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June 8, 2010 / J. Shaw

Britain's Economy, Way of Life May be Doomed-Is America Next?


Stern and grim-faced in a speech in Milton Keynes, north of London, Britain Prime Minister Cameron said, “How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society — indeed our whole way of life.”

“The decisions we make will affect every single person in our country,” he said. “And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades, to come.”

Mr. Cameron said that at more than 11 percent, Britain’s budget deficit was the largest ever faced by the country in peacetime. But he warned that the structural deficit was more worrisome. Britain owes more than $1.12 trillion, he said, and in five years will owe nearly double that if nothing is done now.

The country already spends more on interest payments on its debt than it does running its schools, he said, adding that determining how to reduce the deficit and cut down on borrowing is “the most urgent issue facing Britain today.”

Mr. Cameron’s government, a coalition of Conservatives from his party and Liberal Democrats, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, faces a difficult political road. With its grip on power untested, it will have to contend with critics on the right and left of both parties to get its spending plans through Parliament.

At the same time, the government risks alienating Britons, particularly workers in the state sector, which Mr. Cameron singled out as an example of public spending run amok.

Mr. Cameron tried to soften the blow by saying that the cuts would not disproportionately affect the vulnerable.

From Article:Cameron Warns Britons of Austerity, NYTIMES



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