Britain to Slash Public Spending in Austerity Gamble

Are they actually going to do this???

Good for us if we realized the right response is to lower our taxes here and letting them export all they want to us.

But we don’t.

Britain to Slash Public Spending in Austerity Gamble

October 20 (AP) — Recession-battered Britain learns the true cost of the global financial crisis Wednesday, as the country’s government outlines the largest cuts to public spending since World War II — slashing benefits and public sector jobs with a five-year austerity plan aimed at clearing the nation’s debts.

After spending billions bailing out indebted banks, and suffering a squeeze on tax revenue and a hike in welfare bills, Treasury chief George Osborne will stake the coalition government’s reputation on fixing the country’s economic ills by the next election in 2015.

In a major address to Parliament, Osborne will announce about 80 billion pounds ($128 billion) in spending cuts, which he claims are necessary alongside tax rises to wipe out Britain’s 156-billion-pound deficit and reduce its huge debt.

It means as many as 500,000 public sector jobs are likely to be lost, while pay for almost all government workers has already been frozen for two years under an initial round of austerity measures announced in June.

Even Queen Elizabeth II has taken a share of the strain, as Osborne froze government funding for her household and staff.

The Treasury chief — seen as a possible future prime minister — has already warned government departments to prepare to cut their budgets by up to 25 percent over four years. While the eventual cuts are likely to be much less severe, they are likely to be the sharpest in about 60 years.

About 1.2 million families will lose child benefit payments beginning in 2013, and tens of thousands more Britons are likely to see their welfare checks trimmed or scrapped.

If the government decides to slash its winter fuel allowance, millions of retirees could lose out on subsidized heating. About 12 million people currently receive the payment.