UK to dodge Greek fate with tough budget – Osborne


The biggest threat to the economy is its huge budget deficit, and an emergency budget on Tuesday will save the country from the fate of debt-stricken Greece, Chancellor George Osborne said on Sunday.
Measures expected to be included in the budget include a bank levy and reform of welfare benefits and public sector pay. Other plans include payroll tax breaks for new businesses, a council tax freeze and a review of public sector pensions.
“You can see in Greece an example of a country that didn’t face up to its problems, and that is the fate that I want to avoid,” Osborne told the BBC in an interview.
“I’m absolutely clear, I don’t want the question even asked, ‘Can Britain pay its way in the world?’ I’m going to prove on Tuesday that we can,” he said, adding that the budget’s austerity measures would be staggered over five years.
The budget deficit is at about 11 % of national output, and reducing the deficit is the centrepiece policy of the new coalition government, made up of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. —Reuters