World Bulletin / News Desk
Britain must find more spending cuts to reduce the budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, after a return recession this year raised speculation the government was set to miss its own deficit reduction targets.
Cameron, in an interview with the BBC, also said he would use Britain's veto to scupper European Union budget talks if necessary, warning the 27-nation bloc it needed to learn to live within its means.
The prime minister said his Conservative-led coalition government was determined to stick to its plan to erase what was a record budget deficit when he came to power in 2010.
Asked if Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was correct to say that whoever won the 2015 election would have to introduce another tranche of austerity because of the size of the problem, Cameron said:
"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 said.
"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."
The government delivers new economic and borrowing forecasts on Dec. 5. Finance minister George Osborne said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday that Britain faced further cuts after a weaker than expected performance by the economy this year.
Cameron said Britain had cuts its deficit by a quarter in two years but it was too early to say what the figures for 2012 would be. Asked whether Britain would have to reduce welfare spending, he said: "We have to look at things like the welfare budget... We have capped welfare but we need to go further."
Cameron suggested the EU should at some point split its budget into two - one for the euro zone and one for the countries outside the single currency, including Britain.
Cameron, much to the delight of a powerful anti-EU wing of his Conservative Party, used the veto last year to keep Britain out of a European fiscal and economic pact aimed at resolving the euro zone debt crisis.
"People in Europe know I mean what I say. I sat round that table, 27 countries, 26 of them signing up to a treaty, and I said this is not in Britain's interest, I don't care how much pressure you put on, I'm not signing, we are not having it. They know what I am capable of saying, no, and If I don't get a good deal I'll say no again.
Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica and Ukraine are all on the verge of a default, according to Moody's ratings.
A World Trade Organisation pact to ease worldwide customs rules collapsed late on Thursday over India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling.
India's new nationalist government has insisted that a permanent agreement on its subsidised food stockpiling must be in place at the same time as the trade facilitation deal
Chemicals firm LyondellBasell has emerged as the mystery American buyer of Kurdish crude oil this year, but said it will not be buying any more
Some EU member states remain nervous about the impact on their own fragile economies. The sanctions deal was agreed only after initial proposals were narrowed.
Bankers in Singapore say Russians looking for a new Cyprus have come to the wrong place.
The default could get much messier and take longer to clear up if creditors force an "acceleration" for early payment on their bonds.
The ban came a day after the European Union and United States imposed their first sanctions aimed at hitting broad sectors of the Russian economy
Russia called new U.S. sanctions "destructive and short-sighted"
While the default will obviously hurt the economy, it will not be as severe as in 2001, economists say
The Czechs, who supported the action, have been against sweeping sanctions, worried about trade relations with Russia
The trade program has been criticized for disproportionately benefiting certain industries and a handful of countries, including Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.
The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million, arrived off the coast of Texas on Saturday but has yet to unload its disputed cargo.
The uncertainty comes at a bad time for the 18 countries in the euro zone, whose economy is already in the doldrums.
"Kalashnikov regrets that consumers are faced with such a problem," said spokeswoman Yekaterina Boni.
Cairo and Khartoum had earlier accepted a proposal by Addis Ababa to hold the talks in Sudan in the third week of August.