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Mar 29, 2012

UK Treasury “stretched” and ill-prepared for crisis -report

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s Treasury walked blind
and ill-equipped into the 2007-9 financial crisis, staffed by a
young, small workforce with little experience of bank failure
and a “limited capacity on financial stability”, an official
report said on Thursday.

The White report, commissioned by government to learn
lessons from the crisis and to improve the finance ministry’s
handling of economic turbulence, delivers a scathing assessment
of pre-credit crunch contingency planning and said not enough
had been done since to improve capability.

Mar 26, 2012

Government in talks to sell part of RBS stake to Abu Dhabi – BBC

LONDON (Reuters) – The government is in talks to sell up to a third of its holding in Royal Bank of Scotland to Abu Dhabi investors in a deal that could lose billions of pounds for taxpayers in the bailed-out lender, the BBC reported on Monday.

A sale deal near current prices would see British taxpayers lose almost half their investment in RBS, which the government rescued from collapse in 2008, as the bank’s shares are trading at barely half the state’s average purchase price of 50 pence.

Mar 26, 2012

UK in talks to sell part of RBS stake to Abu Dhabi – BBC

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – Britain is in talks to sell up
to a third of its holding in Royal Bank of Scotland to
Abu Dhabi investors in a deal that could lose billions of pounds
for taxpayers in the bailed-out lender, the BBC reported on
Monday.

A sale deal near current prices would see British taxpayers
lose almost half their investment in RBS, which the government
rescued from collapse in 2008, as the bank’s shares are trading
at barely half the state’s average purchase price of 50 pence.

Mar 22, 2012

Government cuts income tax, austerity drive undimmed

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne cut the top rate of income tax while imposing new levies on the wealthy, in a political high wire act designed to rejig the burden of austerity without wavering on plans to erase a huge budget deficit.

Britain should avoid a renewed recession and while the recovery was set to remain modest this year, growth should pick up thereafter, Osborne told parliament in his annual budget statement on Wednesday.

Mar 21, 2012

Osborne cuts income tax in political austerity rejig

By Matt Falloon and Sven Egenter

(Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne cut personal income taxes but aimed new levies on the wealthy on Wednesday, taking a political gamble while pledging to stick to his government’s tough austerity plan.

He also said that Britain’s economy was improving, although growth is set to remain very modest this year.

Mar 21, 2012

UK budget to balance tax breaks with austerity

By Matt Falloon

(Reuters) – Finance minister George Osborne unveils Britain’s annual budget on Wednesday with politically driven tax measures likely to take pride of place against a backdrop of a limp economic recovery and an unexpected leap in public borrowing.

Mindful of the risk that heavily indebted Britain could lose its prized top-notch credit rating, Osborne says he will not soften an austerity package aimed to reduce sky-high debts.

Mar 21, 2012

UK budget to juggle politics of austerity

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Finance minister George Osborne
looks set to divert attention from Britain’s limp economy with
politically driven tax measures in the budget on Wednesday,
aiming to appease both parties in the ruling coalition and keep
financial markets onside.

Osborne, mindful of the risk that heavily indebted Britain
could lose its prized top-notch credit rating, says he will not
soften an austerity package of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Mar 20, 2012

Government borrowing seen below 100 billion pounds next year

LONDON (Reuters) – Government borrowing next year is likely to fall below 100 billion pounds for the first time since 2008/9, and the growth outlook for 2012 could be nudged higher in Wednesday’s budget after a better-than-expected start to the year.

Economists expect the budget, underpinned by forecasts from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, will reveal a broadly unchanged fiscal and economic picture, leaving Chancellor George Osborne with little room for giveaways.

Mar 20, 2012

Government could privatise some roads

LONDON (Reuters) – The government could lease chunks of its road network to the private sector as Prime Minister David Cameron seeks to improve the country’s infrastructure to stop it falling further behind its competitors.

The move to seek help from sovereign wealth funds and private investors came after news Cameron had only managed to secure two billion pounds from pension funds for new projects by 2013 – far short of a 20 billion pound target.

Mar 19, 2012

UK borrowing seen below 100 bln pounds next year

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – British government borrowing
next year is likely to fall below 100 billion pounds for the
first time since 2008/9, and the growth outlook for 2012 could
be nudged higher in Wednesday’s budget after a
better-than-expected start to the year.

Economists expect the budget, underpinned by forecasts from
the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, will reveal a
broadly unchanged fiscal and economic picture, leaving finance
minister George Osborne with little room for giveaways.

    • About Matt

      "I cover all aspects of government policy from the British parliament, but concentrate on Number 10, fiscal policy at the Treasury, and monetary policy at the Bank of England. I am based in our parliament office in Westminster and in our UK bureau in East London."
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