Osborne welcomes S&P analysis
George Osborne has claimed the reconfirmation of Britain’s AAA credit rating shows the “world has confidence” in his deficit-reduction plan.
Despite last week’s growth figures - which showed the economy contracted by 0.7% between April and June - rating’s agency Standard and Poor's has said the UK’s AAA status remained stable.
The agency said it expects the UK economy to recover in the second half of this year and go on to "steadily strengthen".
The Chancellor claimed this morning the analysis was "a reminder that despite the economic problems we face, the world has confidence that we are dealing with them".
"The deficit has fallen by a quarter; inflation has fallen by half; employment is rising, with British businesses creating over 800,000 new jobs; and the economy is rebalancing, with Britain now exporting more to the rest of the world than Europe,” he said.
"And as S&P themselves say, what would damage Britain's creditworthiness would be relaxing our resolve to deal with our debts. We won't do that."
However Labour’s Chris Leslie has hit out at the comments, saying it is the Chancellor’s “most complacent and out of touch statement yet.”
"We are the only major economy other than Italy in a double-dip recession, long term unemployment is rising and the result is borrowing is now going up. When will the Chancellor finally wake up and realise his plan has failed?” the Shadow Treasury Minister said.
“Ministers should not take false comfort in the words of credit rating agencies who failed to foresee the global financial crisis.
“Before any more damage is done, George Osborne should listen to the IMF, change course and take urgent action now to get our economy moving."