The contours of the coalition’s autumn growth offensive are beginning to emerge. The impasse that existed before the summer appears to have at least eased. On Marr this morning, George Osborne announced that the Treasury is now working on plans for a small business bank which will please Vince Cable who has been pushing for this for a long time. At the same time, Osborne also backed more airport and runway capacity in the South East and announced that the government will announce further measures to simplify the planning system.
His message: ‘we have to do more and do it faster’. In line with this approach I understand that Vince Cable will announce supply side reform to employment rights in the next fortnight including a cap on payouts for unfair dismissal and changes to the ACAS code regulating disputes between employers and employees.
The Tory election strategy, which Osborne will remain in charge of, is based around convincing the public that Labour are — in the words of one senior Downing Street figure — ‘snake-oil salesmen’, that there’s no easy way to get the economy moving again. So, Osborne repeatedly declared that there’s ‘no easy route to a magical recovery’.
One thing Osborne needs to watch is his slightly peevish reaction when anyone mentions criticism from the right. He might find David Davis and the rest sounding off infuriating. But he would be well advised not to show it.
UPDATE The British Chambers of Commerce has released a statement saying it is “heartened that the Chancellor and his colleagues are actively considering our long-standing proposal for a British Business Bank” which would “sit alongside commercial banks and help fund new and growing businesses across the UK.” It would, say the BCC, “be a game-changer for long-term growth” and “create a decisive legacy for this government.”Tags: Andrew Marr Show, Autumn reshuffle 2012, Conservatives, Economy, George Osborne, UK politics, Vince Cable