Britain's Osborne says to stick with austerity plan

LONDON Sun Dec 2, 2012 5:06am EST

LONDON Dec 2 (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne said on Sunday that he would stick with his deficit-reduction programme when he presents a half-yearly fiscal statement on Wednesday, despite weak economic growth.

"It's clearly taking longer to deal with Britain's debts, it's clearly taking longer to recover from the financial crisis than anyone would have hoped, but ... to turn back now ... would be a complete disaster for our country," he said in a BBC television interview.

Osborne declined to comment specifically on whether the country's independent fiscal watchdog would show him still on track to eliminate Britain's underlying budget deficit within the next five years, or to have debt as a share of national income on a downward path by the 2015/16 tax year.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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