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“This will be the year Britain sees the world and the world sees Britain,” UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in his New Year’s speech to the British nation.
Many believe that 2012 will be a year of economic uncertainty for the United Kingdom. Indeed, with the rising unemployment rate and the European financial crisis, nothing is certain. “There are fears about jobs and paying the bills,” the prime minister said in the New Year video message. “I know how difficult it will be to get through this — but I also know that we will.” This year seems to be a critical year for the global economy as the euro enters its most vital year to date.
Recently, Mr.Cameron vetoed a proposal to issue an EU financial transactions tax, saying that “Unless the rest of the world all agreed at the same time that we are all going to have some sort of tax then we are not going to go ahead with it.” However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Prime Minister said that the government’s plan to lessen the country’s budget deficit will result in some protection from the current euro-zone debt crisis, stressing that changes need to be made in order to seize growth opportunities outside of Europe.
The Guardian reported that the economy is expected to expand by merely 0.7% this year. Tony Dolphin, the chief economist of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said,
“If the economy does find itself back in recession, it is likely to have to find its own way out of it. There are ultimately only three solutions: the government decides to increase public spending or overseas demand for UK output increases substantially, or UK households and companies are given some reason to spend more.
The first is not going to happen, the second is extremely unlikely, and so we are left with the third. But with no prospect of tax cuts or lower interest rates, it is not clear what in the short term the catalyst for more spending by the private sector will be.”
Despite the current economic situation, there are still several reasons to be hopeful. London will be hosting the Olympic games from July 27 to August 12. The Britons will also be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this June, marking Queen Elizabeth II’s reign of 60 years.
The Prime Minister believes that regardless of the struggles the country is facing, 2012 will be a turning point for the UK. He said, “It must be the year we go for it—the year the coalition government I lead does everything it takes to get our country up to strength.”