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Sir Mervyn King hints at Jane Austen bank note

The outgoing governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King has hinted that the author Jane Austen has been mooted as a candidate to appear on bank notes.

He refused to confirm that Austen is a candidate to appear on the £10 bank note, but did stretch as far as saying that "Jane Austen is waiting in the wings".

The £5 note featuring the 19th century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry Credit: Bank of England

The Bank of England confirmed that Austen does appear on an "additional contingency note," but that there are no plans to print this at present.

Apart from the Queen, the 19th century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry is the only woman to appear on any bank note, but her spot may be threatened by Winston Churchill.

King said that "one thing we are quite determined to avoid is any suggestion that the £5 note can in some sense be reserved for women, that would be demeaning."

A recent poll by the Guardian found that the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were the two female forerunners.

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No room for 'US-style guaranteed mortgages' says King

Sir Mervyn's concerns about Help to Buy echo those of the Treasury Select Committee, which reported on the Budget last month.

The committee warned the Government will come under "immense" pressure to extend Help to Buy in three years time.

We do not want what the United States have, which is a government-guaranteed mortgage market, and they are desperately trying to find a way out of that position.

So, we mustn't let this scheme turn into a permanent scheme. Now when is the right time to terminate it will depend on economic conditions at the time."Sir Mervyn said the economy was in a "modest recovery" but "we certainly can't be satisfied with it".

We will need to do more to use up the spare capacity, and to get back to a healthy, growing economy," he said. "But we are in a recovery period now, I think, yes.

– The outgoing governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King.

Under the equity loan new or existing homeowners will need to raise a deposit of 5% of the value of the property they want to buy, but can borrow up to a further 20% from the Government on an interest-free basis.

The biggest loan available will be £120,000.

Sir Mervyn King issues Help to Buy scheme warning

The outgoing Bank of England governor has warned that George Osborne's plan to boost the housing market is "too close for comfort" to a general state guarantee for mortgages.

Sir Mervyn King said there was "no place in the long run" for the Chancellor's Help to Buy scheme, which will see the Government will guarantee up to 15% of a mortgage on properties worth up to £600,000.

The scheme, which starts in January 2014, is due to run for three years, and Sir Mervyn warned it must not be allowed to become permanent.

The outgoing governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In an interview which will be broadcast on Sky News' Murnaghan programme tomorrow, Sir Mervyn said: "I'm sure that there is no place in the long run for a scheme of this kind.

"This scheme is a little too close for comfort to a general scheme to guarantee mortgages. We had a very healthy mortgage market with competing lenders attracting borrowers before the crisis, and we need to get back to that healthy mortgage market.

"We do not want what the United States have, which is a government-guaranteed mortgage market, and they are desperately trying to find a way out of that position.

"So, we mustn't let this scheme turn into a permanent scheme. Now when is the right time to terminate it will depend on economic conditions at the time".

Sir Mervyn King's final forecast shows signs of optimism

In his final forecast as Bank of England governor, Sir Mervyn King gave what he said was his most positive assessment of the economy since the beginning of the most recent economic crisis.

Sir Mervyn predicted growth will be a "little stronger" than previously hoped, setting the UK on course for a "modest and sustained" recovery.

But he warned it will be a "weak and uneven" recovery.

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Osborne 'in total denial about his economic plan failure'

Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said George Osborne is "in total denial about the failure of his economic plan" ahead of the Chancellor's speech to business leaders.

Mr Leslie said: "He has now delivered the slowest recovery for 100 years, falling living standards and rising unemployment. And borrowing is set to be £245 billion more than planned to pay for the costs of this economic failure.

Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said the Chancellor is "in total denial about the failure of his economic plan". Credit: ITV News

"If we're to have a strong and sustained recovery, and catch up all the ground we have lost over the last three years, we need urgent action to kickstart our economy now and reforms to strengthen it for the long term.

"It's time George Osborne listened before any more long-term damage is done", he added.

Osborne to tell business leaders 'our plan is working'

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to tell business leaders that the Government is prepared to stick to its economic course, saying, "Now is not the time to lose our nerve ... Our plan is working".

As he addresses the CBI annual dinner at Grosvenor House tonight, Mr Osborne will say that spending more to rejuvenate the UK's fortunes is "patently ludicrous" and would set the recovery back

Chancellor George Osborne pictured at the CBI annual dinner. Credit: ITV News

He is also set to rubbish Labour's calls for a temporary VAT cut, claiming the figures do not "stack up".

The Chancellor is expected to say: "My message to the business community and to the country is this - we have a clear economic plan.

"Our plan is working. Now is not the time to lose our nerve. Let's not listen to those who would take us back to square one.

"Let's carry on doing what is right for Britain, let's see this through".

King upbeat in final Bank of England forecast

The outgoing Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King has given his most upbeat signal yet that the UK will recover from the financial crisis.

During his last forecast as governor, Sir Mervyn predicted growth will be a "little stronger" than previously hoped, setting the UK on course for a "modest and sustained" recovery.

He said the economy should expand by 0.5% in the second quarter of this year, while inflation will not surge as much as feared.

But he warned it will be a "weak and uneven" recovery.

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