In an article for the Birmingham Post, Prime Minister Gordon Brown explains what the impact of the G20 summit will have on the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands
After the flurry of activity around the G20 summit in Britain last week, people will want to know what this plan to fight the global recession will mean for people’s jobs here in Birmingham and across the UK.
I am clear that the agreements we reached can make a real difference for British families and businesses facing difficult times.
Because while others have tried to talk our prospects down and claim the recession is a problem unique to Britain, the G20 summit demonstrated beyond doubt that the difficulties we face are global and require a global solution.
So just as a financial collapse that started elsewhere in the world has hit many businesses and families here in the West Midlands, so the British economy will only recover if we can get the global economy back on track.
We are an open economy and a trading nation. Many thousands of jobs here in the region depend on the goods and services we sell abroad. So I was very pleased that, because of the global plan agreed at the G20, the global recession will be shorter, and more jobs will be saved, than would otherwise have been the case.
And we can prevent future financial crises by delivering the tighter regulation we agreed at the London Summit.
Our global and national action to help Birmingham businesses and families are two sides of the same coin – both are critical if we are to recover more quickly with fewer job losses.
So now that the world has signed up to a Global Plan for Recovery, all of us in the Government will be setting to work making sure our action makes a difference here in Britain.
In the next few weeks, I will be concentrating on our own National Plan which puts in place the building blocks for future recovery by investing in families, jobs, and in the key sectors of the economy.
We will continue to stand by those who are worried that they could lose their homes or jobs and not walk by but deliver our promise to provide real help now. So starting just this week pensions rise by £4.55 to £95.25, the highest rise since 2001, child tax credit rises by £150 a year and working tax credits by £90 a year. In addition, 22 million basic-rate taxpayers will pay £145 less tax because of the fiscal stimulus.
And to stop a temporary rise in unemployment becoming permanent as we saw in the past, extra help will be available for those unemployed for more than six months. We understand the impact that the international credit crunch and economic slowdown are having on businesses.
That’s why a range of measures have been put in place and are delivering real help to firms, including the deferred payment of over £1.75 billion in tax by over 100,000 businesses since November.
This scheme has already benefited 1,170 firms in Birmingham - it’s real help worth £26 million to the local economy. This recession is already hitting every part of our country but I am confident that the action agreed at the G20 last week will mean we can turn the corner quicker.