Government Bonds Correspondent
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Feb 20, 2014

UK’s Osborne promises budget of ‘hard truths’ to balance economy

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister George Osborne will promise on Thursday to deal with “hard truths” about Britain’s unbalanced economic recovery in his annual budget next month, emphasizing a need for more manufacturing exports.

Speaking in Hong Kong en route to a G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Australia, Osborne’s speech is likely to be one of his last before he delivers his budget statement on March 19. The budget will be his final chance to meaningfully alter fiscal policy before a May 2015 election.

Feb 19, 2014

Britain sets out new test to limit EU migrant benefits

LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Britain laid out new rules on
Wednesday designed to limit the access that migrants from other
European Union states have to the country’s welfare system.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to curb
immigration into Britain in an effort to quell concerns about
migrants entering the country to claim benefits, referred to as
‘benefits tourism’. The move may also stop voters defecting to
the anti-immigration UK Independence Party.

Feb 18, 2014

Britain to back plans for new oil and gas regulator -source

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – British ministers will next week
back plans for a new regulator to ensure North Sea oil and gas
firms squeeze the maximum economic benefit from Britain’s finite
natural resources, a government source said on Tuesday.

The North Sea is thought to contain billions of barrels of
hard-to-extract oil but with many platforms and pipelines coming
to the end of their working lives, time is running out to get at
them.

Feb 18, 2014

UK asks insurers to act swiftly on payouts after floods

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – British ministers demanded
insurance firms act swiftly to pay out cash to flood-hit homes
and businesses on Tuesday as the government shifted focus from
the day-to-day management of severe flooding to coping with the
aftermath.

Parts of Britain have been under water since December after
a series of unusually heavy storms inundated large swathes of
the British countryside, flooding thousands of homes, damaging
transport links and shutting down businesses.

Feb 16, 2014

Barroso ruffles Scottish feathers over EU membership

LONDON (Reuters) – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said states breaking away from existing EU countries would struggle to gain EU membership, further complicating Scottish nationalists’ already uncertain plans for independence.

Barroso said in an interview on Sunday it would be nearly impossible for the European Union to grant membership to such states – days after the British government said an independent Scotland would not be able to keep sterling as its currency.

Feb 13, 2014

Partisan politics put UK climate change policy at risk-minister

LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Britain’s efforts to combat
climate change are in danger of disarray because “partisan
politics” may scare off investors, Energy Minister Ed Davey said
on Thursday.

Davey, a member of the junior coalition partner Liberal
Democrats, criticised both Prime Minister David Cameron’s ruling
Conservatives and the opposition Labour party for endangering
plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage
investment in cleaner energy sources.

Feb 13, 2014

UK manufacturers’ group warns against ‘gamble’ on EU exit

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s membership of the European Union is too important to the country’s businesses to risk a public vote on the matter, the head of Britain’s largest manufacturing group said on Thursday, speaking against plans for a 2017 referendum.

Britain’s troubled relationship with Europe has been put up for renegotiation by Prime Minister David Cameron, who wants to make sweeping changes to the way the bloc works and then hold an in/out referendum if he wins a 2015 election.

Feb 11, 2014

Order! Order! Weekly parliamentary showdown turns off British voters

LONDON (Reuters) – A combination of too much noisy, childish behavior and too few straight answers at the weekly parliamentary grilling of Prime Minister David Cameron is putting British voters off politics, a political research group said on Tuesday.

The green benches of the debating chamber fill to capacity every Wednesday to hear Cameron field questions from the leader of the opposition Labour party and other lawmakers in what is often a raucous, ill-tempered 30 minutes of political jousting.

Feb 10, 2014

UK’s Liberal Democrats plan spending rise once deficit cleared

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
said on Monday he would raise public spending in line with
economic growth as soon as Britain’s public finances are back
under control, as he set out his party’s policies before a 2015
election.

Clegg, a Liberal Democrat and leader of the junior partner
in Britain’s two-party coalition, said he was committed to
balancing the country’s books by 2017-18. But he said that once
that target was achieved he wanted investment in schools, health
care and other services to rise as the economy grows.

Feb 10, 2014

Germany’s Merkel to visit UK as Cameron seeks EU reform backing

LONDON (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the future of the European Union with Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to London this month, as Britain seeks support for a sweeping overhaul of EU treaties.

Cameron has yet to spell out all his proposals, but has made it clear he wants to curb immigration from new member states, cut red tape and improve competition.