UK Leader: Budget Cuts Will be Harsher than Feared

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the pain of cutting the national deficit will be worse than previously feared, and will affect everyone in the country.

David Cameron
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David Cameron

In a speech prepared for delivery on Monday, Cameron says the nation cannot avoid cutting a deficit which rose to 156 billion pounds ($225 billion) in the last fiscal year.

Cameron has suggested that welfare programs and expenditure for civil servants are high on the list of possible cuts.

"The overall scale of the problem is even worse than we thought," Cameron says, according to excerpts of the speech released by his office, and "its potential consequences are therefore more critical than we feared."

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government intends to announce an emergency budget on June 22 that will lay out the first steps in cutting the deficit.

"How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society -- indeed our whole way of life," Cameron says.

"The decisions we make will affect every single person in our country. And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades to come."

Cameron says action is needed now to prevent interest rates from rising, hitting every mortgage holder in the country. Higher interest rates would also divert more tax money into repaying debt rather than providing services, he says.