British PM vows to cut government spending

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British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron delivers his speech at the end of the annual conference of his party in Birmingham, Britain, Oct. 6, 2010. [Xinhua/Zeng Yi]

British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Wednesday to cut the government spending in a bid to wipe out the soaring government deficit in five years and ensure a sustained economic growth in the future.

In his first speech as British prime minister to his Conservative party's annual conference held in Birmingham, central England, Cameron acknowledged Britons were "anxious" about the cuts. He said that his government's most urgent task is to avert a sovereign debt crisis by cutting spending to reduce the budget deficit from a record peacetime level of 11 percent of Britain's GDP.

"I wish there was another way. I wish there was an easier way. But I have to tell you: there is no other responsible way," Cameron told the Conservative conference. "That's why it's right to deal with this problem now and right to deal with it properly."

He also said that the coalition government has acted decisively in the past five months in cutting the government deficit, preventing the country from "slipping into the nightmare" seen in Greece.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, which came to power in May, inherited a record deficit of 154.7 billion pounds ( about 242 billion U.S. dollars) from the defeated Labor government led by Gordon Brown. To tackle this, Cameron's government is proposing spending cuts which will average around 25 percent over four years in many departments.

Constant talk of cuts is affecting the government's popularity before the cuts even come into effect. Some polls show Labor edging past the Conservatives for the first time in three years, while support for the Lib Dems has collapsed.

The British government will announce a detailed spending cut plan on Oct. 20. Cameron on Wednesday urged Britons to "pull together" ahead of the stinging public sector cuts, adding that there was no other way to firm up the economy.

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