8 Jun 2010

Cameron readies Britain for spending cuts pain

9:14 am on 8 June 2010

British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that the spending cuts needed to reduce the state's debts will affect everyone in Britain for years to come.

Speaking two weeks before an emergency budget, Mr Cameron says he has spent much of his first month in office discussing how to reduce the budget deficit and the national debt.

Britain's finances are in a worse state than he realised, he says, so reductions to pay, benefits and pensions are likely in the upcoming budget.

Mr Cameron reiterated that dealing with the deficit would be "unavoidably tough" and affect "our whole way of life" but that he would not cut the deficit "in a way that hurts those we most need to help".

He says the cuts can be made without abandoning key frontline services, such as health provision.

Shadow chancellor Alistair Darling says Mr Cameron is talking nonsense and does not understand the need for growth.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has already outlined plans for cuts of nearly $13 billion this financial year.