Uk’s Osborne Seeks Political Capital From Recovery Before 2015 Vote

UK boat company suspends service after blaze

“What I offer is a serious plan for a grown-up country,” he told delegates. “That will create jobs. Keep mortgage rates low. Let people keep more of their income – tax free. It is the only route to better living standards.” LIVING STANDARDS The Conservatives have been forced to react to a promise by Labour, at its own conference last week, to freeze people’s energy bills if elected, a pledge that helped push up its lead in some opinion polls from around three to 11 points. But with fluctuating polls, some showing Labour had almost no lead only a few weeks ago, its prospects of winning the election in May 2015 remain uncertain and the most likely scenario remains a hung parliament that would probably lead to a two-party coalition government of some kind. Osborne, who is also one of Prime Minister David Cameron’s closest election advisers, used his speech to promise reform of Britain’s welfare system, saying he wanted to end its “something for nothing” culture. His answer: to oblige 200,000 long-term unemployed to undertake activities such as community work or face losing a portion of their welfare benefits. Osborne’s pitch was meant to appeal to working Britons who, according to polls, feel the country’s annual 200 billion pound ($320.7 billion) welfare system is too generous. Even though Miliband’s Labour Party is ahead in the polls overall, voters still consider Cameron the politician they trust with Britain’s economy, the world’s sixth largest. Labour says the Conservative-led coalition government has failed millions of ordinary families who are poorer in real terms than at the 2010 election, while some investors have cautioned that Cameron risks inflating a property bubble with his mortgage guarantee plans.

“And provided the recovery is sustained, our goal is to achieve that surplus in the next parliament.” Osborne’s original plans to fix Britain’s public accounts have been pushed back as the economy grew much more slowly than forecast in recent years. When the Conservatives ousted Labour from power in 2010, Osborne said he would work over the five-year parliament to nearly eradicate the current budget deficit as measured in cyclically adjusted terms – which do not include the effects of swings in the economy or investment spending. Those plans are now running behind that schedule. In his speech on Monday, Osborne adopted a new target, saying he would aim for a budget surplus in absolute terms – including investment and economic swings – during the next parliament which is scheduled to run until 2020. Carl Emmerson, deputy director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a thinktank, said the deficit by that measure was forecast by Britain’s official budget watchdog to be 42 billion pounds in 2017-18, the last year in its forecasting period. With the economy now showing signs of recovery, rising tax revenues and lower welfare bills could leave the structural part of the deficit at 12 billion pounds – or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product – by 2017-18, which Osborne would need to close in the following years to meet his new target. “In normal times that would look like a large but achievable number. In the current climate, it’s worth stressing, it’s a lot less than the current rate of austerity,” Emmerson said. FIVE MORE YEARS OF CUTS Osborne’s plan depends on his party winning the next election. One opinion poll on Sunday said it was 11 percentage points behind the opposition Labour party. It would also be largely reliant on the ability of a re-elected Conservative government to stick to tough austerity targets it has already announced for the years up to 2017-18. In his speech, Osborne proposed tougher new rules for people claiming jobless benefits and said that by spending less on welfare and routine costs, a new Conservative government would pave the way for lower taxes at some point in the future. He also said a new Conservative government would aim to increase investment spending by at least the same pace as economic growth if it won the 2015 election. The Labour party has criticised Osborne for not spending more on infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund added to the pressure in May, saying that bringing forward capital spending would help the economy out of its post-recession stagnation, although a recovery has accelerated in recent months.

UK Cameron’s party pledges budget surplus if it wins election

Search for share prices Terms Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE, and NYSEAmex when available. See also delay times for other exchanges . Quotes and other information supplied by independent providers identified on the Yahoo! Finance partner page . Quotes are updated automatically, but will be turned off after 25 minutes of inactivity. Quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes. All information provided “as is” for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. Neither Yahoo! nor any of independent providers is liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. By accessing the Yahoo! site, you agree not to redistribute the information found therein. Fundamental company data provided by Capital IQ . Historical chart data and daily updates provided by Commodity Systems, Inc. (CSI) . International historical chart data and daily updates provided by Morningstar, Inc .

UAE, UK launch joint military exercise

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Navy and UK Royal Navy Task Group yesterday launched joint military exercises across the UAE to safeguard maritime security, economic prosperity, and freedom of navigation in the region, a top UK commander said on Monday. The war games codenamed Sea Khanjar, which will last until October 9, will see the UK Response Force Task Group deploys a range of the Royal Navys capabilities, said Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander UK Task Group, which forms part of the Royal Navys Response Force Task Group (RFTG). RFTG is the UKs high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, ready at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking as required by our government. Commodore McAlpine said he was proud to be commanding the Task Group in this years Cougar deployment. This demonstrates the Royal Navy and UKs enduring commitment to the security of the UAE and is an excellent opportunity to build on our strong defence relationship. The Response Force Task Group was formed in 2011 and is based around a Lead Commando Group and provides the UK with a deployable, very high readiness, flexible capability. In order that this capability can be fully maintained for UK contribution to international defence and security, the task group deploys annually, conducting a series of exercises, to something we call Cougar, Commodore McAlpine said. He added this years Cougar deployment has already operated in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, before arriving in the Gulf. Cougar 13 involves exercising with Gulf partner nations in order that together we can safeguard our shared interests of maritime security and economic prosperity, and effectively cooperate on issues such as freedom of navigation in the region. While in the Gulf my Task Group will exercise its capability and continue to strengthen relationships with key partners in the region. The Task Group is not the only Royal Navy presence in the Gulf region. RFTG has ships permanently in the Gulf region, building on our persistent presence engaged with our partners on matters of defence and security. Commodore McAlpine said the Response Force Task Group will be exercising across the UAE. We will be active offshore, and on land. This gives the Royal Navy an excellent opportunity to test the full extent of our ability to undertake force protection measures, air defence exercises and also for the Royal Marines to be able to exercise their amphibious capabilities. He said the exercise will be jointly commanded by the UK and UAE military and will be conducted offshore and on land. This gives the UK and UAE an excellent opportunity to test the full extent of our collective ability to undertake force protection measures, air defence exercises and also for the Royal Marines and UAE Presidential Guard to exercise their amphibious capabilities.