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The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has responded to Standard & Poor’s putting Britain’s credit rating on negative outlook:
The Standard & Poor's credit rating agency's revision of the UK's outlook from stable to negative is the third such blow for the British economy this year:
- Moody's rating agency placed the UK on negative outlook in February
- In March, the Fitch agency followed suit, dropping the UK's outlook from stable
- S&P today completed the trio of agencies warning that the UK's coveted AAA rating is in danger
On the only previous occasion S&P dropped the UK's outlook from stable to negative, George Osborne - then the shadow Chancellor - was quick to highlight its significance:
The comments are in marked contrast to his recent views on the issue.
Last week the ratings agency Fitch warned that the Government's missing its debt target "weakens the credibility of the UK's fiscal framework, which is one of the factors supporting the [AAA] rating".
But the Chancellor, in a marked change of tone, insisted that "the credit rating is one of a number of ways in which people look at countries."
A look at the press release issued by the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, revising the UK's outlook to 'negative':