UK risked Greek-style crisis, King tells unions

ITN News

by ITN News

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The Bank of England governor Mervyn King has addressed the TUC Congress in Manchester, telling delegates the Government risks plunging the UK back into crisis if it does not make cuts to slash Britain's deficit.

Mr King insisted "vague promises would not have been enough" amid union fury over next month's planned public sector spending cuts.

He said he believed it was vital the Government set out a clear plan for reducing the deficit and warned the UK could otherwise have suffered the kind of woes seen in Greece.

But he told delegates they were "entitled to be angry" as he admitted the financial sector and policymakers were to blame for the financial crisis that has landed the UK with the largest peacetime budget deficit in its history.

Mr King, who is only the second governor ever to address the TUC, faced questions from the floor, as well as a boycott by Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union.

He urged unions to debate with the Government and put forward any alternatives over how to reduce the deficit.