British finance minister Alistair Darling has warned that economic growth there next year will be weaker than previously expected. As he unveiling his plans for future government spending to lawmakers Darling called this “a time of increased international economic uncertainty.”
He told member of the UK Parliament: “Today I can present the pre-budget report and the conclusions of the comprehensive spending revenue. I will set out how we will maintain that stability and strong economy, meet our international obligations, improve our public services, invest more in the highest standard of education and health care and equip our country for the future as we meet these new global challenges.”
Darling downgraded the growth forecasts of his predecessor Gordon Brown, who is now the prime minister. Darling predicted the UK economy will grow by between 2% and 2.5% next year but bounce back in 2009.
Total government expenditure will rise by just 2% a year in real terms. That is the smallest increase in a decade.
The minister also announced the closing of loopholes used by the super-rich to pay less tax.