Stripping the UK of AAA credit rating was ‘nonsensical’, says Jacob Rees-Mogg
STRIPPING the UK of its AAA credit rating has been branded ‘nonsensical’ by Tory MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg who dubbed the agency responsible as ‘foolish’.
The backbencher came to the aid of Chancellor George Osborne who came in for sustained criticism from opponents after the downgrade by Moody’s to AA1.
Forced to make a statement to the Commons over the loss, Mr Osborne insisted he would not alter course.
He had made retaining the AAA rating a key benchmark for his stewardship of the economy,
Limited Deal. All day wedding photography only £545.00View details
All day wedding photography only £545.00
From Bridal preparations to first dance.
250+ Hi Res images on disc with full printing rights.
Professional photography at affordable prices.
Free no obligation consultations.
Offer subject to availability.
Book before 31st May 2013.
Available in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
Contact: 01225 439257
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Chancellor faced calls of ‘resign’ from Labour backbenchers as he responded to an urgent question from his opposite number Ed Balls.
Mr Balls said: “The first economic test he set himself, now failed by this downgraded Chancellor.”
But Rees-Mogg said the Chancellor should ignore the ratings agencies.
Speaking in the Commons, where he is protected by parliamentary privilege, the MP added: “I wonder whether I may remind the Chancellor that Standard & Poor’s is facing proceedings from the United States Government for fraud and that Moody’s is likely to follow?”
He added: “Moody’s has just downgraded a country whose debt is all denominated in its own currency, which is a fiat currency. That is absolutely nonsensical.”
Quoting the British statesman famous for his correspondence with his son, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Will he therefore join me in citing Lord Chesterfield and telling them that they are foolish people who do not even know their own foolish business?”
Responding, Mr Osborne said: “I think that it was Lord Chesterfield who provided advice to his son in that famous book, and I am sure that the advice included, ‘Don’t spend more than you’ve got’.”
The Chancellor told MPs the decision by Moody’s was a “stark reminder of the debt problems built up in Britain over the last decade and a warning to anyone who thinks we can run away from dealing with those problems”.
Mr Balls said the downgrade was a “humiliation for this Government”.