UK finance boss: Debt-cutting slower than expected

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 2, 2012 at 5:55 am •  Published: December 2, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — Britain's Treasury chief acknowledged Sunday the economy is taking longer than expected to recover from the financial crisis, but insisted he will not waver from his policy of tax hikes and spending cuts.

George Osborne said the British government might miss its self-imposed goals of cutting debt as a share of national income by 2015/16 and of balancing the current budget.

Osborne said he would introduce new tax measures for the rich on Wednesday, along with further moves to trim welfare spending.

The Conservative-led government is cutting 50 billion pounds ($80 billion) in spending through 2015 in a bid to slash the national debt, which stands at more than 1 trillion pounds ($1.6 trillion).

But critics say the government's austerity policy has failed to kick-start the economy, which has been through two periods of recession since 2008.

"It is clearly taking longer to deal with Britain's debts, it's clearly taking longer to recover from the financial crisis than one would have hoped, but we have made real progress," Osborne told BBC television.