Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 11:23 UK

Darling downplays new rescue plan

Alistair Darling
Mr Darling denied there was a rift between the government and the bank

Chancellor Alistair Darling has played down the idea that leaders will announce a completely new stimulus economic package at the G20 summit.

Speaking on the BBC's Politics Show, Mr Darling said there was no expectation that finance ministers from different countries would present new budgets.

But details on how the International Monetary Fund would boost its resources were expected, he said.

And how to boost trade and reform regulation remain key issues, he added.

Separately, a report in the Financial Times said a draft communique from G20 leaders reiterated pledges to avoid protectionism among others.

"We are determined to restore growth now, resist protectionism, and reform our markets and institutions for the future," the draft said, according to the FT.

It also said world stimulus plans underway would create more than 20 million jobs.

The FT said said hedge funds would be overseen by "a stronger Financial Stability Forum", and tax havens would be singled out.

Budgets

Mr Darling said: "We are not saying everyone has to do the same thing at the same time on the same day. But we must act together".

He added that most G20 members had already announced stimulus plans.

Talking to the BBC's Andrew Marr earlier, UK Treasury Chief Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "What we are not going to have is a process in which finance ministers are writing their budgets in the course of next week.

"That was never the process that you go through," she told the BBC.

The comments came as a report in the Sunday Times said Prime Minister Gordon Brown's plans for worldwide tax cuts as part of a "global new deal" had been "scuppered".

The newspaper cited Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel as saying "I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money".

Rift?

Also on the Politics Show, Mr Darling denied there was any split between the government and the Bank of England.

Last week central bank governor Mervyn King warned against more significant government spending to boost the economy.

Given the high levels of UK debt as a result of recent stimulus packages, Mr King questioned the wisdom of increasing debt by spending more.

The comments prompted Prime Minister Gordon Brown to deny there was any rift between the government and the Bank of England, saying there was "far more agreement" than had been claimed.

Mr Darling said he was not at all surprised by Mr King's comments.

"I've made it clear on a number of occasions that you have to balance the necessity of taking action now with the fact that like any other country you've got to live within your means in the medium term."

But Mr Darling added that doing nothing would be "disastrous".



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