Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

OECD: Spending cuts 'courageous'

George Osborne's public spending cuts have been described as 'tough, necessary and courageous' bythe OECD
George Osborne's public spending cuts have been described as 'tough, necessary and courageous' bythe OECD

George Osborne's public spending cuts have been described as "tough, necessary and courageous" by a leading international economic organisation.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the spending review contained measures to both retain credibility and minimise the impact on growth.

Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD, said: "Budgetary consolidation is never easy but the timing and scope of the measures balance concerns for near-term growth with the need to stop the snowballing of debt and to preserve credibility.

"The measures are tough, necessary and courageous. Acting decisively now is the best way to secure better public finances and bolster future growth."

His comments are a boost for Mr Osborne and will help him counter claims that the spending cuts risk choking off growth and sending the economy into recession again.

The OECD praised the coalition Government's determination to tackle the UK's deficit and the move to increase the retirement age to 66, which it said showed ministers were "willing to push for structural reforms".

It called for further steps focusing on "efficiency" in health and education provision.

The influential organisation said the Government had moved to minimise the impact of cuts on growth by mitigating those in infrastructure investment and by giving priority to education and research.

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