Highlights of George Osborne's response to the Chancellor's statement on the G20 outcome:
Welcomes increased resources for IMF: "The substantial increase in the resources available to the IMF was widely trailed and is very welcome. It will help economies in trouble at a time when credit is scarce, and $500 billion is pledged from member states. Of course, it is a credit facility, so is there an estimate of how much of it is expected to be drawn on over the coming year, as that will determine how much individual countries’ taxpayers—including British taxpayers—might have to provide?"
Welcomes increased commitment to trade finance: "The commitment on trade finance is welcome, too, but how much of the $250 billion in credit lines and guarantees that the communiqué talks about has actually been announced already by national Governments and how much is a new commitment? Clearly, it looks as though the $50 billion for the World Bank is, but what about the remaining $200 billion? When will all that finance be available? As we have all seen in Britain, announcements are all well and good but what saves businesses and jobs is schemes that are actually up and running and operational. When will that happen?"
The G20 should have done more on free trade: "Trade finance will help to reverse the dramatic fall in global trade that is doing so much damage. Of course, rapid completion of the Doha trade round would have done even more and provided a huge stimulus to the world economy. It is a shame that—in my view—the issue was ducked in the communiqué, rather than directly addressed. Indeed, the communiqué talks of reaffirming the commitment made in Washington not to raise new barriers to investment or to trade in goods. However, since Washington, 17 of the 20 countries that sat round the table there and signed the communiqué have increased trade barriers and protectionist measures."
Welcomes new financial regulation: "On financial services, the regulation of the shadow banking system and systemic hedge funds—I suspect the word “systemic” will be important—action on tax havens and principles on bankers’ bonuses are all welcome, although of course it smacks a bit of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted."
Brown-Darling didn't get what they wanted on fiscal stimuli: "The great thing missing from the communiqué is the one thing that the Prime Minister lobbied hardest for—that is, a new commitment to a significant second fiscal stimulus, so that the Chancellor would have cover to announce one in the Budget later this month. That commitment is very obviously not there. Indeed, the $1 trillion being trumpeted today is $1 trillion of loans, credit lines and guarantees. We welcome that, because we, too, have talked about loans and credit guarantees. What it does not contain is a single extra dollar or pound of additional fiscal stimulus. In the communiqué it is explicitly left to individual countries to decide for themselves what their own public finances can support."
George Osborne concludes with a return to domestic politics: