Britain's Treasury chief says debt reduction taking longer than expected, but vows to press on

LONDON – Britain’s Treasury chief has acknowledged that the government is not meeting its self-imposed economic targets, but insists he will not waver from his policy of tax hikes and spending cuts.

George Osborne said Sunday that the government has set goals of cutting debt as a share of national income by 2015/16, and of balancing the current budget.

He admitted “it is taking longer to deal with our debts, but we are making progress.”

He told BBC television that “to turn back now would be a complete disaster.”

Osborne said he would introduce new tax measures for the rich in a fall budget statement on Wednesday.

Critics say the government’s austerity policy has failed to kick-start the economy, which has been through two periods of recession since 2008.

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