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UK Politics

Branson backs public spending cuts this year

The Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has boosted the Tories by calling for public spending cuts to start this year.

The entrepreneur said the UK's huge borrowing was a "serious risk" to the UK economy and action could not be put off. At the weekend 20 leading economists signed a letter to The Sunday Times calling for spending cuts to start in 2010-11, and for the structural deficit to be tackled faster.

David Cameron and the shadow Chancellor George Osborne have demanded immediate reductions, but the Government insists acting too early would harm the recovery. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Sir Richard said: "I believe the UK's record budget deficit does pose a serious risk to our recovery. It would be damaging if we lost the confidence of the markets through delayed action and saw interest rates have to go up steeply. We must send a clear signal that we have... a clear strategy for UK plc."