By Christian Kraemer
BERLIN (Reuters) – IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday she expects new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to steer Britain towards fiscal sustainability and said he was right to warn the public of difficult decisions ahead.
Speaking to Reuters in Berlin, Georgieva welcomed what she said was Sunak’s clarity and constructive attitude that she knew from his time as finance minister.
She expects to speak to the recently appointed finance minister Jeremy Hunt in coming days.
“The new prime minister comes with a platform that he has shaped during his days as a chancellor, and it is one of being very prudent in bringing fiscal discipline in the UK,” she said.
“I listened carefully to him talking to the British people, and this is a message that should resonate across the world. These are tough times, and tough times require tough decisions.”
Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister in two months on Tuesday and pledged to lead the country out of a profound economic crisis and rebuild trust in politics.
The Times newspaper has reported that Sunak might delay a planned fiscal statement next week in order to fill a hole of 40 billion pounds ($46 billion) in the UK’s finances.
Foreign minister James Cleverly said on Wednesday a short delay would be no bad thing to make sure the government gets the fiscal statement right.
Asked about the issue, Georgieva said she did not expect any change in plans to publishing the statement.
(Reporting by Christian Kraemer; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Rachel More and Nick Macfie)