UK credit rating under threat

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's has placed the UK on a negative outlook, increasing the chances of a downgrade from its top AAA credit rating.

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Labour: Osborne is failing on all his economic tests

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has responded to Standard & Poor’s putting Britain’s credit rating on negative outlook:

George Osborne is now failing on all the tests he set for his economic policies.

A week after having to admit he won’t balance the books or get the debt down by 2015, we have the unprecedented situation of all three main credit rating agencies putting Britain on negative outlook.

S&P complete trio of credit agencies revising UK 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


'UK's economic reputation is on the line' - Osborne in 2009

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:

It's now clear that Britain's economic reputation is on the line at the next general election, another reason for bringing the date forward and having that election now.

For the first time since these ratings began in 1978, the outlook for British debt has been downgraded from stable to negative.

– George Osborne - speaking in 2009

The comments are in marked contrast to his recent views on the issue.

Osborne: Credit rating just one indicator of financial health

George Osborne admitted that he would miss his debt target in last week's Autumn Statement

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".

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