PracticePeople In PracticeBrussels accuses Brown of ‘Enron accounting’

Brussels accuses Brown of 'Enron accounting'

Gordon Brown has been accused of 'Enron accounting' by a senior European Union official over the Chancellor's plans to boost aid to poorer countries.

link: Managing overseas aid accounts

Poul Nielson, EU Development Commissioner, was critical of plans to double aid to £56bn a year through an International Finance Facility.

The Chancellor’s proposals would increase aid through the issue of bonds backed by existing aid funds. Mr Nielson claimed this meant future generations in richer countries would end up meeting the debt.

‘I don’t like the idea,’ he said. ‘It smells too much of Enron accounting.’

‘To introduce a new dimension of debt…only to impose on our children the burden of actually paying what we now take the glory for doing, that I don’t like.’

Earlier, Mr Brown had said reform of the EU aid budget was ‘crucial’.

Mr Nielson’s comments came as Tony Blair chaired a summit on African development in Ethiopia.

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