Coffee House

Osborne pushes upbeat message on economy

7 September 2012

9:04 AM

7 September 2012

9:04 AM

George Osborne gave a speech to a CBI dinner in Glasgow last night. It wasn’t the ideal day to do it: the OECD did downgrade its growth forecasts for Britain to minus 0.7 per cent, having previously predicted a 0.5 per cent rise. But the Chancellor remained upbeat, saying:

‘The economic outlook remains uncertain but there are some positive sings. Our economy is healing – jobs are being created, manufacturing and exports have grown as a share of out economy, our trade with the emerging world is soaring, inflation is down, much of the necessary deleveraging in our banking system has been achieved, and the world is once again investing in Britain.’

He also pointedly said that there was not a ‘credible or convincing alternative economic strategy’ on offer currently, nodding to Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’ rather wonkish speech on redistribution earlier in the day. Today Osborne announced a tax break to encourage investment in older oil and gas fields.

Another positive sign emerged this morning, with Amazon announcing it is to create 2,000 more jobs by opening three more distribution centres. David Cameron has already leapt on the announcement, arguing that it ‘shows that the UK has the infrastructure and talent to continue to attract major investments from leading companies such as Amazon’.

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  • Kevin

    Interesting headline from The Washington Post:
    “Fed Chairman Bernanke benefited from low interest rates to refinance his home mortgage.”

    Has anyone asked any questions of Osborne and the Monetary Policy Committee in this regard?

  • George_Arseborne

    What happened to my comment? Paste my comment please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What type of censorship is this?

    • George_Arseborne

      Thank goodness , it has been published 7 minutes after pleading.

      • Curnonsky

        Yes, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

  • George_Arseborne

    Oh deary me!!!!! Another Osborne worshiper.

    He is a failure that is why he was booed by the nation.

    Secondly because of his economics incompetency the heavy weight and political guru Ken Clarke have been drafted in as Supervisor General of The state purse.

    He lacks simple Arithmetic and I do recommend that he goes back and sit in for Gove Level when introduce.

    How on earth a person of sort was given such responsibility and despite his colossal failure he is still in same position and being praised by likes of Isabel Softman?

    Are the Tories void of great MPs that can be at the helm of the economy and do something great for this nation? Why stick with failure eh!!!!!!!?

    • Paddy

      George_Arseborne: Don’t worry so much. He’s got to be better than Brown or Balls.

  • Pom

    Amazon. 2000 jobs. How many are full time jobs? Could you start asking this question?

    • TomTom

      Probably all part-time zero-hours jobs for new graduates

  • triquet

    Dear, oh dear, the lad really needs to get out more and see the real world.

  • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

    Who will get those 2,000 jobs from Amazon? Will it be real British people? Or just people who have managed to get to Britain? What percentage of new jobs go to immigrants? Is it 85%?

    • dalai guevara

      Looking for work Wally? Wanna do that job, do you – putting stamps on parcels?

      Immigration is only questionable economically, if immigrants take out more than they bring to the table. Got some figures to prove that?

      • Archimedes

        Not necessarily. If an immigrant comes over and takes a job that would otherwise have gone to some British chap on benefits, then HMRC gets an additional few pounds in taxes from that immigrant, but that does not cover the outgoings that need to be spent on maintaining the British chaps welfare benefits – which would otherwise have decreased significantly, had he got the job instead.

        • dalai guevara

          You have clearly never run your own business – anyone in the blue chip/ innovative/ skilled industries knows that we will employ the best we can get, because we want to move our business forward, irrespective of skin colour or origin. The best, Archimedes. Are you the best?

          • Archimedes

            Well, I probably should have fleshed out the context of my argument more, but I thought it would have been apparent.

            The point at which immigration becomes economically significant in the way I suggested, is at the low-skilled, low-paid end of the spectrum. You’re suggestion in your first post of ‘putting stamps on parcels’ indicated that you understood this. The difference at that level, between ‘the best’ and ‘the average’ is quite marginal, and the productivity gains associated are also quite marginal. Coupled with that, the interview processes that are conducted for these kinds of jobs, are not necessarily effective in singling out ‘the best’, because the returns would not be significant enough. ‘The best’ does not really have much bearing in this situation.

            It should be quite clear that at the high-skilled end of the spectrum, immigration is quite economically advantageous to us, and the tax revenues gained will outstrip any benefits expenditure.

            • dalai guevara

              Cool!

              We all go out for meals quite regularly (?), have you not asked yourself this question: why is there not a single British waitress/ chef/ sandwich maker left in London to make us smile when we get good service? Are you saying all the homies are too skilled to do even that? What are you saying?

              • Archimedes

                I’m not sure you really understood what I wrote – I didn’t say anything about UK workers being too skilled, my entire argument was about the difference between the levels of skills of an immigrant and a UK born worker are negligible in these jobs.

                To answer your specific point about London. Firstly, you can’t quite make a direct comparison between London and UK-wide. In the specific cases you mention: I have a lot of French restaurants near me (in London), and when I go to them I see a lot of French waitresses and chefs. If you go to the Cadogan for afternoon tea, you see lots of English waiters. There is a diversity in London restaurants and the make-up of the staff is expected, as a result of that. I’d question the quality of any Thai restaurant that was full of English staff.

                On sandwich shops – Pret for example – my point about wages and incentives applies. It’s not surprising that UK born worker is not prepared to work at a wage that affords them a less comfortable lifestyle than they have become accustomed to. It’s also not surprising that foreign worker is prepared to work at that wage, given that it affords them a better lifestyle than they are accustomed to.

                • dalai guevara

                  I did understand that fully, I was being flippant. You have quite rightly outlined ‘commitment’ since.

                  My last point on restaurants is perhaps this: what about the Polish/ Ukrainian waitress in the ‘Italian’ joint, or the high numbers of African helpers/ sous-chefs in ‘South-American’ eateries? Not exactly ‘terroir’ we are talking about here…

                  London has gone through a transformation that still awaits the rest of the UK. The pressure on inner London housing stock has become so immense, that not a single low skilled worker can afford to live in a ten mile radius. This explains the transport subsidies granted only for London, without which prices (ex housing) would have had to go up.

                • rubyduck

                  dalai guevara “London has gone through a transformation that still awaits the rest of the UK.”

                  Well, thanks for that. I’m looking forward to it.

                • dalai guevara

                  Instead of looking forward to it, you could sit down now and write a letter to your MP, asking him what the heck they were thinking by removing the affordable housing requirement from all new developments. Seriously, it’s as simple as that.

          • Archimedes

            I should also add, that what is intrinsically valuable at this level is price, and commitment. Given that we have a minimum wage in this country, and that the minimum wage does not afford a lifestyle which a British born person might expect, given the relative prosperity of our country, British born workers are at a disadvantage when it comes to commitment. On the other hand, an immigrant coming from a less prosperous country may be able to expect to maintain a standard of life here, greater than he might enjoy in his own country, by working at the minimum wage in this country. Therefore, it pins the market to the minimum wage, and crowds out home employment by decreasing the incentive for the natives, while increasing the incentive for immigrants.

            • dalai guevara

              That, I recognise is some honest analysis – does this warrant a second thought of raising the minimum wage (in hard economic times)? Coupled with the idea of removing 16h benefits red tape?

              No, perhaps not, that would be too good for one day. Let’s just do at least the latter.

              • Archimedes

                I don’t agree with enforced minimum wages, so I don’t think that raising it will fix the problem. Whatever the solution, it needs to be in restoring market pricing. I think that natural market pricing would be a degree higher than the current minimum wage, were the minimum wage not there. It would obviously be disastrous, in my opinion, to remove the minimum wage now that we have it, so we have to find a way to allow the market to move away from pricing wages at the minimum wage, without removing the minimum wage. I think there is also a problem with wage bargaining not happening in these low paid jobs, as well – which is probably where the problem needs to be fixed.

                • dalai guevara

                  Agree with some but cannot see how market pricing would not lead to ‘Manchester capitalism’-esk slum standards. We already find low-wage status quo supported by subsidies to transport, the vested interests in London are quite plain to see.

    • dalai guevara

      Looking for work Wally? Wanna do that job, do you – putting stamps on parcels?

      Immigration is only questionable economically, if immigrants take out more than they bring to the table. Got some figures to prove that?

  • Alan Eastwood

    Osborne speaks, or sings as the quote you pasted tells us Ms Hardman.
    Goodness, I do feel sorry for the members of the CBI having to listen to this little man.
    The question is, Is anyone listening? This is the one man who should have been sacked,
    That he wasn’t and indeed allowed to frame the whole re-shuffle exercise will prove, I believe, to be Cameron’s greatest mistake.
    Obviously I would love the economy to be turning in our favour. But as we have all seen this year, one sunny day does not a summer make. How long before Osborne is found wanting again?

  • Alan Eastwood

    Osborne speaks, or sings as the quote you pasted tells us Ms Hardman.
    Goodness, I do feel sorry for the members of the CBI having to listen to this little man.
    The question is, Is anyone listening? This is the one man who should have been sacked,
    That he wasn’t and indeed allowed to frame the whole re-shuffle exercise will prove, I believe, to be Cameron’s greatest mistake.
    Obviously I would love the economy to be turning in our favour. But as we have all seen this year, one sunny day does not a summer make. How long before Osborne is found wanting again?

    • Alefrith

      An economy that has been virtually destroyed over a period of 13 years does not suddenly recover in the space of two.Osbourne at least is travelling in the right direction despite an additional crisis in the world economy and comments like your “How long before Osbourne is found wanting again” make me realise just how pig ignorant and/or partisan some peaple are.

      • Alan Eastwood

        Gosh the insults are flying from people who cannot spell Osborne- NOW Macky Dee and Alefrith cannot be one and the same, could they?
        I do think Coffee House should adopt the ConHome restrictions/

    • http://twitter.com/mackydee1977 Macky Dee

      The alternative to Osbourne is Balls. Who has said he wants to borrow even more. We are in such a big mess, it will takes more than 2 years to fix. Do you think there is someone out there who would have fixed the biggest deficit since the war, fixed in 2 years? You are deluded. How come you’ve only given Osbourne 2 years???

      • Alan Eastwood

        And what happened in Canada? At least I may be deluded,in your opinion, but I can spell Osborne! I wouldn’t give Osborne two weeks so where does your two years come from? Rather sad response from Number 11.

  • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

    I would have thought he’d have been better lauding the creation of the new jobs in UK car manufacturers or at Dysons. The trouble with Amazon is that any jobs created there are almost certainly cannibalised jobs from other parts of the retail sector. Unfortunately Amazon’s new distribution centres don’t export product from the UK, unlike a BMW or Jaguar Land Rover factory.

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