London - British finance minister George Osborne said on
Sunday that he would stick with his deficit-reduction programme when he
presents a half-yearly fiscal statement on Wednesday.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer declined to comment more
specifically on whether he would be able to meet debt targets, but stressed he
did not believe Britain should borrow more or increase spending.
At his "Autumn statement" on Wednesday, Osborne is
expected to defend his stringent economic policies as the only credible way of
solving the government's biggest political problem - its failure to deliver a
"It's clearly taking longer to deal with Britain's
debts, it's clearly taking longer to recover from the financial crisis than
anyone would have hoped, but ... to turn back now ... would be a complete
disaster for our country," he said in a BBC television interview.
British media reported on Sunday that Osborne plans to cap
the amount of tax relief high earners receive on their pension contributions
alongside reining in the welfare budget.
Osborne declined to comment on the reports, but did not
reject the proposals directly when questioned in the interview.
He also declined to say if the country's independent fiscal
watchdog would show him still on track to eliminate Britain's underlying budget
deficit within the next five years, or to have debt as a share of national
income on a downward path by the 2015/16 tax year.