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June 6, 2010    

Cameron explains “the purpose behind the pain”

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by Kay Murchie

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Prime Minister David Cameron said action needed to be taken to deal with the “huge amount of debt” but promised to explain “the purpose behind the pain”.

He said: “The country has got an overdraft. The interest on that overdraft is swallowing up things that the nation should otherwise be spending money on.

“We have got to take people with us on this difficult journey.”

Last month, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled details of the new coalition Government’s plans to shave £6.2 billion off public spending this financial year.

The coalition Government is due to announce further measures to deal with the £156 billion deficit, in an emergency budget later this month.

According to the Sunday Times, the Government is considering freezing benefits and cutting child tax credits.

However, a Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on budget speculation.

The spending cuts come after finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s top 20 developed and emerging economies met this weekend in South Korea and said excessive budget deficits should be dealt with immediately.

However, there are mixed reactions with regard to spending cuts.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) recently said the Government should delay making big spending cuts as the recovery is still weak.

Mr Osborne’s predecessor, Alistair Darling, also warned that cutting the deficit too quickly could pose a threat to the fragile recovery.

Furthermore, prior to the general election, the Liberal Democrats said such measures could threaten the recovery but have now endorsed the cuts.

Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems has been accused of “hypocrisy” for backing the massive cuts, after campaigning against them.

Labour leadership hopeful, David Miliband, told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think there’s breathtaking hypocrisy in the interview of Nick Clegg in the Observer today saying he’s going to have progressive cuts, cuts that he argued against while he was campaigning.”

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