Boris Johnson: Government must 'junk talk of austerity'
London Mayor Boris Johnson has said the government must "junk talk of austerity" in order to boost confidence in the British economy.
In a speech to business leaders in Davos, he said the government must "recognise that the single biggest inhibitor of demand is lack of confidence".
He added: "If only some of the people in this room would invest some of the cash in their balance sheets we would see that confidence rewarded in a virtuous circle.
"This morning's news demonstrates why the Chancellor is pursuing measures now that will boost confidence, further stimulate demand and bring growth, through investment in housing, transport and infrastructure."
Nicolas Sarkozy was beaten in the French presidential elections last May and many thought he would disappear into private life.There's been talk he might even move to London to avoid his rival François Hollande's proposed 75% tax on top earners.
I gather that at a dinner in Davos last night he ruled out a move to the UK and hinted strongly that he may return to politics, saying he has more work to do. News perhaps for the current leader of Sarkozy's party, Jean-François Copé.
Labour MP Dennis Skinner said in the House of Commons yesterday that it was "gruesome" for the Prime Minister to be "heading out of austerity-riddled Britain to wine and dine at Davos with 50 top bankers who helped to create the economic crash, several hundred tax avoiding millionaires".
Responding in the Commons, David Cameron said:
To be fair, I think when you see the speech I'm going to be making in Davos, in which I will be arguing we need greater transparency over tax, we need greater responsibility over the tax avoidance and tax evasion issues, we need greater transparency about companies and the land issue.
You may even find there are some things I'm going to say you might agree with.