Osborne: "Together we will ride out the storm"

George Osborne MP, pictured speaking on the la...

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CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE  slammed the Trade Unions in his speech to conference by saying if they go on strike, it would be “irresponsible.”

 

His comments came as yesterday 35,000 trade unions, led by the chiefs of the major ones, marched in Manchester in protest at the painful cuts being made by the coalition government.

 

One leader of the Unite Union Len McClusky said that the unions would put on a coalition of resistance – with the threat of general strikes if necessary in the coming months near to Christmas.

 

Osborne shrugged off claims that the government didn’t have a growth plan – and said to the country: “Together we will ride out the storm.”

 

He said that he would toil to keep interest rates low, and get credit flowing in banks.

 

He announced a freeze in council tax – but there were no major policy announcements unlike last week when Labour announced a five point plan at their conference.

 

The major announcement made by shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was a temporary VAT cut for one year – which they claim would boost consumer spending.

 

His comments on the economy come as a senior Tory backbencher Andrew Tyrie slammed the government’s growth strategy last weekend claiming it wasn’t credible or coherent.

 

Osborne said on the debt: “This is a debt crisis. You can’t borrow your way out of debt.”

 

He slammed shadow Chancellor Ed Balls by claiming that having on your CV, “working for Gordon Brown” not a very good career move.

 

And on Ed Miliband’s predator and producer rhetoric, he quipped that it was foolish to be reading from no 11 Downing Street, the FT in one hand, and the Guardian in the other, ticking off what is a good business, and what is a bad one.

 

On Quantitative Easing, (printing money,) Osborne said he backed the Bank of England’s policy, but said it must ensure that it gets to the small to medium size businesses that need the investment.

 

“Investment, investment. Investment means jobs,” he added.

 

He effectively told conference that he would be staying firm on deficit reduction, but that he would be freezing council tax.

 

On calls from Labour, and others to spend and borrow more, he said it would be foolish to simply pile on more debt for future generations to pay off.

 

He said that more spending and borrowing in the economy would lead to higher interest rates – which would be a disaster for those already struggling to make ends meet.

 

He paid tribute to the resolve of his buddy William Hague, who had years earlier campaigned to Keep the Pound, and said: “Thank God Britain didn’t join the EURO.”

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