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From the News of the World to the Wall Street Journal, George Osborne is winning endorsements

Recently Mr Osborne's economic strategy was endorsed by Patience Wheatcroft, Editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe. Today he won the backing of the News of the World.

Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 16.43.10Interviewed for Britain's best-selling newspaper (watch here) George Osborne says that he regards the 50p tax band as a "temporary" feature of the tax system:

"For a would-be chancellor to say temporary is a clear statement. But I can't say to the public sector we need wage restraint and at the same time cut the 50p rate. I couldn't even think of doing something about it while at the same time I was asking public sector workers to accept a pay freeze. We are all in this together. I am not going to balance the budget on the backs of the poor."

Mr Osborne also backs compulsory financial education in schools. "Not enough people," he told the newspaper, "realise how important it is to save, to understand the details of credit card statements, to be able to compare different APRs and the like."

The newspaper concludes that Osborne is the "man with the plan":

"Thanks to a bit of arm-twisting by the News of the World - he finally rose to the challenge by facing a grilling by financial experts. And suddenly we see him in a new light. Mr Osborne tells us he will scrap Labour's 50 per cent top rate of tax and offer free financial MoTs for every family in Britain. He reveals he also wants to reverse Labour's one per cent increase in employers' National Insurance which firms warn would cost 57,000 jobs. These are all positive changes which will help improve the lives of ordinary people."

To be honest I don't think George Osborne said anything new but he'll be glad to have the endorsement of The Sun's stable mate.

Tomorrow he gets the endorsement of Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, signs a joint op-ed with Mr Osborne in the FT. Here's a key section:

"Virtually all policy analysts agree that the path to renewed prosperity in Europe and the US depends on a credible plan to re-establish sound public finances.  Without such a plan, the travails which have hit Greece and which are threatening Portugal and Spain will soon enough threaten the UK, US, and other deficit-ridden countries.  In the recent duel of macroeconomists, one camp has called for early budget consolidation, followed by further measures over five years. We agree. Others want more fiscal stimulus, delaying deficit reduction. We believe delaying the start of deficit reduction would put long-term recovery at risk. Such an approach misjudges politics, financial markets, and underlying economic realities."

ConHome thinks it's time for Mr Osborne to put a price on what putting "long-term recovery at risk" means. Yesterday we proposed a poster campaign, inspired by the 1992 tax bombshell campaign; Vote Labour and pay £1,440 more on your mortgage.

Tim Montgomerie


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