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Tories in policy shock [Jul. 20th, 2009|12:18 pm]
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The Tories have a ready-made answer the next time Gordon Brown accuses them of having "no policies," as he did last week. Today George Osborne has published a meaty 52-page White Paper on how a Tory Government would regulate the banks, building societies and insurance companies. It would abolish the Financial Services Authority and hand to the Bank of England the job of stopping a return to the risky practices which caused the financial crisis.
Aha, say Labour,  proof of Osborne's far too cosy relationship with the Bank Governor Mervyn King, whose relations with ministers are rather strained. Osborne has an answer: the Bank's new regulatory powers would be handled by a Financial Policy Committee including outside experts as well as a new Deputy Bank Governor. So Merv wouldn't have everything his own way under the Tories after all.
To be fair to the Tories, they have plenty of policies. But they are inevitably rethinking which of them will be affordable in the dire financial positioin they would inherit if  they win power. David Cameron is in no mood to declare his hand yet, though I suspect we will see more at their conference in October. Don't expect a "shadow Budget" though.  Labour would love nothing more. So it won't happen.
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