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UK Faces "Decisive Year" For Economy -- British PM

UK faces "decisive year" for economy - PM

The Prime Minister has pledged to make the "right long-term decisions" in a "decisive year for the economy" in 2008.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Mr Brown said that the UK's economic stability put it in a good position to deal with the global financial turbulence of the credit crunch. The PM highlighted the staging of public sector pay increases as key to keeping inflation down and maintaining stability in the economy.

Mr Brown said that he would reject any recommendation for Government ministers to receive a pay increase of more than 1.9 percent and suggested that MPs show "the discipline asked of other people" and keep their own pay rise below two percent when coming to vote on the issue.

The PM said:

"Government ministers must have a rate of pay increase that is below two percent - 1.9 percent. At the same time, my recommendation is that this is what goes for MPs.

"I think it's very important that we send a message to nurses, police and all those in the public sector, it is very important in this year that we break the back of inflation."

Asked about the ongoing support for troubled lender Northern Rock, the PM said that the Government was still pursuing its preferred option of a private takeover. The Government's aim was to "protect depositors" and "prevent contagion" of the credit issue to other lenders while securing the cash injection against Northern Rock's assets, he said.

The PM added that "bad decisions" by financial institutions were the root cause of much of the current credit problems.


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