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Osborne cuts red tape for employers but Andrew Tyrie questions overall growth strategy

By Tim Montgomerie
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As you'll see from this morning's newslinks it's Tory Time in every newspaper. Cameron and IDS in the Mail. Osborne in The Telegraph. Hammond in The Times. Gove in The Guardian. Fox in the FT. Mitchell in the Independent. The main message that the leading government ministers want the public to get is that they have a plan for the economy. Cameron promises Mail readers that he'll slash red tape (a proposal that has been greeted sceptically by the IEA's Mark Littlewood). The Chancellor meanwhile confirms plans to make it harder for workers to take employers to tribunals. The estimated cost of business from disputes with employees is £1 billion a year. And - rightly so - there's no budging on the deficit goals. Low interest rates would be jeopardised, warns Osborne in his Telegraph interview:

“The most disastrous thing for the British economy at the moment, the thing that would cripple British families with mortgages, destroy businesses, put people out of work would be a big rise in interest rates.”


George Osborne's strategy comes under fire, however, from Andrew Tyrie - the Conservative Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee. Although a supporter of the deficit plan he accuses the Coalition of an incoherent and inconsisent approach to economic policy. He tells The Times (£):

“The Big Society; localism; the green strategy — whether right or wrong; these and other initiatives have seemed at best irrelevant to the task in hand, if not downright contradictory to it; likewise the huge spending hike on overseas aid and the cost of the Libyan expedition.”

In the latest ConservativeHome survey we suggested a number of options for boosting the economy that wouldn't be inconsistent with the Chancellor's fiscal conservatism:
  • Cuts should be faster and deeper so that tax rises could have been avoided
  • Cuts should be faster and deeper so that the Coalition could cut taxes to boost growth
  • Genuine reductions in red tape
  • Abolition of the 50p tax rate
  • Trade unions won’t be able to take industrial action unless 50% of workers participate in strike ballots
  • The Bank of England should undertake more quantitative easing
  • Better childcare policies that allow women to afford to work flexibly
  • Regionalisation of the minimum wage so that it’s lower in the north
  • Tougher measures to force the banks to lend to business
  • Negotiate opt outs from EU regulations
  • Reduce the burden of maternity rights on small businesses

The results will be published tomorrow on BBC1's Politics Show.


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