Brown: Bold actions needed to tackle global crisis

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Indy Politics

The global economic crisis will require "innovative and bold" responses from governments around the world, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today.

As the London summit of the G20 group of major economies approaches, leaders must show they are capable of taking the international action necessary to restore growth and prosperity, Mr Brown said.

He was speaking at a gathering of economists in Lancaster House to set the scene for the 2 April summit, which will take place at the ExCel Centre.

Mr Brown said: "I believe we are setting off on a course where we have to not only look at what national governments need to do to deal with the global financial crisis, but we need also to look - because this is a global problem that requires global solutions - at what we can do internationally to deal with the problems we face.

"I believe that we will need to leave behind old orthodoxies and think boldly about new solutions, particularly in the international area, that can equip us better for the challenges we face, particularly avoiding crises like this in the future."

Mr Brown said the "first financial crisis of the global age" had led to a 40% slump in share prices around the world and substantial rises in unemployment in many countries.

"It calls for innovative and bold solutions that I hope the world will be capable of as we move towards G20," he said.

Mr Brown made clear his determination not to be judged by history in the same way as the ministers and officials who rejected economist John Maynard Keynes's calls for a fiscal stimulus at the time of the stock market crash of 1929.

Winston Churchill described the Government of the day as "resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity and all-powerful for impotence", recalled the Prime Minister.

And Mr Brown told today's audience: "That's not the position we want to be in as we face the future."

The Prime Minister stressed: "The priority for us must be the jobs and livelihoods of millions of families who feel insecure as a result of what's happened, and how it has happened so quickly.

"So the focus on jobs and maintaining employment and making sure we don't convert short-term unemployment into long-term unemployment is one every government is considering."

He added: "I don't think there's a national, one-country-only solution to these problems.

"The global problem we have requires global action. The need, the necessity, the urgency for international action is greater than ever before."