Trading Room home page

Downgrade stark reminder of British debt

Market watch top headlines

Australian reports

World reports

Stocks to watch

ALQ, AGO, BCI, BHP, FMG, RIO, BHP, HRR, NAB, PDN, PRY,

LONDON, Feb 22 AFP

February 23 2013, 12:02AM

British finance minister George Osborne says the decision by ratings agency Moody's to downgrade Britain's AAA status is a stark reminder of Britain's massive debt burden.

"Tonight we have a stark reminder of the debt problems facing our country - and the clearest possible warning to anyone who thinks we can run away from dealing with those problems," Osborne said in a statement on Friday.

"Far from weakening our resolve to deliver our economic recovery plan, this decision redoubles it. We will go on delivering the plan that has cut the deficit by a quarter, and given us record low interest rates and record numbers of jobs."

Moody's cut Britain's top-grade AAA rating on Friday by one notch to Aa1, citing slow growth and a rising debt burden.

Osborne acknowledged that Britain faced "huge challenges at home from the debts built up over many, many years", but added that the situation was not made any easier by "the very weak economic situation in Europe".

"We are not going to run away from our problems, we are going to overcome them," he added.