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Osborne: UK taking tough action to clean up corruption

George Osborne said Britain has been taking "tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone".

Chancellor George Osborne. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

George Osborne said Britain's regulatory response to the financial crisis meant "the world can have confidence in the integrity of Britain's financial markets."

Mr Osborne said:

Today we take tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone. It’s part of a long term plan that is fixing what went wrong in Britain’s banks and our economy.

A number of traders have been suspended or fired, and the Serious Fraud Office are conducting criminal investigations. The banks that employed them face big fines - and I will ensure that these fines are used for the wider public good.

– George Osborne

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Osborne: EU bill negotiation 'a real result for Britain'

Britain has negotiated a halving of a £1.7 billion budget surcharge it has to pay to the European Union after negotiations with EU officials, Chancellor George Osborne told reporters.

Mr Osborne said: "Instead of challenging the law, we have actually changed the law, so it's a real result for Britain".

Osborne put on the spot over £1.7 billion EU bill

Chancellor George Osborne is facing mounting pressure to explain exactly when he knew about a shock demand for Britain to pay Brussels an extra £1.7 billion.

Labour has seized on news that the Treasury was notified of the extra bill days before David Cameron was informed.

Chancellor George Osborne has been asked to explain what he knew and when about the EU bill. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

They also questioned why ministers failed to realise there was a potential issue earlier in the calculation process - pointing to recent upwards revisions of post-1995 Gross National Income by the UK's own statistics watchdog.

In a letter to the Chancellor, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie wrote: "When were you made aware of the possibility of a surcharge for the UK emerging from this process?"

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Public borrowing up as tax receipts stay largely flat

Borrowing for April to September stands at £58 billion, 10% higher than for the same period in 2013/14.

Taxes on income and wealth for September of £13.1 billion were flat on the same month last year and just 0.6% ahead for the year to date.

Within this, revenues from income tax and capital gains tax rose 2.2% for the month and 0.1% for the year to date.

Blow for Osborne as public spending deficit widens

A squeeze on earnings growth was blamed for the widening deficit. Credit: PA

George Osborne suffered a fresh blow today as the latest official figures showed a widening hole in the public finances.

They showed borrowing for the month, excluding the effects of bank bail-outs, was £11.8 billion, which was 15.3%, or £1.6 billion, ahead of September last year.

It means that halfway through the financial year, the Treasury looks well behind the target for a 12% fall in the annual deficit expected by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Osborne: Job is not done but our plan is working

Chancellor George Osborne wrote on Twitter following the "fastest fall in unemployment on record":

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