George Osborne warns of fresh austerity measures

British chancellor of the exchequer indicates savings will come from public-sector cuts

 British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne:    “My message in this budget is that the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis,” he told the Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/Getty

British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne: “My message in this budget is that the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis,” he told the Andrew Marr Show. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/Getty

 

British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne started the week of his eighth budget by warning that he must set out more austerity measures as economic conditions remain difficult.

“My message in this budget is that the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis,” Osborne told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. “We’re going to have to make further savings.”

Mr Osborne has indicated some savings in the budget to be unveiled on Wednesday will come from further public-sector spending cuts.

Revenue-raising measures may include getting an extra £6 billion (€7.7 billion) from the levy on bank profits, as well as by selling assets of rescued lender Bradford and Bingley.

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The chancellor refused to identify specific savings, and instead echoed his intention, set out in an article written for the Sun on Sunday, to stick to his deficit-cutting path even as economic risks intensify.

He told Mr Marr that the cuts would be “equivalent to 50 pence in every £100” of public spending by 2020, “not a huge amount in the scheme of things.”

A law passed by his own Conservative government requires Mr Osborne to propose a budget with a surplus by the end of the decade. This has sparked criticism the chancellor has limited his room to manoeuvre in the budget, while looming Brexit vote has forced him to drop measures that may spark controversy among voters. – (Bloomberg)