November 25, 2008

Debate over Britain’s stimulus plan begins

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer and the opposition Shadow Chancellor sparred Tuesday over the government's $30.5 billion stimulus package.

Chancellor Alistair Darling defended the tax reorganization and spending plan by repeating that action beats sitting on the sidelines when dealing with a recession, The Times of London reported.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said the ensuing $1.5 trillion national debt would slow the recovery.

I think there was a big intake of breath by the nation when they realized ... we are all saddled with a truly huge debt, Osborne said in a radio interview.

I'm not prepared to just let the recession take its course, Darling said on the same program not long after Osborne spoke.

Darling said the Tories had their figures wrong and that changes in Britain's National Insurance would affect those earning $150,000 a year or more and not affect those earning $29,000 or more, as Osborne said.

Darling said an increase in the personal tax-free allowance for those earning less than $150,000 would make up for the higher insurance contributions, which are scheduled to rise 0.5 percent 2011.