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British Public Deficit Hits Record High

Britain's public deficit has hit a record high, as the government prepared to announce massive spending cuts to slash the country's huge debt.

The National Statistics Office said the public deficit rose to 20.7 billion pounds ($32.5 billion) in September.

The figure was announced just hours before Chancellor George Osborne was to announce more than 80 billion pounds in spending cuts through 2015, the biggest spending cuts in Britain in decades.

Reports suggest as many as half a million public sector jobs could be lost under the austerity plan.

compiled from agency reports