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Austerity plan working, says Osborne
December 5, 2013, 1:24 pm

[Getty Images]

Mr Osborne said growth forecasts for next year had been revised from 1.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent [Getty Images]

Britain’s Finance Minister George Osborne has said the United Kingdom is growing quickly but warned that the recovery was “not yet over” in his Autumn Statement.

Mr Osborne said Britain was growing faster than any other major economy and announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had more than doubled its growth forecast for this year from 0.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

“Britain’s economic plan is working” said the finance minister, who also announced that borrowing was down “significantly more than forecast.”

However, he warned of “more difficult decisions” in the future and stressed the importance of continuing to fight for recovery.

The finance minister said: “The hard work of the British people is paying off and we will not squander their efforts.”

Mr Osborne also said growth forecasts for next year had been revised from 1.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

British bank HSBC expects the UK economy will grow 1.4 per cent this year, the same figure as the OBR’s revised forecast.

“The economy is moving in the right direction, but there is a long way to go,” said Simon Wells, Chief UK economist at HSBC, in an economic report released last week.

“We expect a cumulative reduction in government borrowing over the next three fiscal years of around 60 billion pounds relative to the OBR’s March projections,” said Wells.

The Autumn Statement is a half-yearly update on the Budget.

Measures announced during the statement included, the raising of the state pension age to 68 by the mid 2030s, £375 billion of planned public and private investments in infrastructure projects and scrapping next year’s planned fuel duty rise.

Source: Agencies

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