Britain's Treasury chief George Osborne planned Thursday to defend his tough austerity plan after the Bank of England downgraded growth forecasts and warned of economic difficulties ahead.
Osborne was scheduled to address an emergency government session called in response to rioting across England that saw four nights of widespread looting, arson and violence, which some blamed on tough budget cuts.
After returning from holiday in California, Osborne was expected to assure politicians that Britain is prepared to deal with any new crisis in the European banking sector.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Osborne defended his plan to cut £81 billion (Dh$480.7 billion) from government spending by 2015, which will see public sector jobs lost and welfare programmes slashed.
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Some politicians, including London mayor Boris Johnson — a member of Osborne's Conservative Party — question cuts to police numbers being made under the austerity package. The country's police inspection service has said the cuts will mean 16,000 fewer officers by 2015.
However, Osborne insists that budget restraint is necessary — and has helped to restore market confidence in Britain.
"In the latest phase of financial turbulence, the interest rates on our government debt have fallen as market participants hail UK assets as a safe haven," he wrote.
"The alternative of more spending and yet more borrowing is now frankly ludicrous and places those who advocate it on the outer fringes of the international debate."
He acknowledged, however, that with a new bout of uncertainty in Europe, Britain was "not immune from global events and the instability on our doorstep".