James Forsyth

Osborne’s successful first outing on the international stage

Osborne's successful first outing on the international stage
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George Osborne’s Asia trip has now been rounded off with a meeting of the G20 finance ministers in South Korea and he is now heading back to Britain and his Budget preparations. The trip must be marked up as a success for Osborne. In its communiqué, the meeting implicitly endorsed Osborne’s two major moves since becoming Chancellor, cuts this year and the setting up of the Office of Budgetary Responsibility:  ‘We welcome the recent announcements by some countries to reduce their deficits in 2010 and strengthen their fiscal frameworks and institutions’

No one can doubt that the Tories have comprehensively won the argument for in-year cuts. With a growing domestic and international consensus behind the need for faster deficit reduction, Osborne will have considerable political cover to set out in detail in the Budget how he plans to reduce Britain’s structural deficit.