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.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.