Chancellor George Osborne's Budget comes amid warning of fresh UK
downgrades by rating agencies
Scottish independence: Better Together credibility battered after warnings of fresh UK downgrades
The campaign against Scotland becoming an independent nation - Better Together - has suffered a further blow as alarm bells are sounding that more rating agencies could soon follow Moody's and downgrade the UK's economy and the international status of the pound as a stable currency, it has emerged.
Better Together, led by the former Chancellor Alistair Darling, has placed the economic case against independence at the heart of the 'no' campaign and recently urged Scots to remain within the Union painting a grim picture of families living in a Scotland without Britain's protective AAA rating.
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That political rhetoric was shattered recently when Moody's downgraded the UK from AAA to Aa1 which means that international investors are warned that investments in Britain are now a risk and loans to the British government may not be paid back.
For ordinary citizens this means more job cuts and austerity measures may follow as the UK government is unable to borrow money to plug the growing deficit in Britain's finances.
Now, Alistair Darling's team face a credibility crisis as City analysts warn that more rating agencies could soon join Moody's in downgrading the UK. This confirmation that the UK's economic crisis is deepening critically undermines the case for remaining within the Union which is largely based on the UK's perceived stable and enduring success.
The news comes after figures released by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) showed high-street spending and exports have continued to perform poorly raising widespread fears that the chancellor's attempts to curtail the UK's skyrocketing debt has failed.
Today's budget by Chancellor George Osborne is expected to include a deepening of the austerity measures which are already worrying charities and poverty groups who note a widespread increase in food banks, family pressures and suicides across Britain.
Today's budget, trailed as the UK's latest 'austerity budget', comes as First Minister Alex Salmond announces the exact date of Scotland's independence referendum. Mr Salmond is expected to point out the opportunities offered by independence compared to the austerity on offer should Scots elect to remain inside the UK in next year's referendum, pointing to today's budget as underlining his case for a 'yes' vote.
Mr Salmond will reference OBR figures which also revealed that at current levels of borrowing, Britain’s escalating debt would rise to £1.63tn by 2017 - most of which has been racked up while Scotland has been in surplus.
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