Brown must try harder, say FDs

Tony Blair may have used a pained press conference last week to describe Gordon Brown as the best chancellor for 100 years, but UK FDs are less impressed.

Link: FDs fear election snub

Just 6% in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big Question gave Brown a grade A.

The same percentage, in the survey of more than 200 FDs, marked him as a fail. Some 57% of FDs gave Brown a B or a C but neither Blair nor his chancellor will be impressed with the 31% who gave him a D. ‘He has achieved macro-economic stability, but is storing up huge future tax increases,’ said one FD.

While many of the 235 FDs polled applauded his handling of the economy so far, concerns are high that problems are just around the corner.

‘While the economy has been fairly stable, the spending commitments made will put too much burden on public finances, inevitably leading to tax rises,’ said another. ‘There have been insufficient public service gains for the money put in.’

Some were far more glowing in their praise for Brown’s guidance of the economy.

‘The chancellor is by far the best we have had,’ said a respondent.

‘He has done well considering what he inherited from the Tories,’ said another.

Others felt that Brown was ‘out of his depth’ and that ‘higher taxes and limited improvements to the welfare state’ justified marking him as having failed.

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