Government Bonds Correspondent
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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.

Mar 27, 2014

UK’s anti-EU leader accused of being apologist for Russia before vote

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s political establishment accused the leader of the country’s anti-EU party on Thursday of being an apologist for Russia and its seizure of Crimea, going on the offensive after he bettered the deputy prime minister in a debate on Europe.

Nigel Farage, the head of Britain’s UK Independence Party (UKIP), lambasted the European Union over its handling of Ukraine in the debate on Wednesday evening, saying the bloc had provoked Russia into taking action and had “blood on its hands”.

Mar 26, 2014

MPs vote to cap welfare spending despite political divides

LONDON (Reuters) – MPs from Britain’s three major parties on Wednesday voted to limit how much the government can spend on welfare, despite deep disagreement over the future of a social security system that accounts for almost a third of all government spending.

The 210 billion pound per year welfare spend has been the subject of fierce debate among political parties as the government tries to close its budget deficit and cut a 1.2 trillion pound national debt.

Mar 26, 2014

UK lawmakers vote to cap welfare spending despite political divides

LONDON (Reuters) – Lawmakers from Britain’s three major parties on Wednesday voted to limit how much the government can spend on welfare, despite deep disagreement over the future of a social security system that accounts for almost a third of all government spending.

The 210 billion pound per year welfare spend has been the subject of fierce debate among political parties as the government tries to close its budget deficit and cut a 1.2 trillion pound ($1.98 trillion) national debt.

Mar 25, 2014

UK’s Cameron wants more fracking after Crimea ‘wake-up call’

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should top Europe’s political agenda, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, calling the Crimea crisis a “wake-up call” for states reliant on Russian gas.

Escalating East-West tensions over Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine have endangered the energy security of some European states, including Germany, who are heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies.

Mar 25, 2014

West, Russia signal line drawn in Ukraine crisis

THE HAGUE/MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) – Russia and the West
sought to draw a provisional line under the Ukraine crisis on
Tuesday after major industrialised nations warned Moscow of
tougher economic sanctions if it goes beyond the seizure of
Crimea.

After initially scoffing at a decision by the United States
and its allies to boycott a planned Group of Eight summit in
Sochi and hold a G7 summit instead without Russia, the Kremlin
said it was keen to maintain contact with G8 partners.

Mar 23, 2014

Britons sceptical of success in Cameron’s EU renegotiation bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of Britons doubt that Prime Minister David Cameron will succeed in a bid to renegotiate the country’s relationship with the European Union, polling data released on Sunday showed.

The large-scale poll showed public opinion split on whether Britain should leave the 28-country bloc but highlighted widespread discontent among voters about the ways in which the country benefits from its EU membership.

Mar 21, 2014

UK budget may hit funding for infrastructure revamp

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Britain’s government may have
damaged its own ambitions to revamp the country’s infrastructure
using private sector money after new economic policies hobbled a
key industry’s incentive to invest.

Policies announced on Wednesday in the annual budget
scrapping the requirement for millions of retirees to buy an
annuity with their savings has weakened a key pillar of business
strategy for the British life and savings industry.