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British government plans to sell asset of 16 billion pounds to cut debt

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced on Monday the sale of 16 billion pounds (25.4 billion U.S. dollars) of state assets in a bid to cut the soaring government debt.

"We plan a sale of assets to deal with our debt issues and ... 16 billion (pounds) of assets will be sold within the next two years," Brown told economists in central London.

Brown said that the British government will sell off the undersea Channel rail link, a bridge, and a betting company to raise 3 billion pounds (4.8 billion dollars) to help it manage its swelling debt.

He also said that British local governments will sell off another 13 billion pounds (21 billion dollars) in assets such as business parks and leisure centers. The money will help finance capital investment and pay down debt.

British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson told Sky News on Monday the sell-off would "help us reduce the deficit without cutting into vital public services."

British government debt has been soaring in recent years resulting from the severe economic recession and Chancellor Alistair Darling has predicted that the government public borrowing would reach a record high of 175 billion pounds this year.


 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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