Row erupts over firm’s euro report

Chantrey Vellacott has defended a report which suggests the UK will have to cough up a one-off cost of £36bn to join the euro after the figure was rubbished by the Labour Party.

The row erupted this weekend after shadow chancellor Michael Portillo used the mid-tier firm’s figures in the Conservative Party’s election campaign to save the pound, saying the euro would cost £36bn ‘or 36 domes’.

Labour Party figures responded by rubbishing the figure as ‘nonsense’.

But Chantrey Vellacott head of economics Maurice Fitzpatrick said: ‘In arriving at our figure, we made extensive use of independent research by the Big Five firms. If Gordon Brown seeks to attack our figure, then I would have thought it (Labour) needs to indicate what it thinks the correct figure is.’

Fitzpatrick is set to join accountancy-based services group Tenon in August as a director of taxation services and head of economics.

Portillo also cited a survey of large companies by KPMG suggesting that, if Britain were to join the euro, the cost of altering computer systems would be five times the cost of coping with the millennium bug.

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