Update 16 Mar 06… Read the full George Osborne Interview Transcript
I went to Conservative party headquarters yesterday to interview George Osborne for the News of the World.
You’ll be pleased to hear he was aware of my blog where I asked for people to suggest questions for George Osborne as people in his office had looked through it. Let’s hope they didn’t show him every post in the forum though!
It was a panel session, also there were:
- John Wright – Honorary National Chairman of the Federation for Small Businesses
- Douglas McWilliams – founder & CEO for Centre for Economic and Business Research
- Graham Leach – Chief Economist and Director of Policy for Institute of Directors
As you can see it was rather business heavy so I left them to tackle jobs, entrepreneurship and the macro-economy plus taxation to an extent (Douglas McWilliams asked “why levy the 50% tax when it’s proven that it will actually cut revenue?” – that was an interesting exchange).
As the News of the World set this up, it’s inappropriate for me to discuss what the answers were, but you can read the full story there. I’ll be interested to see how it’s written up (though if the dictaphone tape’s around there’s a chance I may be able to put a transcript of my bits on the site). Update Note Sun 14 March: See the NOTW article
However as a teaser…
Subjects I got to ask about…
These include quite a few from the forum suggestions (all based on IF he were to be chancellor). As you can tell these are from my scribbled meeting notes…
- Financial education. This was the one I pre-warned about by putting it deliberately in my earlier blog as a way to lobby as Labour’s introduced compulsory financial education from Sept 2011 and I wouldn’t want any derailment.
- Energy. What’ll he do about energy company profiteering?
- Savers. What can be done to help savers, as all easy access accounts are currently losings accounts due to inflation?
- Mortgages. What’d he do to help mortgage customers trapped into high rates because their house price has dropped and you now need 70% LTVs? Does he think it’s a ticking time bomb once rates rise?
- Pensions – When will he link state pension to earnings? Does he support the 2012 auto enrollment?
Subjects I didn’t get to…
These were on my list but I ran out of time before asking, a couple were briefly touched on in discussion though.
- The Unbanked. What’ll he do about the 1.2 million unbanked? It’s a blight on society many criminals are thought to reoffend as there’s no access to bank accounts leaving them in the black economy. And others are stymied from living a normally financially included life by this process.
- Credit cards. Does he support the credit card moves to over minimum repayments and allocation of payments? See MSE says ‘no’ to credit card minimum repayment hikes for more.
- Stamp Duty – Will he stop the silly stepped system, where for selling your house for £1 more you can pay thousands more and make it work gradually (as with income tax)? See my old the UK’s worst tax blog for more.
- Bank Charges. What will he do to stop unfair bank charges?
- Tax. Has he ever done his own tax return? If so knowing how bad it is will he simplify the tax system?
- Low Income for Pensioners. What would he say to the pensioner I talked to on a radio program, who was doing everything right but still had basic outgoings higher than her income (annoyingly I had left this as my finale but didn’t get there)?