Gordon Brown no puede esquivar a Europa

Los problemas de Tony Blair no se limitan a un abrumador escepticismo público acerca de la guerra en Irak. La sólida economía que ha apuntalado a su gobierno desde 1997 está mostrando fisuras.

De hecho, hasta ahora, las preocupaciones de Europa acerca de las finanzas públicas se han centrado en Alemania, Francia y Portugal. Gran Bretaña parecía un bastión de la prudencia fiscal. Sin embargo, en su próximo presupuesto el Ministro de Hacienda, Gordon Brown, puede tener que admitir que el Reino Unido se arriesga a incumplir los límites al déficit fijados por el Tratado de Maastricht. Antes de las próximas elecciones en Gran Bretaña, Brown puede verse obligado a admitir algo incluso más preocupante: la necesidad de aumentar los impuestos para cumplir sus propias reglas fiscales.

En noviembre pasado, el ministro predijo que el déficit presupuestario del Reino Unido se elevaría a £24 mil millones en 2003/4, y que luego caería a £19 mil millones en 2004/5, bien por debajo del techo del 3% del PGB del Tratado de Maastricht. Pero la previsión promedio entre los analistas es un déficit de £27 mil millones el próximo año, y algunos observadores proyectan un déficit de £30 mil millones o más en 2004/05. Esto ejercerá una fuerte presión sobre el límite de Maastricht.

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