Page last updated at 03:55 GMT, Saturday, 10 October 2009 04:55 UK

Brown optimistic over UK economy

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Gordon Brown is optimistic about the UK's economic growth

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has painted an optimistic prediction for the economy, saying it was "simply not true" that tough times are ahead.

Mr Brown told the Daily Telegraph that the action the government had taken was bringing the economy around.

"We've said that the economy will grow by 1.5% next year and more people are moving towards our position," he said.

Mr Brown's assessment of the rate of recovery contrasts with the Treasury's forecasts for annual growth of 1.25%.

And the IMF has made a prediction of 0.9%.

Mr Brown said: "If you have a growth policy for Britain, get unemployment down, get the economy moving forward, then Britain can have upgrowth," he said.

"I think people have moved closer to our view that Britain is capable of coming back to growth at a higher rate next year than people were originally assuming, and higher rates in the future."

Mr Brown also said Conservative leader David Cameron's "austerity" policies were a major threat to a prosperous future for the nation.

Do people want a party that has a strategy for getting out of the recession, or do they want a party that's so pessimistic about Britain, they tell you in advance they're giving you an age of austerity?
Gordon Brown

"The Tories are pessimists, they're for an age of austerity, they're for cutting the help, therefore allowing unemployment to continue to rise.

"They're wrong about the recovery and wrong about growth.

"The health and education services cannot survive the scale of cuts they are talking about. Do people want a party that has a strategy for getting out of the recession, or do they want a party that's so pessimistic about Britain, they tell you in advance they're giving you an age of austerity?

"Then you come to the question of how do you get back to growth? What is the Conservative policy?

To let unemployment go high, to cut back investment at a time when it's needed most, to cut schools investment, to cut support for science and industry and to detach themselves from Europe."

Mr Brown described this course of action as "a recipe for high unemployment and for being in a recession longer".

He also said the nation had a choice "between people like me who are optimists for the future of this country and those who think the prospects of this generation are worse than the last".

And the prime minister gave his first direct reaction to the decision by ex-Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt to become an adviser to the Conservatives.

He said: "People can judge the decision that he's made and judge the statements he's been making for several months on the basis of that."



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