X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

Danny Alexander: Triple A rating isn’t the be-all and end-all

6 August 2012

8:53 AM

6 August 2012

8:53 AM

‘I am proud to be part of a UK government that has re-established our country’s financial credibility. And the credit rating agencies rate the UK as triple A. The low interest rates today of 1.8 per cent are a consequence of this.’

Those were the words of Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, back in June. He was echoing what his colleagues in the Treasury have been saying throughout this Parliament: that the UK’s credit rating is a testament to the successful economic policies of the coalition. George Osborne was quick to capitalise on the announcement by Standard & Poor’s at the end of July that the UK would maintain its triple A status.

[Alt-Text]


Which is why an interview that Alexander gave this morning to the Today programme sounded rather odd. ‘The credit rating is not the be-all and end-all,’ he said. ‘What matters is have we got the right policy mix for the country to get people back into work, to support economic growth, to deal with the huge problems in our public finances and the credit agencies reflect on those things and the ratings they give are a reflection of the credibility of that mix.’

Everything Alexander is saying is entirely sensible, of course. The credit ratings agencies only reflect on the success of the government’s economic policy. And it’s not as though they give the most cast-iron verdicts anyway (remember they gave collateralised debt obligations high ratings). But given he and his colleagues have set such store by their verdicts, pointing to them as a sign that though times are tough, the UK economy is on the right course, it’s difficult to switch from saying they do matter a great deal to trying to suggest they don’t matter after all. It also suggests anxiety in the Treasury that the other ratings agencies will not give the UK the benefit of the doubt that S&P did last month.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close