Britain unveils 17 bln pounds in cuts, freezes public pay

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Britain will slash another 17 billion pounds (25 billion dollars) of government spending and freeze public-sector pay for two years, finance minister George Osborne announced Tuesday.

"Because the structural deficit is worse than we were told, my budget today implies further reductions in departmental spending of 17 billion pounds by 2014-15," said Osborne as he rolled out an emergency budget in parliament.

"The truth is that this country was living beyond its means when the recession came and if we don't tackle pay and pensions, more jobs will be lost," the chancellor of the exchequer said.

"That is why the government is asking the public sector to accept a two-year pay freeze. But we will protect the lowest paid."

© 2010 AFP

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