Gordon Brown Cost the UK £10bn in Gold Sales
Gold prices hit a record high today of $1,580.70, meaning that Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off 400 tonnes of gold in 1999 at a twenty year low in the market has cost the nation over £10 billion. On 7 May 1999, Gordon Brown announced that he was planning to sell off 400 tonnes of gold at a 20-year low in the market – now nicknamed the “Brown Bottom” by gold traders. Gordon Brown sold off Britain’s gold for between $256 and $296 an ounce, raising $3.496bn (£2.343bn at the then exchange rate). Since then the gold price has gone up more than 5 times to $1,580.70 an ounce. If the gold had not been sold it would now be worth £12.6 billion, over five times the £2.3 billion originally raised.
Treasury documents released under a freedom of information request show that Ed Balls and Ed Miliband were both copied into correspondence on the gold sale while working as Special Advisers to Gordon Brown at the time of the sale. Ed Balls is cc-ed in to the correspondence on pages 5, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 17 of the documents released under by the Treasury under an FOI request (link). Ed Miliband is also cc-ed on p. 14 of the releases. As the Times reported at the time ‘Key Treasury advisers including Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, who are both now senior Government ministers, were copied in to the correspondence’ (The Times, 1 April 2010).
The evidence is now overwhelming that Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off the nation’s gold reserves cost the country over £10 billion, equivalent to the cost of the 2012 Olympics or three brand new aircraft carriers. Labour doubled the national debt and left the biggest deficit in peacetime history. Ed Miliband still can’t admit to Labour’s mistakes on the economy, but it is future generations who will be left paying for them.