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UK Ending 'Decade of Austerity' Despite Economic Uncertainties of Brexit, Says FM Sajid Javid

Javid said he intends to raise government spending by 13.8 billion pounds (USD 16.8 billion, 15.3 billion euros) on health and education as well as putting more police on the streets.

PTI

Updated:September 4, 2019, 8:02 PM IST
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UK Ending 'Decade of Austerity' Despite  Economic Uncertainties of Brexit, Says FM Sajid Javid
File photo of Sajid Javid, Britain's Interior Minister. (Reuters)
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London: Britain's finance minister announced Wednesday that the crisis-torn country was ending a decade of austerity and focusing on investing in growth despite the economic uncertainties of Brexit.

"We can now afford to turn the page on austerity and move forward from a decade of recovery to a decade of renewal," Sajid Javid told parliament as he announced his spending plan for the next year. "We can now afford to spend more on vital public services," he said.

Javid said he intends to raise government spending by 13.8 billion pounds (USD 16.8 billion, 15.3 billion euros) on health and education as well as putting more police on the streets. "Even with the extra spending, we are still meeting the current fiscal rules," he said.

"While our biggest challenge a decade ago was getting the deficit down, our biggest challenge today is getting our long-term economic growth back to where it was." Britain and most other major economies plunged into an extended economic crisis 12 years ago.

The country was headed at the time by the "New Labour" government of Gordon Brown. The Conservative-led governments that have headed Britain since 2010 responded to the crisis by keeping to strict budget rules that slashed public spending.

It has since enjoyed a period of slow but steady growth now increasingly threatened by Brexit.

The economy unexpectedly shrank again in the second quarter on investor worries over the prospects of Britain crashing out of the EU without an agreement with Brussels on October 31. It was the first contraction in seven years.

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