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 271.

    For God's sake it's September of course large companies and banks will say things are getting better as they are getting ready to calculate their Christmas bonuses. Not sure which corner Osborne is referring to but the one I see still has a very big hill to climb just after it !

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    Of course the economy is fake growing and no doubt it will fake grow next year prior to the election.. As Gideon borrows more to disguise the real figures. Meanwhile in the real world use of foodbanks has risen by 800%, A+E is in crisis, libraries and public buildings are closing and we spend all our spare cash on bills.

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    Sorry Mr O. You're wrong. Government & Society need (together) to cure long term ills- GDP / balance of payments/ education valuing practical skills with academia- & eradicating greed, wealth gaps and gets people back to a work ethic. Kids taking gap years and lying in bed with a new car dad's just bought them & the like etc etc etc. We need a fearless but unifiying leader with vision.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    Ah, another corner. How many is that now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    Never mind. There is always enough cash for tomahawk missiles and the like to kill civilians in Syria. Civilians will be killed whether we like it or not and then we in the West will have another middle eastern country hating our guts. How can we get out of the mire when the west wants to waste money on wars which are of no concern to us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    We have people moaning about jobs paying £7ph and contracts that only last 6 months. I think people need a bit of a reality check. If you have skills you will get paid a lot more. The fact that people expect they are worth more despite being useless shows us how deluded people are. If you were in many parts of the world you would be deep deep trouble.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    Just keep saying the George. One day someone might just believe you.


    My 55yr old mother works for Sainsburys and can barely pay her bills.

    I am still unemployed, having been made redundant in 2010, because employers simply don't seem to wish to employ me.

    And yet I am supposed to believe the economy has turned a corner and things are getting better.

    Yeah really!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    What Osborne actually means is that the economy has finally turned a 90 degree bend and is plummeting down around the U the bend even faster that it was.

    The only people that get anything out of this are the wealthy, the banks and the corporations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    Yes, the UK economy is definitely turning a corner as I can now afford Heinz baked beans compared to the ASDA own brand, however, I still have to buy the ASDA own brand puffs as the sugar puffs are still a little pricey, hope that helps to prove if the economy is actually improving.

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    Have a look at the latest this countrys borrowing is still going up so why is Osbourne still borrowing and I thought that all the cuts where to stop the borrowing The cuts are to fund the rich as if the borrowing the size of their wages and expense claims when will people see the conservative are only in this to make them and the rich richer before anybody notices and tries to stop them

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    GO HOME GEORGE, YOUR DRUNK! The economy is not fixing as your parasitic party is in power.

    Corporate interests over the PEOPLE = The Conservatives / Lib Dems.

    Congratulations people: YOU VOTED THEM IN!

    Now stand up and DEMAND an election before we are dragged into further financial chaos by these nasty, greedy, selfish people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    This thread really sounds like an alcoholic blaming the alcohol for his problems.

    I really hope Labour win the next election so you lot can see what a mess really looks like.


  • rate this

    Comment number 259.

    It's a start, and it's also pleasing to hear good news about the economy, rather than bad news which we're all very familiar with.

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    Who has doubled the UK's net debt figure from £700m to £1.4 trillion, in just 5 years?

    Osbourne knows the economy is on its knees. So he conjures an age-old trick - let's boost the housing market before the election.

    After 2015 the inevitable will happen - the whole economy will collapse like a pack of cards under the sheer weight of debt which will cripple the UK for decades to come..

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.


    "Austerity hasn't been so bad..."

    Tell that to the 500,000 people who used foodbanks last year or to the 2.51 million that cannot find work. Might also be worth mentioning to the people dying on hospital trolleys as Cameron continues his slaughter of the NHS.

    Still, Help to Buy will create another nice big housing bubble ready to burst just after the election, allowing more cuts. Yay.

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    NO NO, your all mistaken. He was on about it's turned a corner for politicians, bankers and gentry.. He didn't mean the large majority of the population. Since when has our petrol, home bills and food bills meant anything?

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    I don't believe anything this shower tells me at all. Am I being cynical or is there a general election just around the corner too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    Am I missing something? Wasn't the country in growth when Gideon took over and we are now borrowing more, we are a worse credit rating, we have worse services and the UK standard of living has been ripped apart and Gideon is blowing his trumpet for what? Has he forgot he took the UK into a double dip recession and nearly a triple!!

    The man has neck I give that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.


    203 The Tory Central Office Chaps who flooded Flanders blog with Pro Osborne Tripe are massively outnumbered Here by normal members of the public.

    Says Steve from Labour party HQ. You criticise when growth is negative and you criticise when growth is positive so at least you're consistent. But it doesn't say much about your analysis, insofar as there is one.

  • rate this

    Comment number 252.

    UK economy is turning corner, George Osborne says

    I'll just quote Miss Mandy Rice-Davis: "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?"

    Whether anybody believes the delusional schoolboy is another matter, of course.


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