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Did Gordon Brown make the recession worse than it should have been?

A report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has today cast aspersions on Gordon Brown's handling of the economy prior to the 2007 credit crunch. The IFS believes that overspending in the public sector as long ago as 2001 saw the financial position of the UK fall to its weakest for many years. There was concern at the time that Gordon Brown refused to increase taxes in line with public sector investment increases and instead sought to borrow money and increase the UK national debt.

This situation could not go on forever and once the credit crunch hit home it became apparent that the UK financial position would further lengthen the economic downturn. UK national debt is now said to stand at over £1.3 trillion and is set to increase over the next three years as the budget deficit is unlikely to fall below £80 billion a year. There is no doubt that actions taken by Gordon Brown in his time at the Treasury did increase UK national debt but many believe his investment into the UK economy helped to extend the boom period.

This report could not have come at a worse time for the UK government which is fighting both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative party at the ballot box.

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