Government Bonds Correspondent
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Apr 23, 2014

UK says breakaway Scotland would struggle to pay welfare bill

LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland will feel the strain of a rising welfare bill that could put vulnerable social groups at risk if voters choose to break away from Britain later this year, a British government study said on Thursday.

Ahead of a September 18 independence referendum, the British government’s campaign to keep a 307-year union with Scotland intact is battling to hold on to a shrinking poll lead over nationalists, who say that a split would give Scotland the freedom to create a fairer and more prosperous nation.

Apr 14, 2014

UK government study lends weight to Osborne’s case for tax cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne’s case for cutting taxes if his Conservative Party wins a 2015 election was bolstered on Monday when a government study said lower taxes would stimulate economic activity and partially offset a loss of revenue.

A reduction in the real rate of fuel duties, enacted in 2011 by the coalition government, will increase Britain’s economic output by 0.3 to 0.5 percent over the next 20 years, according to a government model which aims to better capture the full effects of changes in fiscal policy.

Apr 13, 2014

UK’s anti-EU party hits new high in poll ahead of Europe vote

LONDON (Reuters) – Voter support for Britain’s anti-European Union UK Independence Party (UKIP) is at a record high according to one opinion poll on Sunday, reflecting a wider pattern of growing support for the party ahead of European elections next month.

The rising popularity of UKIP, which calls for an immediate withdrawal from the EU and tighter immigration laws, threatens to split the vote for Prime Minister David Cameron at European parliament elections in May and a national election in 2015.

Apr 10, 2014

UK’s Cameron says rivals’ views on Europe ‘extremist’

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron described rival parties’ views on the European Union as “extremist” on Thursday as he launched his bid to ward off a threat from an anti-EU party ahead of European Parliament elections.

Polls show the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns for tighter immigration rules and to leave the EU, could win the most votes in next month’s European vote, pushing Cameron’s Conservatives into third place behind the opposition Labour Party.

Apr 8, 2014

Britain tightens rules to deter welfare-seeking foreign migrants

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it was stepping up restrictions on foreign job seekers’ access to welfare payments as Prime Minister David Cameron strives to cut immigration ahead of a national election next year.

Polls show voters are concerned about immigration levels, a trend reflected in the rising popularity of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) which opposes “open door immigration” and has drawn support away from Cameron’s Conservatives.

Apr 3, 2014

Britain may make firms standardise cigarette packets next year

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – Britain looked set to force
tobacco companies to standardise cigarette packaging after a
government review said on Thursday that the move would help cut
smoking rates, although ministers were criticised for delaying a
final decision.

A review commissioned by the government in November showed
“compelling” evidence that plain packaging would improve public
health and cut the number of child smokers, junior health
minister Jane Ellison said.

Apr 1, 2014

Biggest backer of Labour Party warns it could cut funding

LONDON (Reuters) – The biggest financial backer of Labour Party said on Tuesday it could withdraw its support and funding unless the left-leaning party came up with a credible alternative to austerity that wins next year’s election.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the Unite trade union, said Labour would lose the next election if it continued to only offer voters “a pale shade of austerity”, and that a loss would force the union to discuss breaking its links with the party.

Mar 31, 2014

Osborne changes tone on economy with ‘full employment’ target

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne on Monday sounded a brighter note on the economy as the country gears up for an election in just over a year, and set a target of “full employment”.

With economic policy likely to form a major electoral battleground in 2015, Osborne said he wanted Britain to have the highest employment rate of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialised economies.

Mar 31, 2014

Britain’s Osborne changes tone on economy with “full employment” target

LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) – British finance minister George
Osborne on Monday sounded a brighter note on the economy as the
country gears up for an election in just over a year, and set a
target of “full employment”.

With economic policy likely to form a major electoral
battleground in 2015, Osborne said he wanted Britain to have the
highest employment rate of the Group of Seven (G7) leading
industrialised economies.

Mar 28, 2014

UK and Germany say EU reform must be fair to non-euro members

LONDON (Reuters) – Germany joined Britain on Thursday in calling for European Union reforms that are fair to (EU) countries outside the euro zone, bolstering British Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to placate eurosceptics at home.

In a joint editorial in the Financial Times, British and German finance ministers George Osborne and Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was important that EU countries outside the euro zone – like Britain – are not disadvantaged by deeper integration of the currency union.