Axman cometh: Osborne defies critics with fresh round of austerity

Chancellor George Osborne announced fresh spending cuts for several government departments on Monday in the wake of his embarrassing defeat in the House of Lords on tax credit cuts.

The environment, transport, local government and finance departments will have their day-to-day budgets, excluding capital expenditure, cut by an average 8 percent each year for the next four years, Osborne said.

The Chancellor insisted bringing the deficit down is essential for Britain’s economic security.

However, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell described the policy as a “tactical ploy” to put pressure on Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to cut Universal Credit for people on low incomes or out of work.

In his speech on Monday, Osborne said the country must not “lose its nerve” in the face of another round of austerity.

If our country doesn’t bring the deficit down, the deficit could bring our country down,” he said. “That’s why, for the economic security of every family in Britain, the worst thing we could do now as a country is lose our nerve.”

Britain’s deficit was 4.9 percent of GDP in the year 2014/2015, despite efforts by Osborne to reduce it.

The UK’s national debt has increased steadily over the past five years by approximately £107 billion per annum. Government spending soared in the last decade by 48 percent of GDP following a series of costly bank bailouts.

McDonnell criticized the Chancellor’s economic record, citing Britain’s historically slow recovery.

Via RT.