UK economy is turning corner, George Osborne says


George Osborne: "There are still those calling for the government to abandon its economic plan... but to do so would be disastrous"

The UK economy is "turning a corner", Chancellor George Osborne has said in a speech in London.

Mr Osborne cited "tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery", but stressed it was still the "early stages" and "plenty of risks" remained.

Mr Osborne said that recent months - which have seen more upbeat reports on the economy - had "decisively ended" questions about his economic policy.

Labour has dismissed the comments.

The speech comes ahead of the Conservative Party conference later this month, and after a number of forecasts and surveys pointed to an acceleration in the UK's economic recovery.

Revised gross domestic product figures showed the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year, with predictions it could reach 1% for the third quarter.

And last week the OECD economic agency sharply increased its growth forecast for the UK economy this year to 1.5% from an earlier estimate of 0.8%.

The Conservatives' fear is that in future voters may not accept that current policies need to be maintained

Mr Osborne said: "The economic collapse was even worse than we thought. Repairing it will take even longer than we hoped.

"But we held our nerve when many told us to abandon our plan. And as a result, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of the British people, Britain is turning a corner.

"Of course, many risks remain. These are still the early stages of recovery. But we mustn't go back to square one. We mustn't lose what the British people have achieved.

"This is a hard, difficult road we have been following. But it is the only way to deliver a sustained, lasting improvement in the living standards of the British people."

The government's "economic plan is the right response to Britain's macroeconomic imbalances and the evidence shows that it is working", he said, in his address to an audience of academics, think tanks and businesses.

Start Quote

Those in favour of a Plan B have lost the argument”

End Quote George Osborne

Mr Osborne said that those who advocated an alternative economic path could not explain recent improvements in the economic data.

And "the last few months have decisively ended" the idea that the scale and pace of his measures were to blame for much slower than projected growth over recent years, he added.

"Those in favour of a Plan B have lost the argument," he said.

Heeding calls to abandon the government's economic plan in order to spend and borrow more would have undermined the recovery and "would be disastrous" now, Mr Osborne said.

He pledged to remain "vigilant" to threats from abroad - including growing instability in the Middle East pushing up the oil price and a fresh eurozone crisis - as well as at home.

John Cridland, director-general of business lobby group CBI, said the economy was gathering some momentum, business confidence was rising and he expected growth to continue into next year.

"We have always said that deficit reduction should be at the top of the government's 'to-do list', but it must be coupled with an unrelenting focus on growth-boosting measures like infrastructure projects," he said.

'Rewrite history'

Start Quote

The chancellor isn't declaring victory on the recovery just yet - he's too careful for that. But he is declaring victory over Ed Balls”

End Quote

And he dismissed claims he was encouraging "the wrong sort of growth" - led by debt-fuelled consumer spending - insisting the evidence suggested "tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery".

He said there were many tough decisions still to be taken and that "the only sustainable path to prosperity is to reject the old quick fixes and stick to the course we have set".

Labour accused Mr Osborne of "extraordinary complacency".

Opposition leader Ed Miliband told the BBC that the chancellor was "saying to people that he has saved the British economy at a time when, for ordinary families, life is getting worse".

"If ever you wanted proof that the government is out of touch with most people, that it is on the side of the few, George Osborne has provided it today," he added.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    0 hour contracts for all

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    So if things have got worse but not by as much as expected that makes a recovery does it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    Great American
    We have 51 states and we seem to know our country better than yourselves.

    Reading between the lines, You brits seems to know what is going within our shores

    I realise it is inevitable you have to look up to us, but this is becoming distressing


    I assume you are joking. Do you understand the word "numptie".

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    Is he woken up yet? Al he has doen is saving the rich on the top with...
    taken 175 billions of savers
    printing cheap money
    holding interest low for all the iresponsible houseowners
    sitting out the storm as USA and Europe recover
    .....he has done nothing, absolute nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    I would have thought the economy was more round the bend than having turned the corner! Ha.. I think I said in a posting earlier this year that things would move faster than predicted, and they are. I also said George could take about as much credit for this as he could for a nice thunderstorm we had that week. This remains true. The people of the UK have made this better not the government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    What's that I can hear in the distance?

    Oh yes, it's the sound of the Labour frontbench falling flat on their noses as the carpet is pulled from under their feet!

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    It must be all ok then.

    Great news for the City of London, the rest of the UK is still in recession.

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    Never slow to praise himself Gidoen's at it again.

    Yes George ' We all feel so much better, thanks for the lesson and we won't forget how you helped us all - well not quite all ' ...Matron will be along in a minute.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    I'll probably get shot for saying this, but I feel George Osborne is right and that our economy is turning a corner. There seem to be many more jobs available on the market than there were 6 months ago and something must be driving this job creation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    Does he actually believe it himself.

    Is he really that simple?

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    @170 lightmare Nowhere near as funny as watching the righties blindly ba their way into the corporate slaughteryard! The fact is that Osborne has borrowed more than Blair and Brown put together. The truth is that all politicians are incapable of solving our debt crisis and they know it. They also know it is political suicide to admit that fact. Which leaves us all dangling over the cliff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    @ 167 Raining
    "Recovery built on pay cuts, pay freezes, zero hour contracts, benefit cuts and redundancies". What else would you prescribe for a country overpaying itself, living way beyond its means with a bigger deficit than in wartime? I actually don't think the Tories have done very much more than steady the ship while natural economic forces - no recession lasts forever - did their stuff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    “Pay day loan” is illegal in Asia. It only operates in underground society. I don’t know why it is legal in the UK. There are a lot of our national policies against the fundamental business principles and cooperate social responsibilities. Government turns a blind eye.

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    6 Minutes ago
    George Osborne one word describes you in most people here ‘legend’"

    I think you could replace leg there well "bell" thanks.
    Or do you mean his incompetence is legendary?

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    @anthony, you mean the same Tories who took us into an economic mess in 1923, and 29, took us into the first, second, third and fourth recessions since the war, and left us with a totally consumer led economy in the 80's that to this day means we live on borrowed money and time? If that's what you call being able to look after the economy, well...

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    Just been laid off from my six-month temporary job because they would rather employ a Polish girl to do it instead of me - they can pay her less because she has been working here for less than 12 weeks. If they kept me on, they'd have to either increase my salary or give me a fixed-term contract, and they don't want to do that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    You see we must make people poorer to make them better off, just like how we have to make war in syria to make the people there safe.

    Can't believe people still fall for that bull, it's just a scam designed for the sole benefit of a bunch of CEOs and politicians who already have more money than anyone could ever reasonably need. They are drunk with power and just keep getting away with it.

  • Comment number 194.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    He shouldn't have said anything. He was keeping his head down there for a while and letting Cameron and Hague make fools of themselves for a change.
    I bet Cameron made him say something. Probably threatened to pull his pants down and roast him. Needed to divert the flak, you see old boy.

  • Comment number 192.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


Page 42 of 52


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