Davos 2011: Osborne seeks move from stability to growth
Published: 29th Jan 2011 10:48:44
George Osborne says the UK must move from "securing financial stability" to "securing consistent growth".
The chancellor's plan to achieve this will include debt reduction, cutting corporate tax rates, and reforms to the health and education sectors.
And he called on firms to spend their cash reserves to revive the economy.
Mr Osborne also told Davos delegates he was unhappy with UK GDP figures this week which showed a 0.5% contraction in the last quarter of 2010.
"We did have disappointing GDP figures this week, which no-one was forecasting," he said.
He said that despite the adverse weather effects of the UK's coldest December for 100 years, the figures were still disappointing.
"So the challenge for the government in the next year or so is to remove the supply side obstacles to growth," he said.
"The [other] challenge to me is that UK corporates are sitting on cash on their balance sheets equivalent to about 5% of GDP. What I've got to do in the next few months is to persuade them to start spending that money."
Mr Osborne also pointed out that his government was rebalancing the UK economy, by encouraging manufacturers and exports.
Among the Davos movers and shakers, Britain's rapid approach to cutting its borrowing stands out as a bold experiment”
He told the World Economic Forum delegates in Davos that the UK was putting its "house in order" and addressing its problems, and praised the eurozone for also seeking a greater economic stability with its bloc.
But, echoing David Cameron's comments, he also called for greater US-style competitiveness with the European Union.
On banks, Mr Osborne said he wanted to see them lend more into the UK economy, and to pay themselves smaller bonuses than last year.
The chancellor's vision for the economy was supported by Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond, who said: "What the Chancellor said resonates very much.
"Jobs is the biggest key, after a period of financial and monetary stimulus the developed countries will be reducing public spending.
"There are not going to be jobs produced from the public sector. It is time to shift the mantle of growth from the public sector to private sector."
Mr Diamond was in the news earlier this month when he said the time for "remorse" from bankers, widely blamed for being a major cause of the global financial crisis in 2008, was over.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Davos 2011: Osborne seeks move from stability to growth [Online] (Updated 29th Jan 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/126395/Davos-2011-Osborne-seeks-move-from-stability-to-growth [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Scottish independence would leave working people north and south of the border worse off, Ed Miliband has claimed.