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Brown Hints At Increased Borrowing Rather Than Tax Hikes

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

27 November 2002


Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry's national conference on Monday, Chancellor Gordon Brown hinted that today's pre-budget report will not contain any new tax increases, but may hold plans for increased borrowing.

'Some have suggested that the right approach in the face of slower growth is that, instead of holding firm to our long term course, we should cut spending and borrowing irrespective of the stages of the economic cycle and the need for public investment in transport and our infrastructure - even when inflation is low and the underlying fiscal position is sound,' Mr Brown revealed.

However, he dismissed this approach as 'short termist', announcing instead that the government intends to 'resist pressure for the old short term quick fixes in fiscal policy' and 'hold firm to our tough fiscal rules which have helped deliver stability and sustain growth.'

Reports published on Monday quoted wary business leaders attending the CBI conference as observing that they would be 'reading the small print' of the Chancellor's pre-budget report to check for hidden tax increases.

US Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill also attended the national meeting, which was held in Manchester.


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