Politics: Tories bug Labour on computer woes

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The Independent Online
MORE than 150 Commons questions have been put down about the "Millennium Bug" computer problem, with Conservative frontbenchers opening up a bombardment of ministers on the issue.

Ministers believe that the Tories are on weak ground in criticising their record, given the lack of adequate preparation - and serious financial resources - before the election last May.

But Cheryl Gillan, the Opposition spokeswoman, said yesterday: "There can be few problems more serious and more pressing than the Millennium Bomb, yet only one statement has been made since 1 May, despite the Government's assurance that regular reports would be published."

As The Independent reported yesterday, the European Commission has now joined those warning that lives and business could be put at risk by the problem - which will be triggered by computer programs across the world misinterpreting the double-digit year 00 as 1900, rather than 2000, at the end of next year.

Ms Gillan added: "Over three months have elapsed since the last statement and increasingly we are reading reports which indicate the costs are escalating."