Brown: Financial crisis plan will work

Gordon Brown insisted today his action plan for tackling the financial crisis would work - despite renewed turmoil on global markets.

The Prime Minister said "hard-working families" in the UK would start to feel the benefit of efforts to bring down oil prices and ease the cost of borrowing.

But he also hit out at some retailers for failing to pass on lower oil prices at the petrol pumps quickly.

Speaking after the conclusion of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, Mr Brown identified fuel costs and mortgage rates as key areas.

"These are the issues that we are working on every day and I believe that we will see changes as a result of the measures we are working on," he said.

Mr Brown said he was pleased that some British supermarkets have dropped petrol prices below £1 a litre, after oil costs fell to around 80 US dollars a barrel.

"But I would like to see other retailers folllowing that lead," he said. "The average price is still £1.07 and there is still too much variation of price across our country.

"In some areas, the petrol price is still as much as £1.20 a litre. That must change."

The Prime Minister defended the Government's decision to increase its borrowing to stave off a deep recession and ease pressure on families.

"We have said that because we have got low national debt, we are in a position to borrow to keep the economy moving forward," he said.

Asked about another slide on global markets - with dramatic drops of up to 11% in Asia overnight driving the FTSE down more than 100 points today - Mr Brown stressed international action had to be given time to take effect.

"I think the markets are reflecting not just events in our country but what is happening in every part of the world," he said.

"There will be uncertainty until we finalise many of the decisions that have been made in other countries at other times."

He went on: "The issue for me is what we can do to help hardworking families in our country - what we can do to help people facing high petrol prices high gas and electricity bills, people seeking mortgages and small businesses worried about their cashflows."

Mr Brown batted away questions over whether he might call a snap general election, to take advantage of public perception that he is handling the financial crisis well.

"I am getting on with the job and trying to get us through these difficult times. It has got my undivided attention."

Pressed again on the issue later in the press conference, he added: "I will take the British people through these difficulties and help pensioners facing fuel bills with higher allowances than last year, and help with special tariffs for gas and electricity for those on low incomes.

"That's the only thing that is in my mind. I see it as my job to calm things down."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea