Gordon Brown and Britain’s Gold

Between 1999 and 2002 while he was Chancellor, Gordon Brown ordered the sale of about 400 tons of gold from England’s gold reserves. That was the worst possible time to sell gold as at that period the gold price was at a 20-year low. Since then the price of gold has almost quadrupled. This means that the taxpayers lost about 7 billion pounds because of Mr. Browns bad judgement call.This move is seen as one of the worst financial mistake made by the Treasury. The sale is going to be a major election issue and it will cast light on the Gordon Brown’s decisions. After a series of requests regarding the freedom of information, the Treasury was ordered to release information on the subject by the end of April. Politicians believe that the British have the right to know why 7 billion pounds from their money was lost. Voices in England say that Brown pushed the sale despite some misgivings at the Bank of England. Some say that senior Bank experts were not even consulted about the issue.The Information Commissioner’s decision to order the Treasury to release information only about 4 years after the event is bound to raise some criticism. This happened despite the public and political interest in the matter. Because of this delay officials have missed a series of deadlines to order the release of information. This means that now a proper analysis of the disclosures will not be possible.News of secret meetings between the Treasury and the commissioner and information that they intend to keep much of the paperwork a secret has leaked to the public. The Information Commissioner clearly stated that only some pieces of information are to be revealed to the public. If the Treasury fails to release the information required by the end of April it will be held in contempt of court and will face legal action.

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