Economy World

The British finance minister seeks to allay fears on growth.

LONDON – British finance minister George Osborne had to defend his austerity plan after the downward revision of growth forecasts of the Bank of England and the warnings of the institution against further economic problems.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer had to speak to parliamentarians as part of a special meeting convened after the riots that rocked several districts of London and other English cities.

Back from vacation in California, George Osborne should ensure that Britain is ready to face any future crisis in the banking sector in Europe.

In the Monday edition of the “Daily Telegraph”, the minister defended his plan for reducing public spending by 81 billion pounds (92 billion) by 2015.

Some politicians, including Mayor of London Boris Johnson as George Osborne, a member of the Conservative Party, have criticized the cuts on the number of police as part of austerity. According to the inspection services of the police, these cuts will mean 16,000 fewer workers by 2015.

But the minister suggested that budget cuts were necessary and had helped restore market confidence in Britain.

At the same time, he acknowledged, given the uncertainties including the banking sector in Europe, the UK was not “immune” against “international events” and “instability”.

On Wednesday the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King warned that its services now provided a 1.4% growth in 2011, while earlier forecasts were 1, 8%.


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