LONDON (Reuters) -Chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday that the government would not change its austerity programme despite a shock contraction in the economy in the last quarter of 2010.
“These are obviously disappointing numbers, but the ONS has made it very clear that the fall in GDP was driven by the terrible weather in December,” Osborne said in a statement.
“We have had the coldest weather since records began in 1910 and this has clearly had a much bigger impact on the economy than anyone expected. It’s notable that sectors of the economy that are less affected by the poor weather, such as manufacturing, continue to perform strongly, helping to rebalance our economy,” he added.
“There is no question of changing a fiscal plan that has established international credibility on the back of one very cold month. That would plunge Britain back into a financial crisis. We will not be blown off course by bad weather.”