2009 is going to be difficult warns Darling as global recession takes hold

07 January 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Chancellor Alistair Darling used the word 'difficult' three times in as many sentences yesterday when asked by the Financial Times to describe 2009, indicating that the UK is far from the end of a recession.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, Darling did little to boost Financial Times readers' confidence in the economy as he refused to rule out measures such as a further recapitalisation of the UK's banks.

Commenting on the recession, the Chancellor focused on the, "prospect of every major developed country moving into recession this year." Adding that, as a result:

"Even if you fixed all the problems here, that wouldn't be enough. You need to fix them in other parts of the world because of the inter-relationship of banks and their lending."

And, despite refusing to change his pre-budget forecast, which predicted the UK would be half way through a recession by now and that the economy would begin to grow in the second half of this year, as the interview continued Darling confessed that the UK is "far from through this."

The Bank of England is expected to cut interest rates further tomorrow as it attempts to boost the economy, prompting talk of the UK's base rate falling to zero, yet all Darling told the Financial Times was:

"We're not there yet and I'm not going to anticipate what happens later this week, but we're not there yet."

Commenting on guiding the UK through the recession Darling added: "There are going to be some tough calls, there are going to be very difficult decisions. But we must do what we can to get through it."

And, as the UK is set to chair the G20 group of leading economies and developing nations, Darling is expected to call for new measures to tighten regulations in attempts to prevent such widespread recession happening again.

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