British PM vows to protect economic recovery

10:13, March 11, 2010      

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The British government will continue to do "whatever it takes" to protect the recovery of the economy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday.

In a speech at Canary Wharf, a financial center in London, Brown said now was not the time to change course from the measures the British government was following.

He said there would be a tough approach on spending and public sector pay, and announced a freeze on pay for senior staff in the civil service, senior staff in the military, the judiciary and senior managers of the National Health Service.

It followed last week's announcement of a freeze on parliamentary and ministerial salaries of all paid government ministers and controls on pay announced in December. The measures are expected to save more than 3 billion pounds (4.5 billion U.S. dollars) by 2013-14.

Brown said the Budget -- which he confirmed will be held on March 24 -- will focus on protecting and advancing the recovery by ensuring Britain can succeed in new industries.

He said: "The stakes are high. We dare not risk the recovery. For our task above all else is to preserve and expand the jobs -- and lift the standards of life -- of the British people. We are weathering the storm; now is no time to turn back. We will hold to our course. And we will complete this mission."

"We have got through this storm together but there are still substantial risks ahead. There will be bumps in the road. And I believe the only way to overcome them is by displaying the same strength and resolve as we did during the crisis," Brown added.

Brown emphasized the importance of maintaining a globally consistent approach to economic recovery and urged G20 leaders to recommit themselves to the ambitions they have already agreed.

He also called on the leaders to make the opening up of trade one of the key deliverables for the next summit in June.

Source: Xinhua
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