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Dec 16, 2014

UK government seeks to lock in budget goals as election nears

NEW YORK/POOLE, England (Reuters) – Britain’s government promised on Monday to put its ambitious budget targets on a more formal footing, in a largely political move by Conservative Chancellor George Osborne to embarrass the Labour party.

Cutting Britain’s budget deficit has been the main economic goal of the coalition government since it came to power in 2010, and Osborne wants to keep it at the top of the agenda in the run-up to a national election in May 2015.

Dec 15, 2014

UK government sets more ambitious budget target as election nears

LONDON/POOLE, England (Reuters) – Britain’s coalition government promised on Monday to put its ambitious budget targets on a more formal footing, in a largely political move meant to embarrass the Labour party.

Cutting Britain’s deficit has been the main economic goal of the country’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition since it came to power in 2010, and Chancellor George Osborne wants to keep it at the top of the agenda in the run-up to a national election in May 2015.

Dec 13, 2014

Wanted: Scottish Labour leader to swing 2015 election

LONDON (Reuters) – When the once mighty Scottish Labour party selects a new local boss on Saturday, national party chief Ed Miliband will be holding his breath: The decision could make or break his chances of winning power in wider Britain.

The winner of Scotland’s Labour crown will have to unite the divided party while attempting to tackle Scottish nationalists who have seen support surge since Scots voted not to quit the United Kingdom in a Sept. 18 independence referendum.

Dec 13, 2014

Wanted: Scottish Labour leader to swing Britain’s 2015 election

LONDON (Reuters) – When the once mighty Scottish Labour party selects a new local boss on Saturday, national party chief Ed Miliband will be holding his breath: The decision could make or break his chances of winning power in wider Britain.

The winner of Scotland’s Labour crown will have to unite the divided party while attempting to tackle Scottish nationalists who have seen support surge since Scots voted not to quit the United Kingdom in a Sept. 18 independence referendum.

Dec 10, 2014

UK’s Miliband tries to shed economic incompetence image before election

LONDON (Reuters) – Ed Miliband, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, will seek to rally support for his economic policy five months before a national election by portraying planned Conservative spending cuts as “extreme” and driven by a heartless ideology.

Neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Prime Minister David Cameron’s right-leaning Conservatives, Labour’s economic competence rating is sharply lower, with rivals often telling voters the party mishandled the 2008 financial crisis and left behind the biggest peacetime deficit since World War Two.

Dec 10, 2014

UK ‘Google tax’ will target inter-company payments

LONDON (Reuters) – A new British tax on companies that shift profits out of the country and into tax havens will target inter-company fees for services like use of intellectual property, according to a Treasury document seen by Reuters.

Companies will also be required to report their potential liability to the new tax, which the note said will sit outside the existing corporate tax system. That is intended to avoid legal challenges under existing tax treaties with countries like Ireland, a major conduit for shifted profits.

Dec 3, 2014

Osborne set to concede missed budget goal as election nears

LONDON (Reuters) – Chancellor George Osborne looks set to concede on Wednesday that his push to fix the public finances has suffered another setback thanks to slow pay growth, six months before voters head to the polls.

Osborne will stress he is determined to fix the public finances in the coming years in a half-yearly update on the budget that he will use to reinforce his election message of further austerity.

Dec 2, 2014

Government pilots hands-on homebuilding to help ease housing shortage

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government will pay contractors directly to build houses on a former military base in eastern England as it seeks ways to ease a housing shortage that has become a potent political issue.

Under a trial scheme announced on Tuesday, the government will commission the building of up to 10,000 new homes at the disused Royal Air Force base in Cambridgeshire. The new model, which effectively cuts out property developers, is designed to speed up the delivery of new homes.

Dec 2, 2014

UK pilots hands-on homebuilding to help ease housing shortage

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – The British government will pay
contractors directly to build houses on a former military base
in eastern England as it seeks ways to ease a housing shortage
that has become a potent political issue.

Under a trial scheme announced on Tuesday, the government
will commission the building of up to 10,000 new homes at the
disused Royal Air Force base in Cambridgeshire. The new model,
which effectively cuts out property developers, is designed to
speed up the delivery of new homes.

Dec 1, 2014

PM Cameron to China: Hong Kong ban on MPs ‘mistaken’

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron believes a Chinese decision to prevent a committee of British members of parliament visiting Hong Kong is mistaken and has only served to heighten concerns around the former British colony, his spokesman said on Monday.

On Sunday, the chairman of parliament’s foreign affairs committee said Chinese embassy officials had told him he and other British members of parliament would be refused entry to Hong Kong to undertake research related to an inquiry about progress towards democracy there.