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Daily View: Verdicts on George Osborne's plan for the economy

Clare Spencer | 09:20 UK time, Tuesday, 4 October 2011

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Commentators make their judgements on the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's speech to the Tory party conference.

Fraser Nelson says in the Spectator's Coffee House blog that George Osborne has a convincing leadership style, important for when "hell breaks loose":

"Slowly, we're moving away from the unanswered question of 'where's your growth strategy?' to a new message: 'Fear not, I will guide you through this period of global economic uncertainty.' Osborne is a brilliant political strategist, and has chosen 'leadership' as the theme for the next few years. Given what we saw from the Labour and Lib Dem conferences, that's pretty solid ground for the Tories."

But in the New Statesman George Eaton isn't so impressed. He calls Mr Osborne's response to the growth crisis feeble:

"There were few signs of a change of gear. Osborne's response to the growth crisis? A re-announced £805m council tax freeze that will do nothing to cancel the damage wrought by his £12bn VAT rise."

Similarly Matthew Engel suggests in the Financial Times that any confidence Mr Osborne displayed was misplaced:

"If the government has a plan to save the country from recession, no one seems able to explain coherently what it might be. Including Mr Osborne. But he exudes such total confidence in his own righteousness and such contempt for the doubters that one begins to think he really must be right. Naked? No, no, that's just a flesh-coloured suit."

Meanwhile, the Telegraph's editorial welcomes the policies in the speech including the announcement of business loans:

"He has instructed the Treasury to explore a strategy for credit easing, which will see the Government underwriting loans to small- and medium-sized firms. Will this leave a Conservative-led government picking winners in the fashion of 1970s Labour? We trust not, and await the small print with interest. If it helps generate business confidence, it will be worthwhile."

Finally, the Independent's Andrew Grice proposes that the decision to stick to cuts may be politically motivated:

"The Chancellor's official line is that moving to a Plan B would spook the financial markets. There is another reason: it would amount to an admission that Plan A was wrong and attract the biggest U-turn headlines since last year's election, dwarfing the changes to the NHS reforms and sale of England's public forests."

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