George Osborne to spell out welfare cut plans next month

George Osborne

British chancellor George Osborne, fresh from his Conservative Party’s election victory on May 7, said he would spell out on July 8 how he plans to make further big cuts to public spending and boost the country’s growth prospects.

“I am going to take the unusual step of having a second budget of the year because I don’t want to wait to turn the promises we made in the election into a reality,” Osborne said.

“And I can tell you it will be a budget for working people,” he said.

Prime minister David Cameron and Osborne promised voters during a closely fought election campaign that they would not raise taxes over the next five years.

That means deep savings will have to be found in welfare spending and public services as they pursue their plan to fix Britain’s still-weak public finances.

Osborne also said that his budget would seek to tackle Britain’s poor productivity record and help the north of the country grow faster and narrow the gap with London and the south.

After an initially slow recovery from the global financial crisis, Britain grew faster than any other large, developed economy in 2014.

However, Britain’s budget deficit remains large at nearly 5% of gross domestic product and its growth prospects are overshadowed by the failure since the crisis to make its workers more productive, saddling them with little growth in their pay.

Osborne has promised to put public finances back in the black by 2019, having missed his original target of doing that by this year.


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