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Daily Archives: January 6, 2011

David Cameron to invest in 'industries of the future'

Richard Mawdsley (left) of Peel Holdings and Prime Minister David Cameron tour the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters development on Merseyside

David Cameron has promised to boost investment in the ”industries of the future” such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals and green energy while at the same time encouraging growth beyond the South East to balance the economy.
January 06, 2011 (KATAKAMI / TELEGRAPH.CO.UK) — Speaking to business leaders in Manchester, the Prime Minister said the Government is doing everything it can to drive growth in the UK economy.

He said the Coalition’s ”tough fiscal action” to cut the budget deficit did not mean the Government could not have a strategy to promote growth.

The Government wanted to reform planning laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to expand and ”lay out the red carpet” for start-up businesses, he said.

Mr Cameron added that it was necessary to tax spending with the VAT increase as part of a plan to share the burden with public sector cuts.

He said: ”Make no mistake – this Government is doing everything we possibly can to drive growth and make the next decade the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history.”

Mr Cameron insisted the Government “was getting behind business” by cutting corporation tax and ensuring regulation was limited.

He said: “The international evidence is clear: with tax rises taking a quarter of the strain and spending cuts three-quarters, we are striking the balance that is fair and good for growth. None of this is easy.

“But be in no doubt: balancing the books over this Parliament is absolutely essential to restoring confidence in our economy – and that is why we are sticking to this path.

“The second thing you need is a strategy for growth that goes beyond just sorting out the mess of the public finances – and that’s exactly what this Government has.

“In the end it’s not us in Whitehall who will create growth, but you in your offices, your shops and your factories. But you need some very basic things from us to help create wealth and jobs.”

Mr Cameron said the Government also wanted to see the country’s tourism industry expand as well as attract businesses to develop the green energy technology such as wind turbines and solar panels.

He added: “Getting behind tourism, green energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, the industries of the future – all this is crucial.

“But it would be a big mistake if we stopped at those big ticket industries. Because if you look at where growth has come from in recent years, you see that it’s the small, innovative companies that hold a lot of the potential.

“Over and over again studies show that around one in 20 companies – the small, high-growth firms – are responsible for half of new job creation.

“So far from ignoring the start-ups and the small players, we’re laying out the red carpet for them.”

He said the Royal Wedding and Olympics provided platforms for economic growth.

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on economic growth

British Prime Minister David Cameron

 

Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech in Manchester on 6 January 2011 on economic growth.

Read the speech :

January 06, 2011 (KATAKAMI / NUMBER10.GOV.UK) — It’s a new year – and this coalition has one over-riding resolution to help drive growth and create jobs right across our country.

Today I want to argue that there are three essential parts to our plan.

One: you’ve got to have proposals for restoring health to our public finances.

Two: you’ve got to have a strategy for growth.

And three: you’ve got to make sure that growth is balanced and spread more fairly across our country.

Let me take each of those in turn.

First, restoring health to our public finances.

Let us be clear.

If this coalition didn’t have a credible plan to cut the deficit and bring stability to our public finances, we wouldn’t be here today in Manchester talking about growth.

We’d be talking about rising bond yields and rocketing interest costs. The difficulties of servicing our debts. The danger of our credit rating being downgraded. Falling confidence in our economy.

We wouldn’t be looking at the danger zone that other European countries have fallen into; we’d be in that danger zone ourselves.

Still there are those who argue that tough fiscal action and a plan for growth are somehow alternative strategies.

I say that is incredibly misguided and it denies the evidence.

Because if you don’t have a plan to balance the books, you have no confidence.

And if you have no confidence, you have no growth.

It’s as simple as that.

It’s because we’ve taken tough action that Britain is out of the danger zone today and able to grow.

At the end of last year, the European Commission forecast that Britain would grow faster over the next two years than Germany, France, Japan and the United States.

That’s why despite all the calls to turn back, to delay, to take an easier option – we will stick to this course.

Of course government has got to pay down its debts in a way that helps growth rather than hinders it.

That’s why we’re making cuts to welfare but protecting science.

That’s why under real pressure to cut capital expenditure plans we’re giving the green light to massive infrastructure projects, so that in the coming years there’ll be more electrified rail – including here in the North West.

The Mersey Gateway is going ahead.

The Crossrail tracks are going down.

The superfast broadband cables are going to be laid.

And high speed rail is going to criss-cross the country.

And our pro-growth agenda is why – as difficult a decision as it was – we have raised VAT instead of national insurance.

Yes, a tax on what people spend is a tough thing to do and clearly it will have an impact, but not nearly as big an impact as a tax on jobs.

And to those who say we shouldn’t raise any taxes at all, I would argue that you have to strike a balance.

The international evidence is clear: with tax rises taking a quarter of the strain and spending cuts three quarters, we are striking the balance that is fair and good for growth.

None of this is easy.

But be in no doubt: balancing the books over this Parliament is absolutely essential to restoring confidence in our economy – and that is why we are sticking to this path.

The second thing you need is a strategy for growth that goes beyond just sorting out the mess of the public finances – and that’s exactly what this government has.

In the end it’s not us in Whitehall who will create growth, but you in your offices, your shops and your factories.

But you need some very basic things from us to help create wealth and jobs.

Yes, economic stability and low interest rates.

Yes, lower taxes and less red tape – which is why we’re cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 and we’ve brought in a new one-in, one-out rule for regulation.

But government’s support for business cannot end there.

That’s laissez faire – and it is not what this coalition is about.

We’re about actively getting behind business.

What does that mean?

It means being clear about which are the high-growth industries and working strategically to strengthen them.

The pharmaceutical industry is already a big strength in our economic armoury – but we can’t be complacent about that.

So we’re introducing a Patent Box – offering a ten per cent tax rate on patent income – to encourage companies not just to experiment and innovate here but to invest here and employ people here to exploit those innovations.

And I have personally been on the phone to the heads of some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, like Amgen and Pfizer, to encourage them to do just that.

The global green energy market – everything from wind turbines to home insulation to solar panels – is going to be worth trillions of pounds in the years to come.

I’m determined that the UK should have a big piece of that pie – and just look at what we’ve already done.

Supporting wave and tidal technologies.

Bringing in legislation for a Green Deal to get millions of homes insulated and create thousands of new jobs at the same time.

Putting £60 million into updating our ports so that wind turbines can be built here and manufacturers can be based here.

Tourism is another industry we’re getting behind.

The rewards for growth here are huge.

Just consider.

For every half a per cent increase in our share of the world tourism market we can add £2.7 billion pounds to our economy, and more than 50,000 jobs.

With a Royal Wedding, an Olympic games and a Diamond Jubilee around the corner, now is the time to go for it and increase that share.

Just yesterday I met with businesses who are helping to create a £100 million marketing campaign to roll out the welcome mat and say to the world – ‘come on over to Britain’.

Getting behind tourism, green energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, the industries of the future – all this is crucial.

But it would be a big mistake if we stopped at those big ticket industries.

Because if you look at where growth has come from in recent years, you see that it’s the small, innovative companies that hold a lot of the potential.

Over and over again studies show that around one in twenty companies – the small, high-growth firms – are responsible for half of new job creation.

So far from ignoring the start-ups and the small players, we’re laying out the red carpet for them.

Creating a new Entrepreneur Visa for anyone with a great idea who wants to set up a business here.

Nurturing small clusters of innovative companies and web start-ups, as we are in a new Tech City – our own Silicon Valley – in East London.

And, as I announced yesterday, expanding the New Enterprise Allowance so that people who are unemployed can get the tools and capital they need to start their own business.

Our Growth Review – and the Chancellor’s budget – will look systematically at all those things that we need to help start ups and small business expansion.

From venture capital to bank lending.

From opening up government procurement to help firms expand, to cutting back the bureaucracy that can get in the way of their growth.

Being a pro-growth government means something else, too.

It means making sure the whole of the Whitehall machine – not just the Treasury and the Business Department – is geared up to boost enterprise.

That’s what our Growth Review is all about – making sure this is a mission that cuts right across government.

So I’m asking the Department for Local Government to reform planning laws so that it’s much easier to get wealth-creating projects off the ground.

I’m encouraging the Department for Energy and Climate Change to forge ahead with the world’s first carbon capture and storage demonstration plants and new nuclear power stations.

I’m working with the Foreign Office to link up our country to some of the fastest-growing parts of the world and personally leading massive trade missions to high growth countries.

We’re expanding trade promotion, strengthening old relationships and forging new ones.

Make no mistake – this government is doing everything we possibly can to drive growth and make the next decade the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history.

The third part of the plan – and it is crucial – is to make sure that growth is balanced right across our country.

For a long time we saw dangerous imbalances in our economy – tilted too far towards unsustainable spending and borrowing and away from private sector investment and exports.

But perhaps the most marked imbalance – the one felt most acutely by millions of people – was the imbalance between different parts of our country.

Over the past decade around half of economic growth was concentrated in London and surrounding regions.

If each of the regions had grown at the same rate as the country as a whole, the UK would be £38 billion better off.

Now that doesn’t mean looking at our economy as some kind of see-saw – pull one sector or one part of the country down on one side and the rest of our economy automatically rises up on the other.

Yes, the banks need to recognise their responsibility to our economy as a whole by lending properly to good businesses again.

But in the end you can’t sustainably rebalance our economy by making banking weaker or the City of London smaller.

You do it by making other regions and industries stronger.

So how do we do that?

Do you sit in Whitehall looking at a map of Britain, deciding where to plonk some big bureaucracies, despatching officials to pick winners, fund pet projects and roll out grand top-down initiatives?

Recent history tells us no – you can’t impose regional growth from above.

You’ve got to give local people real power to drive it.

In the next few years people all over our country – North, South, East, West – are going to see real change in the way local economies work.

Powerful mayors in our biggest cities – mayors with clout and passion to make change happen.

A new network of Technology and Innovation Centres, bringing together the best minds from our universities and the sharpest brains in business to get good ideas into the market.

New Local Enterprise Partnerships – coalitions of business, councils and communities like the one I saw in the Wirral this morning, where already leaders like Terry Leahy are working to get big projects off the ground.

This is a step change in the way regional growth is driven.

And part of that step change is why we’re here today – the Regional Growth Fund.

We’re saying to people – if you’ve got an idea to bring investment and wealth to your area, whether it’s a local wasteland that needs decontaminating before it can be built on or a run-down dockside that could be transformed into a retail area with a bit of start-up capital.

£1.4 billion is there waiting in the Regional Growth Fund to help make those good ideas happen.

So this is what you’ll get from us.

A plan that brings sense and stability to our public finances.

A plan that actively drives growth and gets behind enterprise.

A plan that helps to rebalance our economy, empowering local communities to take charge and drive wealth creation.

There are no short-cuts to economic recovery, and I don’t promise that the road ahead will be an easy one.

But if the people of this country pull together, if central government, local government, business and communities work together, then I am confident that we can have strong growth, we can build a more prosperous and more fair economy.

And we can have a brighter future for everyone in this country to look forward to.  (*)

 
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New House Speaker Boehner Promises To End 'Business as Usual'

House Speaker John Boehner (r) hugs outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after receiving the gavel during the first session of the 112th Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, 05 Jan 2011

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January 05, 2011 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Both houses of the new U.S, Congress convened in Washington Wednesday to have their members sworn in to office.  Republicans now control the House and have a larger minority in the Senate and are promising to change the way things get done on Capitol Hill.  Our correspondent reports on a day of ceremony and celebration before fierce legislative battles begin.

The new Republican-controlled House elected John Boehner to be the new speaker to replace outgoing Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by a vote of 241 to 173, with 19 members voting for other lawmakers or voting present.  House clerk Lorraine Miller announced the result.

“Therefore the honorable John A. Boehner of the state of Ohio, having received the majority of the votes cast, is duly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 112th Congress,” said Miller.

Nancy Pelosi was the first woman Speaker of the House in U.S. history. The new House Minority leader passed the gavel over to Boehner.

“We now engage in a strong symbol of American democracy – the peaceful and respectful exchange of power.  I now pass this gavel, which is larger than most gavels here, but the gavel of choice of Mr. Speaker Boehner,” said Pelosi. “I now pass this gavel and the sacred trust that goes with it to the new Speaker. God bless you Speaker Boehner.”

The House chamber was filled with the newly elected members of Congress, who were accompanied on opening day by their spouses, children and grandchildren and other relatives.  Incoming Speaker Boehner greeted his wife, two daughters and 10 of his 11 brothers and sisters who were in the chamber.  He wiped tears from his eyes as he gave his first speech as Speaker.

“The American people have humbled us,” said Boehner. “They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is.  They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them.  That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker.  After all, this is the people’s House.”

Republicans swept midterm elections across the country in November, resulting in divided government in Washington.  Speaker Boehner said voters sent a clear message that they are not happy with the state of the country.

“We gather here today at a time of great challenges.  Nearly one in 10 of our neighbors are looking for work.  Health care costs are still rising for families and small businesses.  Our spending has caught up with us, and our debt will soon eclipse the size of our entire economy.  Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short.  No longer can we kick the can down the road.  The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions.”

Both Boehner and Pelosi vowed to look for common ground to work across party lines wherever possible. But many of the new lawmakers sworn in Wednesday in the House and Senate are staunch fiscal Republicans supported by Tea Party activists, who advocate a very limited role for government and low taxes and may be reluctant to compromise with Democrats.

One of the first items on House Republicans’ agenda is to cut governments spending, starting with cutting their own operations budget.  House Republicans have also vowed to vote next week to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment, health care reform.  Efforts to repeal the reform are likely to fail because Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate.

On the Senate side, Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said he will press ahead with President Obama’s agenda to create jobs and put the economy on a more solid footing.  But Reid will also face stronger opposition from a strengthened Republican minority.  (*)

 
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Photostream : New Speaker John Boehner leads House

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) waits for members to arrive for a ceremonial swearing in on Capitol Hill January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112 U.S. Congress has convened on Capitol Hill today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has his Congressional lapel pin put on by a fellow congressman after arriving in the House chamber January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112th U.S. Congress was sworn-in today, with Republican legislators taking control of the House of Representatives and expected to begin attempts to dismantle portions of U.S. President Barack Obamaï¿?ï¿?ï¿?s legislative agenda. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) receives the Speaker's gavel from outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112th U.S. Congress will be sworn-in today, with Republican legislators taking control of the House of Representatives and expected to begin attempts to dismantle portions of U.S. President Barack Obamaï¿?ï¿?ï¿?s legislative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Newly elected US Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds up his gavel to the Republican side of the House during the opening session of the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Newly elected US Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) makes remarks during the opening session of the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner salutes the assembled members of the U.S. Congress as he takes to the podium in front of the speaker's chair for the first time after being elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. Republicans are taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives since winning a majority in the November U.S. Congressional mid-term elections. REUTERS/Jim Young

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd R) reaches for Sophia Schilling to get her to participate in her father U.S Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL) (L) mock swearing in ceremony on January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112th U.S. Congress was sworn-in today, with Republican legislators taking control of the House of Representatives and expected to begin attempts to dismantle portions of U.S. President Barack Obamaï¿?ï¿?ï¿?s legislative agenda. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) (R) tries to get Sophia Schilling (L), the three-year-old daughter of Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL), to join a ceremonial swearing in on Capitol Hill January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112 U.S. Congress has convened on Capitol Hill today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

New US Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) gives the oath of office to the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 
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Boehner Becomes New House Speaker

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) salutes colleagues before receiving the Speaker's gavel from outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi following his election in the House chamber January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The 112th U.S. Congress was sworn-in today, with Republican legislators taking control of the House of Representatives and expected to begin attempts to dismantle portions of U.S. President Barack Obama legislative agenda. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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January 05, 2011 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Republican John Boehner has become the new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives as his party took power of the chamber Wednesday.

Boehner said voters sent a clear message in the November midterm elections that swept Republicans to a majority in the House and gave them a larger minority in the Senate.

He said Americans want lawmakers to take responsibility for tough decisions. Boehner said the government can no longer “kick the can down the road” and said Americans “voted to end business as usual.”

The House speaker is the top-ranking position in the chamber and is elected by members of the party in power. The speaker helps set the party’s legislative agenda and may preside over House debates, in addition to fulfilling regular duties representing his or her congressional district.

The 61-year-old Boehner represents a district in the state of Ohio. He is expected to take a more low-key approach to his transition to office than did his predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, the first female House speaker. Pelosi was selected Wednesday by Democrats to serve as House minority leader.

Boehner’s aides say he will take the first few days slowly, rather than imitate the flurry of activity during Pelosi’s first 100 hours as speaker.

Thursday, Boehner has arranged for a reading of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor, fulfilling the wishes of Tea Party-backed Republicans who say the country has strayed from its founding principles.

In coming days he also is expected to preside over a mainly symbolic vote to repeal the new health care reform law that was a top domestic priority of U.S. President Barack Obama. The repeal effort is unlikely to succeed, as it would have to be approved by the Senate with its Democratic majority and the president himself.

Boehner has said voters have sent a message to President Obama that the country needs to change course. He also said his Republican majority in the House will stand for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government.

Boehner, a small-business owner from a working-class family, was elected to Congress in 1990. He was one of seven freshman congressmen who gained notoriety by exposing corruption within the lawmaking body. Boehner is the sole member of that group still in office.  (*)

 
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New US Congress Convenes

House Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio walks out of his home on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to the start of the 112th Congress, Jan 5, 2011

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New session began Wednesday, with a Republican majority taking control of the House of Representatives


January 05, 2011 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — A new U.S. Congress has convened in Washington.  Republicans now control the House of Representatives, and Democrats have a reduced majority in the Senate, giving the United States a divided legislature.

The 112th Congress features scores of new Republicans.  Most are still getting settled in their new offices and learning their way around the Capitol.

But the new legislators come infused with the ideological fervor that fueled their successful campaigns.  They view last November’s election as a national rebuke of President Barack Obama’s economic stewardship and a mandate to scale back the size and scope of the federal government.

Kentucky freshman Republican Senator Rand Paul told CBS’ Early Show he will not vote to raise the limit on federal borrowing unless spending is drastically cut. “All the new people coming to Washington are going to insist that if we raise the debt ceiling, it has to be linked to something,” he said. “From here on out, we are going to balance the budget.”

The Obama administration says failure to raise the debt ceiling would cause the U.S. government to default on its loan obligations and produce a catastrophic financial crisis.

House Republicans say their first act will be to vote to trim their own office payrolls.  Next week, a vote to repeal President Obama’s health-care reform initiative is expected.  New House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin ties repeal to national prosperity.

“This is related to jobs and the economy,” Ryan said. “The health-care bill has massive tax increases on individuals and employers that will cost us jobs.”

Ryan spoke on NBC’s Today Show.  Most political observers view the repeal effort as a symbolic act, since the Democratically-controlled Senate will not follow suit.

New House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes over from California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who spoke about her party’s role going forward.

“We extend a hand of friendship [to Republicans] to create jobs, grow the middle class, and reduce the deficit.  We look for common ground to solve the problems of the American people,” Pelosi said. “But where we cannot find common ground, we must stand our ground on behalf of the pledge we take every day: ‘with liberty and justice for all.’  And that includes economic justice for all.”

The new Republican House majority has promised to change the way the chamber operates, with special reverence for the U.S. Constitution.  The founding document is to be read aloud in its entirety before the House gets down to business.  In the future bill sponsors will have to provide constitutional justification for legislation before it will be considered. (*)

 
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to visit Palestinian territories

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev

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January 05, 2011 MOSCOW (KATAKAMI / AP) – The Kremlin says President Dmitry Medvedev is going ahead with a visit to the Palestinian territories, even though his trip to Israel has been canceled.

The cancellation was due to problems in Israel – a strike at the Foreign Ministry, which made it difficult to organize the Russian president’s visit. Even so, the Israeli government is likely to be angered by Medvedev’s plans to visit the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

The Kremlin statement, released late Tuesday, said Israeli President Shimon Peres had apologized to Medvedev for the inability to prepare for his visit in mid-January.

During their telephone conversation, the two presidents agreed to meet during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at the end of the month. (*)

 
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