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Anorak | In The Brown Stuff

In The Brown Stuff

by | 11th, December 2003

‘WHEN the person who looks after your money appears in a Times headline alongside the word ”gamble”, panic you may.

”Take a chance on me”

The man making the wager is Gordon Brown, and the bet is simple: he’ll commit the Government to a further few billion pounds of spending next year on the odds-on shot that we the people vote him and his Labour party in for a third term.

The Times hears Brown’s pre-budget statement, made yesterday, and notes that the speech was an attempt to ”soothe middle class fears over tax and pensions”.

This fiscal balm means that parents will get an extra £3.50 a week for their children via tax credits; amateur sports clubs will get tax breaks; and there will be tax breaks on £50-a-week childcare vouchers.

It all means that, in the Telegraph’s eyes, ”red is the new black” (although it’s surely Brown), since this largesse will be funded not by increased taxes but by more borrowing, which will rise to £37bn.

This sounds bad. But how bad is it? Well, it must be pretty bad indeed because even the Guardian leads its news coverage with talk of Brown ”papering over the growing cracks in the Government’s finances”.

However, the Independent puts things in a perspective we can more readily understand.

”Gordon Brown is no different to the rest of us,” says the paper’s Hamish McRae. ”Our credit is good, interest rates are low, so what do we do? We borrow and we borrow big.”

And just like Gordon, if it all goes wrong, we lose our house – he loses his in Downing Street and we lose ours to the banks…’



Posted: 11th, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink