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Osborne: no let-up after AAA rating affirmed
LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne vowed on Saturday that Britain would not relax its resolve to deal with its debts after rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) reaffirmed the UK's AAA credit rating.
S&P said on Friday its outlook for the rating was stable, reflecting its expectation that Britain will implement the bulk of its fiscal consolidation programme.
The decision was welcome news for Osborne who has been under pressure to ease his tight stance as the economy stays mired in recession.
"As Britain welcomes the world to our country for the Olympic games, this is a reminder that despite the economic problems we face, the world has confidence that we are dealing with them," he said in a statement.
"The deficit has fallen by a quarter; inflation has fallen by half; employment is rising, with British businesses creating over 800,000 new jobs; and the economy is rebalancing ..," he added.
"And as S&P themselves say, what would damage Britain's creditworthiness would be relaxing our resolve to deal with our debts. We won't do that."
On Thursday, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria warned of "particularly acute dangers" for Britain if it appeared to waiver or hesitate in its austerity programme.
"There's a premium on consistency, there's a premium on coherence," he said at a pre-Olympic investment conference in London.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by James Jukwey)
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