George “regulation was too burdensome” Osborne attacks Labour for being too lax

The chancellor today blamed Labour for lax regulation of the banks, yet accused them in 2006 of being too tough on regulation.

E-mail-sign-up Donate


George Osborne today blamed the previous government for the lack of banking regulation that led to the Barclays scandal. However, he was attacking the Labour Party for quite the opposite back in 2006 when he accused them of enforcing “too much regulation”.

george-osborne-eyes-closedWriting for the Telegraph in June 2006, the chancellor said:

“I fear that much of this regulation has been burdensome, complex and makes cross-border market penetration more difficult.

“This is exactly the wrong direction in which Europe should be heading and it threatens the global competitiveness of the City of London.”

Today, Osborne had a change of heart and now feels the last government’s regulation system was not strict enough.

The Guardian reports:

[Osborne] said the Barclays scandal exposed the weakness of the tripartite regulatory regime set up by Labour. [He said] the worst abuses happened when Labour was in power, and before the financial crisis. He said the new regulatory regime being introduced by the government would be “far tougher” than the tripartite system it will replace.

He told Parliament:

“Through 2005, 2006, and early 2007, we see evidence of systematic greed at the expense of financial integrity and stability. They knew what they were doing wrong.

Yet no one at Barclays prevents them. And no one in the tripartite regulatory system knows anything about it. The Government of the day was literally clueless about what was going on.

This government is getting rid of the whole tripartite system. The Financial Services Bill now before Parliament will create a new, far tougher regulatory system.”


See also:

Krugman: Government deficits are a consequence of the crisis, not a cause. 28 Jun 2012

Miliband: Time for prosecutions, proper regulation and an end to the “casino culture” 28 Jun 2012

Bankers should realise their risk to us – not the other way around 30 Apr 2012

The warnings about Barclays’s tax-dodging greed were there in 2008 28 Feb 2012


Osborne isn’t the only culprit in this story, as the prime minister also confessed his distaste for Labour’s “excessive bureaucratic interventionism”:

As a free-marketeer by conviction, it will not surprise you to hear me say that a significant part of Labour’s economic failure has been the excessive bureaucratic interventionism of the past decade too much tax, too much regulation, too little understanding of what our businesses need to compete in the modern world.”

Labour hardly wrapped itself in glory with its approach to the City before the financial crisis, but Osborne should know those in glass houses shouldn’t thrown stones.


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

81 Responses to “George “regulation was too burdensome” Osborne attacks Labour for being too lax”

  1. Will Straw

    Good summary of Osborne's hypocrisy yesterday on banking regulation from @LFFKatie

  2. Feral_britain

    Good summary of Osborne's hypocrisy yesterday on banking regulation from @LFFKatie

  3. Peter Eggison

    RT @wdjstraw Good summary of Osborne's hypocrisy yesterday on banking regulation from @LFFKatie

  4. Tom

    Good summary of Osborne's hypocrisy yesterday on banking regulation from @LFFKatie

  5. Alex Price

    MT “@wdjstraw:Osborne's hypocrisy on banking from @LFFKatie” < indeed, people in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones

Comments are closed.