Britain’s new government, under prime minister David Cameron, is to launch an independent audit of public spending as the first step towards tackling the country’s budget deficit.
Several incoming cabinet ministers have accused the previous government, under Labour’s Gordon Brown, of presiding over departments with “black holes” in their budgets.
Meanwhile, the leader of the other party in the UK’s new coalition, Nick Clegg, has been selling his deal with the Conservatives to his Liberal Democrat activists.
At a meeting in Birmingham, Lib Dem members voted to ratify the pact but sought assurances that key manifesto pledges would be upheld.
“This is a very new thing we are doing,” said Deputy Prime Minister Clegg. “We are breaking the rules of the old politics, we are doing something new, nothing like this has happened on this scale for many, many years in Britain. So of course people have anxieties, that’s right when you try and do something bold and new.”
Britain’s budget deficit is around 11 per cent of GDP. Cameron’s centre-right Conservatives favour spending cuts over tax hikes to reduce it despite fears they could damage the country’s fragile economic recovery.