• George Osborne: 'We will finish job we started'
    • £10bn more in welfare cuts
    • Lib Dem wish for wealth tax dismissed
    • Slashes to fall on housing and child benefits
    • Employees offered shares in exchange for workers' rights
    • Rich to 'pay more'
George Osborne
George Osborne says in his speech that billions more in cuts will fall on welfare spending (Reuters)

12:31 BST To recap on what we just heard:

    • More welfare cuts - £10bn - to help tackle deficit and hit debt targets.
    • Labour market reform to allow employees option of giving up certain rights, such as redundancy packages, in exchange for shares in the firm they work for. Profits on these shares will not be subject to capital gains tax.
    • Promises that the rich will shoulder a bigger burden, but will not be subject to a wealth tax as the Liberal Democrats would have liked.
    • More investment promised to fund university research in scientific research.

That's it for the live blog, thanks for following.

12:30 BST Obligatory standing ovation in the conference hall as Osborne ends with "together we can deliver".

12:28 BST "I cannot pledge to you simple answers or a quick solution. This year has shown we are a country confronted on all sides by great difficulties."

12:27 BST Moves on to the new cash for scientific research in universities. £1bn available now under scheme to encourage research.

12:25 BST Osborne says "we are Conservatives not anarchists" and believes there is a role for the state in the economy. cites £1bn state-backed investment bank to support lending to small businesses.

12:23 BST "Radical reforms" to employment law being announced. Employees offered shares in their firm for exchange for removal of certain rights - redundancy, dismissal - and will not be charged capital gains tax on profits.

12:20 BST "Prosperity and the power it brings is shifting" to emerging markets like Asia. Osborne says free enterprise lifts people out of poverty faster than aid.

Westen economies are being "out-competed, out-worked, out-smarted". Pledges that Britain will not be left behind. Says cutting business taxes, deregulation, education reforms will all help to keep Britain competitive.

12:19 BST Incomes of those out of work rising faster than those in work and this is unfair, Osborne says.

12:18 BST Despite cuts says crime is down, NHS waiting times down, and this is "destroying the left wing myth" that the quality of public services is measured by amount of money spent not results.

12:17 BST Bulk of deficit reduction should come from spending cuts not tax rises, says Osborne.

12:13 BST Addressing those on the right wing in his party, who say spending cuts should be deeper than the government's current plans, says it is essential to maintain credibility and slashing spending to an extreme would threaten that, though adds he is "the first to call for tax cuts" when it can be afforded.

Says not going to introduce a wealth tax as wealth creation is "not something that should be punished". Dismisses Lib Dems mansion tax.

"It's not a mansion tax, it's a home tax and this party of property ownership will have no truck with it."

12:11 BST Another dig at Ed Miliband. Says people praised his memory for doing speech without notes, but he forgot that there had been a Labour government for 13 years who had built up a deficit. No mention of deficit in his speech.

"Labour must never be trusted to run the public's finances again."

12:08 BST Osborne talks about upcoming IMF meeting where Britain is seen as "part of the solution" to global economic malady, not a problem, because of the "credibility" that the government's austerity has ensured Britain's finances have.

The IMF has cautioned over the extent of spending cuts recently, however, given the marked downturn in the UK's eocnomy performance and outlook.

12:06 BST Says Blair "hadn't achieved anything at all". Says facing difficulties - blaming Labour for leaving them behind, such as more powers to Europe, deficit - and so obviously will suffer in mid-term politics. Probably a reference to disastrous local election results in May where the Tories lost hundreds of councillors and control of many authorities.

12:05 BST Praises David Cameron as an "outstanding prime minister of judgment and integrity", which is a bit more punchy than Cameron's bland tweet about George earlier.

12:03 BST Osborne cites the hard workers and pensioners in society as says - in a clear reference and dig to Ed Miliband's speech - that these people are the "one nation" Britain lives under.

"It is risible to believe that you can be a party of one nation simply by repeating the words one nation over and over again."

12:02 BST "Where is the fairness," asks Osborne, for the workers who leave early in the morning and look up to see their neighbour's curtains closed because they do not work. Says Conservatives represent these workers.

12:01 BST Defends his slashing of the top tax rate to 45p in the pound because he argues it will raise more cash.

Criticises the "phoney conception" that keeping top rate is fair as it raises less cash and puts people off of investing in Britain, which means the poor suffer.

12:00 BST Osborne says Britains believe that "those who put something in must get something out."

"Those with the most should contribute the most," he said, changing his focus to the rich.

11:57 BST Osborne admits that tackling the deficit is taking longer than he had hoped, but it is because the "damage" left behind by Labour was greater than had been realised.

"We will finish the job that we have started."

He is laying the foundations for more austerity.

11:56 BST "Today in the great economic challenges of our age, we shall press on. We shall overcome."

11:55 BST Osborne is up. Thanks Deighton for London 2012 and is praising his team at the Treasury.

"Thank you for the support you give me and the great job you are doing for the country," he said.

11:51 BST Paul Deighton, chief executive of Olympics organiser Locog, is addressing the conference just ahead of Osborne's speech. Deighton joined the government as a minister for economic delivery after London 2012, tasked with looking at how the construction sector and infrastructure projects can be stimulated to help lift Britain back to growth.

He is lauding the collaberation of private and public sectors, citing London 2012 as an example.

11:42 BST As a conference aside, Herald Scotland is reporting that David Cameron and Alex Salmond have reached an agreement over a referendum on Scottish indepence.

"The Herald can reveal a deal has been done on the vote, with the historic signing of an agreement between Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond to take place next Monday in Edinburgh. The final details of the referendum will be announced next week following talks this week between Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, and Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister."

11:34 BST There is an interesting dichotomy in Osborne's plans to cut welfare payments for those at the bottom of British society. These people are not savers. What cash comes in goes out again almost straight away.

When consumer confidence is so dented and many service sector firms are struggling because of this depressed demand, is denting the spending power of a section of society wise?

The Tories will of course say that there are broader philosophical pionts to be made - such as why should those who work for a living subsidise those who don't, particularly given the state of the economy - and that cutting spending is imperative and unavoidable, but it begs the question of what sort of impact there will be on businesses such as retailers if welfare payments are slashed further?

11:25 BST Firebrand economist and former Monetary Policy Committee member David "Danny" Blanchflower has apparently been saving up most of his anti-coalition vitriol for his New Statesman column ahead of the chancellor's speech at the Tory party conference:

"In a speech at the 2009 Conservative party conference in Manchester, George "Slasher" Osborne offered a sneering overview of Labour policy with all sorts of claims about how the streets would be paved with gold if only the Tories were to win the next general election and he was made chancellor. The following spring, after an election a ham sandwich could have won but no one did, the Tories had to form a coalition with a turncoat party that for years had opposed austerity but paused a few days and reversed all of that, once ministerial cars were on offer."

He predicts that while GDP will return to a positive in the third quarter, the following three months will produce another contraction.

11:10 BST Prime minister David Cameron has used his new Twitter account to give the world's most generic tweet of pre-speech support for his chancellor:


11:00 BST Osborne has accepted that austerity in the UK will last until at least 2018, as claimed in the FT this morning from their own calculations, as Britons feel the bite of his budget crunch for longer than he had initially said they would.

This will be three years longer than he had said in his 2010 budget.

10:55 BST There is an interesting extract from a new biography on George Osborne in the Daily Mail, penned by the Financial Times's Janan Ganesh, painting him not as the snobby, privileged prig he is often perceived to be, but a liberal, social, dandyish sort:

"The Osbornes moved in a cosmopolitan and cultured milieu of art dealers, designers and writers. Home was stylish and stimulating - unstuffy, liberal, eclectic. His mother Felicity, one-time debutante and daughter of a Hungarian-born artist, was a bohemian character whose politics were a blend of pacifism, civil-libertarianism and social democracy.

"It is that trendy metropolitan background, far more than class, that explains the kind of politician Osborne has become.

"On issues of race, sexuality and personal morality, he is as liberal-minded as any senior figure in any major party. He has voted for gay adoption and opposed lowering the 24-week time limit for abortion. And few front-rank politicians have employed as many advisers from ethnic minority backgrounds.

"London fosters such instinctive tolerance, and he breathed it in from infancy. But it also breeds a kind of rootlessness, and that is part of his make-up too."

10:50 BST George Osborne, Britain's beleaguered chancellor, will announce another round of cuts to fall on the Treasury's purse in his Conservative party conference speech, as a worsening economic environment has sent public debt spiralling past £1tn and made it unlikely that he will meet his target of bringing it down by 2015.

An extra £16bn in savings is having to be found by the 2015/16 year if Osborne is to have a chance at meeting his debt target, which some economists are saying he should abandon else run the risk of making the UK economy even worse and extending its recovery period further with deeper cuts to public spending.

Around £10bn of the cuts will come from welfare spending with the bulk falling on housing and child benefit.

Alongside with work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan-Smith, Osborne has agreed to remove certain benefits from jobless parents with large families.

In a joint article for the Daily Mail, the pair wrote that they want to end the "something for nothing culture".

"We are both satisfied that this is possible and we will work together to find savings of this scale. All of this will require some tough choices, but those choices will be guided by clear principles and a vision of what the welfare system should be," said the article.

"It should be a support for those who need our help but also a system that always requires those who are out of work to make the same kind of choices as those in work.

"Now we must pose some of the questions we need to answer. For example, is it right that school leavers should be able to move directly from school to a life on housing benefit without finding a job first?

"Is it right that people in work have to consider the full financial costs of having another child while those who are out of work don't?"

Osborne is also expected to say that the rich must shoulder more of a financial burden, though he will rule out his Liberal Democrat coalition partner's policy of a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2m.

The chancellor and his austerity programme have been under pressure since the country plunged back into recession at the end of 2011. Latest GDP figures show that the economy contracted by -0.4 percent in the three months to June.

This, as well as global economic troubles such as the eurozone crisis, has led to growth forcasts for the UK to be slashed by the Bank of England and International Monetary Fund.

Another announcement expected in Osborne's speech is focused on research by higher education institutions.

Universities conducting scientific research will benefit from an extra £200m of government cash in a scheme funded both publically and privately.

The new cash will go to the Research Partnership Investment Fund, which with the additional investment will be worth £1bn.

Treasury officials said that to access the money, universities must at least double the public funding through contributions from private companies or charities.