surely there is something very wrong with the notion that senior people in top jobs,already paid very well, will only work harder or more effectively for additional financial inducement?

Posted by christopher nethercoat | Report as abusive