G20 agrees on fresh support

FINANCE ministers from the world&rsquo;s richest nations have agreed to maintain fiscal support for economies until it is clear any recovery is sustainable.<br /><br />Meeting at the G20 summit in St Andrews on Saturday, delegates said concerns over unemployment and uneven growth in the short term meant the props of policy should be kept in place.<br /><br />Chancellor Alistair Darling told a press conference: &ldquo;We agreed to maintain support until recovery is ensured. While there are signs of improvement, we are not out of the woods yet.&rdquo;<br /><br />Timothy Geithner, US Treasury Secretary, added that it was &ldquo;too early to lean against recovery&rdquo;. While the global economy is expected to grow by three per cent next year, Mr Geithner said the road to safety would be &ldquo;tough&rdquo;.<br /><br />In an unusual move, ministers agreed to submit their economic plans to be assessed by the G20, with assistance from the IMF and the World Bank, to make sure they were working in line with the aim of generating balanced growth.<br /><br />On the subject of climate change, the G20 agreed to work of an &ldquo;ambitious outcome&rdquo; at the UN summit in Copenhagen and &ldquo;recognised the need to increase significantly and urgently the scale and predictability of finance&rdquo;.<br /><br />However despite calls from world leaders at the Pittsburgh summit to focus on this element, the ministers were unable to settle on a figure. Nor could the grouping, which represents around 90 per cent of the world&rsquo;s wealth, settle on a way to distribute funds to poorer nations in the fight against global warming.<br /><br /><strong>G20 IN QUOTES<br />WHATFINANCELEADERSSAID ABOUTTHEIDEAOFAFINANCIAL TRANSACTIONTAX TOFUND FUTUREBAILOUTS<br /></strong><br /><strong>US TREASURY SECRETARY<br />TIMOTHY GEITHNER</strong> <br />&ldquo;A day-by-day financial transaction tax is not something we&rsquo;re prepared to support.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK<br />PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDETRICHET</strong><br />&ldquo;I am personally not convinced. But there are other options.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>IMF CHIEF<br />DOMINIQUE STRAUSSKAHN:</strong><br />&ldquo;It is a very old idea that is not really possible today.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>RUSSIANFINANCE MINISTER <br />ALEXEIKUDRIN</strong><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m quite sceptical about such taxes. Gordon Brown is well known as the person who has been raising taxes all the time.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>CANADIANFINANCEMINISTER<br />JIMFLAHERTY</strong><br />&ldquo;We are not in the business of raising taxes, we are in the business of lowering taxes in Canada. It is not an idea we would look at.&rdquo;<br />