Reports have confirmed that Mr Osborne is anticipated to warn of a “dangerous cocktail” of threats to the UK economy while insisting there can be no “let up” in the squeeze on spending during a speech in Cardiff. The Chancellor is set to accuse political opponents of a “creeping complacency” regarding prospects for recovery, citing turmoil in the Middle East, an economic slowdown in China, plunging commodity prices and a risk of stagnation.
In his remarks, Mr Osborne is expected to point out that progress “could still easily be reversed” by politicians advocating “billions of pounds more debt-fuelled public spending”. He will add that “anyone who thinks it’s mission accomplished with the British economy is making a grave mistake. Last year was the worst for global growth since the crash and this year opens with a dangerous cocktail of new threats. For Britain, the only antidote to that is confronting complacency and sticking to the course we’ve charted.” Furthermore, he will clarify that “I worry about a creeping complacency in the national debate about our economy. A sense that the hard work at home is complete and that we’re immune from the risks abroad. A sense we can let up, and the good economic news will just keep rolling in.”
In addition to that, Mr Osborne has planned to claim that “we are only seven days into the New Year, and already we’ve had worrying news about stock market falls around the world, the slowdown in China, deep problems in Brazil and in Russia. Commodity prices have fallen very significantly. Oil, which was over 120 dollars a barrel in 2012, now stands at less than 40 dollars.” He will conclude that “that is good for consumers and business customers here in Britain, bad news for the oil and gas industry, worrying for the creditors who have lent to it, and a massive problem for the countries that depend on it.”
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