Brown warns of ‘enormous’ challenges for 2009

January 1st, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 1 (DPA) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Thursday warned of the “enormous economic challenge” ahead in 2009 and vowed to replace the “unbridled free market dogma” with a better economic philosophy.”I want 2009 to be the year when the dawn of a new progressive era breaks across the world,” Brown said in his New Year message.

That would mean governments investing throughout the economic downturn and offering “real help” to families and businesses.

While the issues were complex, due to their global origin and dimension, Brown was confident that the British people could meet the challenges in the economy, the environment and security.

The task for 2009 was to “build tomorrow” with jobs for the digital age and the green agenda, new transport and communications infrastructure and enhanced skills, said Brown.

He also launched a strong defence of his government’s policy of last autumn’s massive recapitalisation scheme for the banking sector and fiscal measures to stimulate the ailing economy.

“The scale and speed of the global financial crisis was, at times, almost overwhelming. I know that people felt bewildered, confused and sometimes frightened,” he said.

“That is why the response had to be swift and decisive.”

However, the opposition Conservatives accused Brown of “arrogance” and of “living in a fantasy land of his own imagination”.

George Osborne, the Conservatives’ spokesman on the economy, said that six months of policy announcements by Brown had achieved “nothing except to add to our national debt”.

“He (Brown) has the arrogance to use Churchillian language when he will go down in history as the politician who spent 10 years in high office failing to prepare Britain for the gathering storm,” said Osborne.

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