Bloomberg News

Walsh Says Osborne’s U.K. Budget Must Prove Business Credentials

March 15, 2012

Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of British Airways parent IAG, said the U.K. government needs to do more to encourage business investment and help the economic recovery.

“The government is unclear whether it is pro-business or anti-business,” Walsh said in an interview in London today. “Are we making it easier for business, are we removing regulation that is tying us up in red tape? I don’t think business is really seeing the benefit of that.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who is implementing the biggest squeeze on government spending since World War II, is scheduled to present his budget on March 21. He may reaffirm his commitment to his deficit-reduction plan after Fitch Ratings said yesterday that Britain risks losing its top investment grade.

Walsh, said Osborne has an “opportunity to demonstrate by his actions, not his words, that this is a government that is looking to business to generate some growth and is looking to business to help get some jobs created.

‘‘Equally, business is looking to the government to help facilitate that,’’ he said in the interview on the sidelines of the the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Rothwell in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Jasper at; Craig Stirling at

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