By a Newsnet reporter
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that the year ahead will be difficult as household bills increase and people worry about their jobs as the economy struggles.
Mr Cameron gave the stark warning in his New Year message as he insisted the coalition were doing the right thing by tackling the deficit left behind by Labour.
The Tory PM highlighted infrastructure as key and added: “There are fears about jobs and paying the bills. The search for work has become difficult, particularly for young people. And rising prices have hit household budgets.
“I get that. We are taking action on both fronts. I know how difficult it will be to get through this. But I also know that we will.”
Mr Cameron promised to reform welfare to make work pay. He also pointed to the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee claiming that both events will be key to determining how the world sees Britain.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s New Year statement, SNP MP Stewart Hosie says it is time for David Cameron to turn talk into action and do something to help support the economy.
Mr Hosie, MP for Dundee East and SNP Westminster spokesman on Treasury and Finance, said:
“As usual David Cameron is talking about plans to “bring the economy back to health” but there is no substance to his words.
“There is urgent need for capital investment to stimulate growth. The Prime Minister should be focussing on real action, not warm words.
“He talks about the need for change and his infrastructure plans of better roads and railways. But these appear to be empty promises – our economy needs action and needs it now.
“The actions enacted by the SNP Government, including investing in infrastructure and encouraging banks to lend, have resulted in a stronger Scotland.
“But Westminster’s cuts campaign is hampering any action we take, which is why the UK Government must be flexible in its approach to economic policy.
“Scotland needs access to all the key levers of economic growth to fully support our country’s economy and create a more prosperous nation.”
Analysts have predicted the UK will enter recession in the early part of 2012 and that we may even be experiencing it right now. The gloomy outlook comes as figures by research firm Verdict indicate that 2011 was one of the worst years for retail in forty years.
Independent think-tank The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has said it expects a “modest to severe” recession in the west, although this could exclude the US.
The CEBR says there is a possibility that the UK has already been through the first of two quarters of economic contraction and is now entering the second.