UK Politics and Economics Correspondent
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Sep 18, 2012

Britain could target welfare payments for more savings

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s cash-strapped government is considering further cuts to its welfare bill, media reported on Tuesday, with a coalition source confirming an idea to scrap the link between inflation and rises in benefits payments had been floated by ministers.

The coalition government, struggling to deliver its austerity plan because of a return to recession, will spend 207 billion pounds on “social protection” this year – nearly a third of all spending and by far the biggest item on its budget.

Sep 16, 2012

London’s mayor to become prime minister? Not yet

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – London Mayor Boris Johnson
eclipsed British Prime Minister David Cameron as Olympic host
this summer, but the eccentric Conservative will have to bide
his time before mounting any serious challenge for the top job.

Johnson followed up his Olympic antics — dangling from a
zip line waving the national flag and speeches extolling British
success — with criticism of Cameron’s handling of the economy,
prompting speculation he was already plotting to replace him.

Sep 14, 2012

Government looks to ease path to market for capital-hungry tech firms

LONDON (Reuters) – Aware that fast-growing technology companies often find it easier to raise capital in New York than London, the British government is looking again at lighter stock market listing rules or even a new market to foster growth in the sector.

With measures to boost economic growth back in vogue, encouraging tech companies would be part of a broader quest for economic stimulus and employment growth that could inject some life into the moribund economy.

Sep 14, 2012

UK looks to ease path to market for capital-hungry tech firms

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Aware that fast-growing
technology companies often find it easier to raise capital in
New York than London, the British government is looking again at
lighter stock market listing rules or even a new market to
foster growth in the sector.

With measures to boost economic growth back in vogue,
encouraging tech companies would be part of a broader quest for
economic stimulus and employment growth that could inject some
life into the moribund economy.

Sep 12, 2012

UK unemployment falls as economy looks set to grow

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of Britons on unemployment benefits dropped in August by the largest amount in two years as companies created new jobs, raising hopes that improved prospects will allow consumers to spend more and get the recovery going.

Britain’s economy has been mired in recession since late 2011 official figures show, but it looks set to post some growth in the third quarter, although it is unlikely to be a roaring rebound.

Sep 12, 2012

UK jobless numbers fall as economy creates jobs

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of Britons claiming unemployment benefit unexpectedly fell in August by the largest amount since June 2010 as companies created new jobs, raising hopes that a stabilising labour market will help pave the way for an economic recovery.

Britain’s economy has been mired in recession since late 2011 according to official figures, but looks set to post some growth in the third quarter.

Sep 12, 2012

Government to pick new BoE chief by year end

LONDON (Reuters) – The government will pick a replacement for Bank of England Governor Mervyn King by the end of the year, seeking a central bank chief whose powers will stretch from healing the economy to policing the banks.

Formally advertised for the first time, the post calls for “a person of undisputed integrity and standing” – a sign that any commercial bankers tainted by this year’s market rate-setting scandal need not apply.

Sep 11, 2012

Britain to pick new central bank chief by year end

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – The British government will pick
a replacement for Bank of England Governor Mervyn King by the
end of the year, seeking a central bank chief whose powers will
stretch from healing the economy to policing the banks.

Formally advertised for the first time, the post calls for
“a person of undisputed integrity and standing” – a sign that
any commercial bankers tainted by this year’s market
rate-setting scandal need not apply.

Sep 11, 2012

New BoE chief to be chosen by year end – Osborne

LONDON (Reuters) – A new governor of the Bank of England to succeed Mervyn King will be chosen by the end of the year through “fair and open competition”, chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday, with advertisements for the job to run from Friday.

King is due to step down as governor on June 30, 2013, after two five-year terms in office. His successor will serve a single eight-year term and take on greater responsibility for financial stability and regulation as well as monetary policy.

Sep 7, 2012

Fastest UK production since 1987 signals recession end

LONDON (Reuters) – British industrial output grew at its fastest pace in 25 years in July, making up all the ground lost due to an extra public holiday in June and raising the chances that the economy is crawling out of recession.

Separate data from Office for National Statistics showed cost pressures for firms were rising again, a potential concern for the Bank of England, which is hoping that falling inflation will ease pressure on cash-strapped British consumers.

    • 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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