David Cameron has defended the Government’s swingeing cuts programme but conceded 2011 will be a “difficult year” for the UK.
In his New Year message, the Prime Minister says slashing the country’s budget deficit remains the priority for policymakers in 2011. Cameron insists the “national interest” has dictated the pace of reform, rebuffing suggestions from Labour that the cuts are driven by political ideology.
He says: “The national interest dictates that we do the right thing, which is to act, not the easy thing, which would be to delay. 2011 is going to be a difficult year as we take hard but necessary steps to sort things out. But the actions we’re taking are essential, because they’re putting our country and our economy on the right path.
“A lot of the heavy lifting will happen in 2011. Each and every minister in this Government is acutely aware that the plans we have in place are tough, in fact incredibly difficult. But indecision and delay would mean taking unacceptable risks with our economy, our country and our people.”
This follows a warning from Labour leader Ed Miliband that 2011 would be a “year of consequences” for Britain. The Trades Union Congress also told the Government to expect a “horrible year” as the VAT rise and public sector job cuts hit employment figures.
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