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Northern Irish pension funds are in big trouble, especially those of civil servants. But that’s not all. The Labour government, which was in power for 14 years, left a £155 billion budget deficit for the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, the largest deficit of any economy in Europe, with the exception of the Republic of Ireland. Public spending in Britain now stands at nearly half of the GDP; most healthy economies keep it closer to one third. So Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne plans to cut government spending across Cabinet-level departments by 25 percent, freeze civil service salaries for two years, reduce the tax credit for families, cut corporate taxes, and increase the value-added tax on all. At the same time, he’ll remove many low-income citizens from the tax rolls.
Obviously, there are big differences between what’s going on there and what we’re facing here. But President Obama could take a page from Prime Minister David Cameron’s playbook. Here are 5 things he could do: