The Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury has said during a radio interview, that hanging on to the coveted AAA credit status is not as important as the Chancellor, George Osborne, has suggested.
In a pointed dig at his Tory coalition peer, Danny Alexander dismissed the credit rating in the UK as not ‘the be all and end all.’
George Osborne has repeatedly pointed to the decision by credit rating agencies, to allow Britain to retain its top notch credit ranking, as vindication for some of the tough austerity decisions the government has been forced to make.
However, the Lib Dem MP has said that the victory is not as important as the Chancellor has alluded to, suggesting instead that the real state of the economy is far more important.
During an interview with Radio 4, Mr Alexander said that securing the ‘right policy mix,’ achieving ‘economic growth,’ as well as resolving the ‘huge problems’ with the country’s finances, were far more important than keeping the AAA credit status. The Lib Dem minister admitted that the credit ratings were in part a reflection of those factors, but insisted that the government should be focusing on things closer to home.
And whilst the triple-A credit status is a real badge of honour for countries, being stripped of it appears to have done the US little harm. Despite having lost its AAA status in a shock move by Standard & Poor’s last year, the dollar has bounced back and its economy is faring far better than Britain’s.
S&P has backed the UK to climb out of its financial predicament in the coming months and has reiterated its belief that Britain deserves to retain its AAA ranking, a reassurance which came as welcome news to David Cameron and his colleagues.