UK would ‘veto’ European Union budget
Birmingham, UK: Britain must find more spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit up to the next election and beyond, prime minister David Cameron said on Sunday, underlining the government’s tough task of fixing the economy and winning back waning public support.
Cameron also said he would use Britain’s veto to scupper European Union budget talks if necessary, appealing to the powerful eurosceptic wing of his Conservatives, who are trailing the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.
Speaking before the Conservative Party conference, Cameron said his government was determined to stick to its plan to erase what was a record budget deficit when he came to power in 2010.
Cameron backed comments by Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that whoever won the next election in 2015 would have to impose another round of austerity because of the size of the economic problem.
“Yes, he is right and actually it happens before that because we have to find 16 billion pounds of spending reductions for the year 2015-16. It starts before the general election and we need to do that,” Cameron told the BBC.
“I want us to be the party that absolutely levels with the British public and talks very plainly and straightly about what needs to be done, because the fact is we have to find those spending reductions.”
Finance minister George Osborne will announce new economic and borrowing forecasts on December 5. The government says it must keep its resolve to slash spending to safeguard Britain’s low borrowing costs.
Abandoning their austerity plan would also prove politically disastrous for the Conservatives, who staked their 2010 election pitch on it. But Labour has pulled ahead of Cameron’s party due to public unease with the austerity drive, while support has dived for the Liberal Democrats.
When asked whether Britain would have to reduce welfare spending, Cameron said: “We have to look at things like the welfare budget… We have capped welfare but we need to go further.” (REUTERS)