Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

PM calls for global tax-cutting

Gordon Brown says tax cuts are part of a 'route map' to economic recovery

Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to bring in co-ordinated tax cuts in an effort to revive the global economy.

He told the BBC this would help to make people "feel more secure" and that governments working together "will make progress" in dealing with the downturn.

The PM, in the US ahead of an economic summit, said interest rate cuts alone were not enough of a stimulus.

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to unveil tax cuts or spending rises in his pre-Budget report on 24 November.

'What works best'

Mr Brown is expected to push for more across-the-board tax cuts at the G20 leaders' economic meeting in Washington on Saturday.

In New York, he told the BBC he wanted to "bring the economy back so that people feel more secure about their jobs and their future...

"I am determined that we can come out of this downturn and make it fair for hardworking families."

We need to have the interest rate cuts accompanied by another stimulus. This is a big opportunity
Gordon Brown

He added: "The debate is essentially the one that the US is having at the moment... We are looking at what works best."

Despite last week's unprecedented 1.5% interest rate by the Bank of England - with indications of more to follow - there are fears that such moves on their own will not be sufficient.

Mr Brown said: "We need to have the interest rate cuts accompanied by another stimulus. This is a big opportunity. I believe we will make progress."

He also hinted at possible tax cuts for low income workers in the UK, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, saying they were the group most likely to spend any rebate which would boost the economy.

But in a speech earlier at the United Nations headquarters, he argued that tax-cutting measures had to be repeated around the world to have any significant impact.

He said: "It is now becoming increasingly accepted around the world that a temporary and affordable fiscal stimulus is necessary."

Mr Brown added: "There is a need for urgency. The cost of inaction will be far greater than the cost of any action."

China, Germany and Japan have already announced proposals to stimulate their economies, while US President-elect Barack Obama has said that he will be bring forward his own measures when he takes office in January.

Protectionism warning

Mr Brown said he would be use Saturday's meeting to press for a reopening of the Doha round of world trade talks following their collapse in Geneva last July.

He also issued a warning about economic protectionism amid concerns some countries - including the US - will erect trade barriers to protect jobs.

Mr Brown will also be pushing for a timetable for reform of the international financial system and an agreement on additional funding for the International Monetary Fund to bail out countries which run into trouble.

Mr Obama will not be at the summit, but Downing Street officials are expected to meet members of his team who will attend.

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