Britain faces more austerity pain as outlook darkens
LONDON: Finance Minister George Osborne on Wednesday warned Britons that they faced an extra year of austerity measures and insisted that reversing his belt-tightening measures now would be a “disaster”.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne said Britain would face spending cuts and tax hikes until 2018 — after the coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron had already previously extended the programme by two years to 2017.
The bleak announcement in a budget update, coming alongside grim news that the Government is slashing its outlook for economic growth, is likely to heap further pressure on the administration mid-way through a five-year term in power.
Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, Osborne also acknowledged that the Government would fail to meet its official target for reducing public debt as a proportion of economic output by 2015-16.
“It is taking time but the British economy is healing after the biggest financial crash in our lifetime,” Osborne insisted in his Autumn Statement.