The Rt Hon Gordon Brown
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

A. citizen
100 Any Road
Typical Town


Date:   12th May 2008
 Dear Gordon Brown

Our Special Relationship with the USA: One USD Equals One GBP

I am glad that you still believe that we have a special relationship with the USA. As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland I would have thought that you are well placed to investigate the truth of the following proposition and perhaps may be able to rectify what many UK citizens feel is a rip off. Or is it because the USA can manage their economy better than the UK can manage theirs?

Our Special Relationship with the USA means, in 2008, that we buy many goods that are produced by American companies and that we pay in GBP almost the same amount that an American citizen would pay in USD. For example Microsoft sells an upgrade from Frontpage (a well known and popular web design and publishing software package) for their new product Expression Web 2 for 94.99 USD in the USA and for 99.99 GBP in the UK. These are prices that and sell these identical products for. The US price is subject to sales tax. To compare the two prices the UK price which includes VAT at 17.5 per cent needs to be reduced to 82.49 GBP. Removing the tax from the prices alters the calculation to a pricing policy that sets 1 USD = 0.9 GBP. Whereas at today's exchange rate, 1 USD =1.95 GBP. If we use the exchange rate, which addmitedly fluctuates, to calculate the UK price the UK price should be 42.33 GBP (ex VAT)

However my view of the Special Relationship is that at the beginning of the Second World War (during which I was born) it became increasingly important that not withstanding the separation of the USA and Great Britain we share not only the same language but culture and philosophy and we were being threatened by Nazi Germany. Apart from financial support we had the military support of the USA and there is no doubt that we would not have survived the Second World War without that support. But at present, in a time of (relatively) global peace, there is an important, possibly terminal situation to this relationship; that is that we are being charged much more for products than US citizens and the US Government is not doing anything about this.

I could have used any other retailer and would find that the upgrade is being sold for the same or very similar prices. Of course Microsoft are not the only company who market their products in the UK using the exchange rate 1USD =1GBP or as close to that equation as to make hardly any difference.

British Citizens are paying almost twice what a US citizen pays for the same product.

Perhaps, Prime Minister you could ask President George Bush how the USA manages its economy in such a way as to enable the same products to be sold in the USA at a fraction of what they cost in the UK. Or are we simply being ripped off by these companies?

Yours sincerely

A. Citizen

I have added this link to the website as I was curious as to how the USA has helped Britain over the years and in particular during World War II. The article is about war and post war loans to help Britain and also debts that other countries owe to us.