U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he stands by his “controversial” budget which drew criticism after it was announced last month, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing an interview.
Osborne said the budget, which included a new value-added tax on a popular hot snack, removing the age-related allowance for pensioners, and a cut in the top tax rate, is a pro-business budget that will boost Britain’s competitiveness, the Telegraph reported. He said the government must focus on the big picture.
“When I stood outside this building on Budget day, I knew it was a controversial budget,” he told the Telegraph. “But we must not be distracted by that. We are not in a daily popularity contest, but I tell you what, Britain is in a daily contest around the world.”
His Conservative-led coalition government intends to narrow a record budget deficit as indebted countries in Europe struggle to tame their finances and regain investor confidence.