UK's credit rating downgraded

Britain's credit rating has been downgraded from the top AAA rating to AA1 by the Moody's credit rating agency.

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Cable: UK credit rating downgrade 'background noise'

Vince Cable dismissed the loss of Britain's prized AAA credit rating as "background noise" today.

The Business Secretary admitted that Chancellor George Osborne had been eager to maintain the top level, but said the reduction to AA1 was "largely symbolic".

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cable said:

In terms of the real economy there is no reason why the downgrade should have any impact.

These things do not necessarily affect the real economy but they reflect the fact that we are going through a very difficult time and we are trying to balance the need to get the deficit and the budget under control with the need to get back to economic growth.

The rating agencies have a pretty bad record. They are a bit like tipsters. They get some things right and a lot of things not right.

They are part of the background noise we have to take into account.

Osborne is 'trashing the UK', says Prescott

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has accused Chancellor George Osborne of "trashing the UK."

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Prescott said:

The Bullingdon Club used to smash up restaurants for fun.

Osborne and Cameron are trashing the UK with the most reckless and idiotic act of economic vandalism this country has ever seen.

This is a Chancellor who’s been downgraded from rubbish to absolutely useless.

If Cameron can’t get rid of him it’s because his fingerprints are all over this failed plan.

– John Prescott


Downgrade is a 'humiliating blow' for Osborne

This downgrade is a humiliating blow for a Chancellor who has staked his reputation on the UK's triple A credit rating.

The fact that economic stagnation, rather than current borrowing levels, has caused this downgrade proves that demand-sapping austerity is ultimately self-defeating.

With plan A now completely in tatters the Chancellor has an opportunity to change course next month and start prioritising growth and jobs over pleasing ratings agencies.

– TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady


Moody's: UK's economic recovery will remain slow

The statement from Moody's confirming Britain's downgraded credit rating highlighted the problems the weak medium-term economic outlook poses for deficit reduction plans.

The agency said it now expects the "period of sluggish growth" to "extend into the second half of the decade", adding:

Moody's says that the country's current economic recovery has already proven to be significantly slower - and believes that it will likely remain so - compared with the recovery observed after previous recessions, such as those of the 1970s, early 1980s and early 1990s.

– Moody's
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