Thu, 06 Dec 2012 15:15:00 GMT | By PTI

Britain faces more austerity pain as outlook darkens

FM George Osborne warned Britons that reversing belt-tightening measures now would be a “disaster”

Britain faces more austerity pain as outlook darkens (© Reuters)

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.

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