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Found 14 results

  1. George Osborne today announced he is quitting as an MP but will carry on “fighting for that Britain I love” as editor of the Evening Standard. In a letter revealing his decision to Conservatives in his Tatton constituency, he said he was thrilled to be taking charge of “a great newspaper”. The former Chancellor, 45, made plain that he intends to stay active in political debates on issues he is passionate about. And he hinted he could make a political comeback in future, saying he was leaving Westminster “for now”. Stepping Down-Quitting all the same to me. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/george-osborne-quits-as-mp-saying-he-is-leaving-westminster-for-now-a3518001.html
  2. Everyone deserves a second chance. Even a third. This, perhaps, was George Osborne’s thinking when he decided that absolutely nobody would make a better chair of his new Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) than Angela Knight, CBE. The former Conservative MP became quite famous as the apologist for two of the country’s most hated and contaminated trades, first banks, then energy companies. As a simplifier of taxes, not so much. Anyone easily baffled by tax regulations and curious to know what Knight’s approach might be, as a professional elucidator, might want to look at the pages of evidence she has delivered, as a witness, to various parliamentary committees investigating banking misdemeanours. In 2013, Knight was asked, for instance, how the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), led by her throughout the financial crisis, could continue to be responsible for the BBA Libor rate, following the Barclays scandal. As far as I understand her response, BBA Libor was barely supervised by the BBA – which body people should not “conflate with its members”. Moreover: “the processes and procedures that a contributing bank has to follow are within the regulated environment, and therefore the processes and procedures of a regulated entity are for the regulator”. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/13/angela-knight-office-tax-simplification-banking-energy
  3. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2015/nov/25/spending-review-george-osborne-autumn-statement- No doubt this will be good news for quite a few people.
  4. Millions of pensioners are likely to join a rush to invest in new Pensioner Bonds after the Chancellor announced that they would pay 4 per cent interest over three years. George Osborne announced the bonds will have the “best available interest rates”, saying they would provide “certainty and comfort” for over 65s. One year bonds will pay an annual interest rate of 2.8 per cent, while three year bonds will pay 4 per cent. The new bonds are expected to sell out within weeks when they are released in January. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11290450/Pensioner-bonds-to-pay-4-per-cent-rate-announces-George-Osborne.html The new Bonds at a glance What are the Bonds? Lump sum investments providing capital growth Choice of terms – 1-year and 3-year Designed to be held for whole term, but can be cashed in early with a penalty equivalent to 90 days’ interest When do they go on sale? January 2015 – exact date to be announced Available for a limited period Who can invest? Anyone aged 65 or over Invest by yourself or jointly with one other person aged 65 or over How much can I invest? Minimum for each investment £500 Maximum per person per Issue of each term £10,000 What about interest? 1-year Bond 2.80% gross/AER* 3-year Bond 4.00% gross/AER* Fixed rates, guaranteed for the whole term Interest added on each anniversary The tax position Interest taxable and paid net (with basic rate tax taken off) Higher and additional rate taxpayers will need to declare their interest to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay the extra tax due Non taxpayers, and those eligible to have any of their interest taxed at the new 0% rate (which starts from April 2015), can claim back the tax from HMRC Sorry, we’re not currently part of the R85 scheme so we can’t pay the interest gross on these Bonds *Gross is the taxable rate of interest before the deduction of UK Income Tax. AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) is a notional rate that illustrates what the annual rate of interest would be if the interest was compounded each time it was paid. Where interest is paid annually, the quoted rate and AER are the same.
  5. Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce plans to begin selling off the Government’s shares in Lloyds Banking Group. The Sunday Times reports Osborne will use his Mansion House speech on 19 June to reveal how much of the Government’s 39 per cent stake in the bank will be sold off. The Financial Times says the Treasury is considering a sale of 10 per cent of its stake before the end of the year. Estimates suggest the total stake is worth around £17bn. Under the plans, the public will be offered discounted Lloyds shares at the same price available to institutional investors such as pension funds and fund managers. The Government also plans to offer incentives for investors to hold on to the shares for the longer-term. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/george-osborne-set-to-reveal-lloyds-sell-off-plans/1072471.article
  6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22025035 it looks like osborne is hoping to capitalise on the nation's repulsion of the philpotts as another way of turning people against those on benefits has he so little shame that he would attempt to use 6 children's tragic deaths as a vehicle to attack benefit cklaimants
  7. Chancellor George Osborne today confirmed he has held talks with the Bank of England about the possibility of extending the Funding for Lending scheme. Announcing today’s Budget, Osborne hinted the scheme could be extended but did not provide any further details. More: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/budget-2013/budget-13-osborne-reveals-talks-with-boe-to-extend-fls/1068069.article
  8. Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed money raised through FSA fines will be donated to the armed forces. Speaking in his Budget announcement today, Osborne said money from regulatory fines including Libor will be used to fund combat stress help initiatives and Christmas boxes given to armed troops serving abroad for the next two years. Osborne said: “Those in the financial sector who have demonstrated the very worst of values are paying to support those in the armed forces who are demonstrating the very best of values.” In October, prime minister David Cameron said the Government will use £35m raised through FSA fines to support the armed forces. Cameron said it is not fair that money goes back into the banking industry in the form of fee reductions. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/budget-2013/budget-13-osborne-confirms-fsa-fines-to-go-to-military/1068073.article
  9. George Osborne has defended Britain's embattled big banks and said their survival was good for society and the country needed more, risking inflaming deep public anger over lenders following a string of mis-selling scandals. The Chancellor told the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards there were not enough banks for customers to choose from in the country. "We don't have a huge number banks, sadly, large banks. I would like to see many more," he said. He was giving evidence on the draft Financial Services Banking Reform Bill and defending reforms to ring-fence banks so no lenders would be "too big to fail". Sir John Vickers's independent commission recommended ring-fencing high street banking businesses from their riskier investment banking arms to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis in the future. Some commission members suggested a full separation might be better. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9693322/George-Osborne-defends-big-banks-as-good-for-society.html
  10. He and his staff held only standard class tickets, but sat in first class. They initially refused to pay the difference in fares, (£160 each). Fortunately, the conductor didn't allow himself to be bullied, and extracted £160 from both of them... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20008342 Such a shame there wasn't a PACE trained RPI that morning... Osborne would have went the same way as Mitchell. (Held 2 x Advance Standard tickets, booked train only - however, he chose to get a different train as well as sitting in a different class, refused to move to standard class, and then refused to pay for 1st). Probably could have got a Section 5 to stick... definitely Byelaw 19. Still £320 and some bad publicity...
  11. At the Paralympic medal ceremony
  12. Plans for dramatic cuts in government subsidies for onshore windfarms are being drawn up by the Treasury in a move that seriously undermines David Cameron's claim to be running "the greenest government ever". The Observer has learned that George Osborne is demanding cuts of 25% in subsidies, a reduction the industry says would "kill dead" the development of wind power sites. The Treasury's stance has put the chancellor at loggerheads with the Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey, whose party strongly supports more renewable energy. Osborne, whose reputation has taken a dive following his widely criticised budget and a subsequent string of U-turns, has been under heavy pressure from Tory MPs to reduce the billions spent on green commitments. In February more than 100 Conservative backbenchers wrote to the prime minister demanding cuts to the £400m a year public subsidies for windfarms which they see as evidence of too much Lib Dem influence over coalition policy. A prominent opponent of onshore wind power is the Duke of Edinburgh, who is said to have described turbines as useless and to believe they will never work. Tim Yeo, Tory chairman of the all-party energy and climate change select committee, said the Treasury and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), which is headed by Davey, were following different agendas. "This is an example of where Decc's attempts to stimulate renewable energy are being hampered by Treasury intervention," he said. "The way to deal with this – and realise the savings the Treasury wants to achieve – is to have more onshore renewable energy, which requires lower levels of subsidy, and less offshore, which requires more. We need to change the balance." Critics accuse the chancellor of pandering to Conservative backbenchers who do not want turbines built in their constituencies, believing they will damage their prospects of re-election. They argue the cuts make no economic sense, because alternatives, such as siting the turbines in the sea, would be much more expensive. "This is a reckless act of political opportunism by a chancellor keen to boost his popularity among his backbench MPs," said Juliet Davenport, chief executive of renewable electricity supplier Good Energy. However, Chris Heaton-Harris, a Tory MP who led the backbench campaign for cuts, said he was greatly encouraged. "I want to see a dramatic cut," he said, arguing that onshore wind power was expensive compared with gas and that it would drive up fuel poverty. However, proponents of wind power point to rocketing gas prices and the air pollution and climate change benefits of renewable energy technologies, of which onshore wind is the cheapest. "It is crackers to kill dead the deployment of the cheapest renewable technology if you genuinely are worried about the cost," said Gordon Edge, policy director at industry group RenewableUK. A source at one of Britain's big six energy companies said: "It's perverse – you get less renewable energy bang for your buck. It only makes sense if you don't like windfarms in your constituency." After becoming party leader in 2005, Cameron adopted the slogan "vote blue, go green" as he made the environment the centrepiece of his drive to modernise the Conservatives. Shortly after entering a coalition with the Lib Dems he promised to lead the "greenest government ever", adding that "nowhere are long-term decisions more needed than actually in the fields of energy and climate change and environment". But Osborne has made clear that he does not believe the green agenda can remain a priority when cash is short and the deficit needs to be reduced. With his own political fortunes on the slide, Tory MPs believe he can be persuaded to back their anti-green campaigns. This year the government angered green campaigners by announcing plans to slash subsidies for solar energy, a move the industry roundly condemned. There are more than 3,000 wind turbines in the UK countryside and the debate has become more polarised in the past two years, with a tripling of local opposition. However, a large majority of the public remains in favour of wind power, even if it is placed within a few miles of their home. The Treasury declined to comment, but a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which runs the subsidy scheme, said: "It is vital that our support for renewable electricity both encourages investment and represents value for money for consumers. The government will publish the new support levels shortly." According to sources, the decision has been delayed by the Treasury "crawling all over" the new rates put forward by Davey. Decc's initial proposal in October, delayed by wrangling, was for a 10% cut in the support for onshore wind under a scheme called the "renewables obligation". But the Observer was told the Treasury has demanded a 25% cut. "The delay means the whole of the UK's renewables investment portfolio is being jeopardised by Osborne's pandering to Tory backbenchers," said a source. "It is total prioritisation of politics over the economic interests of the country." Davenport said: "The 10% proposal was the product of independently commissioned analysis by Decc. If the Treasury swoops in at the last minute and shortcuts that process, the credibility of the government's renewables policy will be in tatters, along with the prime minister's claim to be the greenest government ever. Of course, some might argue that is precisely what the chancellor wants to achieve." The setting of subsidy levels is a negotiation between industry and government, according to Michael Liebrich, chief executive of analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who made an influential presentation to David Cameron and the world's leading energy ministers in May. "If you cut too fast, you damage the industry and the supply chain, but if you go too slow, you create subsidy junkies," he said. Liebrich's presentation showed the global average cost of onshore wind was falling, but he said using that to justify cuts in the UK was wrong: "Just because the best windfarms in the world are competitive [with gas] does not mean the average ones are yet." He added that large scales, fast planning and good grid connections made US windfarms much cheaper than those in the UK. There are 320 onshore windfarms in UK, a third of them in England. Many more are awaiting construction or planning permission. With thanks to the Guardian.
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