British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to increase spending to cushion Britain’s first recession since 1992, saying a £50 billion (US$79 billion) bank-rescue plan and interest-rate cuts aren’t enough to stem the economic slump.
“We will and can allow borrowing to rise to help restore demand and to come to the aid of workers, businesses and homeowners,” Brown was to say in a speech in London yesterday, according to extracts released by his office. “That is why the responsible course is to borrow now to maintain growth and output.”
The British economy shrank in the second quarter, its first contraction in 16 years. Brown and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said for the first time last week that Britain was heading for a recession, while Charlie Bean, the central bank’s governor for financial stability, said in an interview with the Scarborough Evening News that the turmoil in the banking industry is the worst ever.
The Conservative opposition has criticized Brown for failing to contain spending when the economy was growing.
Debt is already above the ceiling of 40 percent of GDP set by Brown when his Labour Party came to power in 1997.
Including the liabilities of Northern Rock Plc, the mortgage lender that was nationalized in February, net debt stood at 43.3 percent, or £633 billion, in August. Six years ago it was 30 percent.
This month, the British government announced plans to buy stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HBOS Plc, and Lloyds TSB Group Plc in a rescue.
The economy shrank 0.5 percent in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics in London said on Friday.
“This government is taking action through the tax system to support hard-pressed families and businesses through the downturn, building new international partnerships to shape a global response to a global crisis and making the long-term investments now that will secure the future success of our economy — our people and our businesses — in this new economic age,” Brown will say.
Brown will use today’s speech to say that further reform of the financial system will be necessary and raise the prospect of regulation of the Credit Default Swaps market, recently estimated worth around US$60 trillion, his office said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s