Live updates

Osborne's plans for biggest sell-off of public assets

George Osborne has set out his plans to help restore Britain's economy by staging the biggest ever sell-off of government and public owned corporate and financial assets this year.

The Chancellor will create a new government-owned company who will be in charge of the sales, which are expected to be worth £23 billion.

UK Government Investments (UKGI) will sell shares in Lloyds Banking Group, UK Asset Resolution assets, Eurostar and the pre-2012 income contingent repayment student loan book.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:

It is part of plans to cut spending by £13 billion by 2017/18.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Osborne said: "If we want a more productive economy, let's get the government out of the business of owning great chunks of our banking system - and indeed other assets that should be in the private sector."

A "plan to make Britain work better" will be published over the next few weeks, setting out proposals to improve transport, broadband, planning, skills, ownership, childcare, red tape, science and innovation.

Osborne also addressed the issue of the EU referendum saying he will be "fighting to be in Europe but not run by Europe".


David Cameron welcomes inflation 'good news'

The Prime Minister has reacted to the latest inflation figures which showed the CPI has dropped below zero for the first time in more than 50 years.

Writing in Twitter, David Cameron said it would lead to "more financial security".

Mark Carney: Brits should enjoy low inflation while it lasts

Governor Mark Carney has said people should 'enjoy the low inflation while it lasts' as the Bank of England will bring inflation up to the 2% target by the end of the year.

We expect inflation to be very low over the next few months. But over the course of the year as we get towards the end inflation should start to pick up towards our 2% target.

The British people should enjoy this period of very low energy prices low, very low food prices, enjoy it while it lasts.

– Mark Carney


Bank of England expects inflation to pick up by end of year

Fuel prices rose in April Credit: PA Wire

The Bank of England expects inflation to "notably" rise again later this year after the latest figures showed the UK had entered deflation for the first time in 50 years.

Reacting to the news, the Bank said the figures were in line with its projections but that the economy would recover as the effect of lower oil and food prices fades.

Today's figures showed "core" inflation excluding volatile energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices was also subdued. At 0.8% in April, it was at its lowest level since March 2001.

Food prices fell 3% year on year in April, the fourth month of deflation at around that level - an unprecedented run of prices falling at such a pace in the sector.

Fuel prices rose on the month, with a litre of petrol 2p more expensive than in March, meaning its downward pull on the year-on-year rate was smaller than before.

Deflation is not 'damaging' Britain insists Osborne

George Osborne said Britons should welcome the lower cost of living Credit: PA Wire

Britain is not facing "damaging deflation" and is well-equipped to stave off the risk of this happening, George Osborne has said.

The Chancellor made the comment after the latest figures showed that consumer price inflation fell below zero in March.

"We should not mistake this for damaging deflation," Osborne said in a statement, adding that Britons should welcome the lower cost of living driven by a fall in oil prices since last year.

"Of course, we have to remain vigilant to deflationary risks and our system is well equipped to deal with them should they arise," he said.

UK economy in deflation for first time in 50 years

Inflation turned negative for the first time in more than half a century in April, official figures showed today.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation dipped to minus 0.1%, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

It is the lowest rate on record and comes after two previous months of zero inflation.

Estimates of past CPI rates suggest it was last negative in March 1960 when Harold Macmillan was prime minister and Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills and Consumer Editor Chris Choi react to the news:

Load more updates