Britain is likely to experience a credit score downgrade in the near future if the government opts to ease back on its austerity measures.
That is according to leading ratings agency Fitch, which has today (15 March) warned the UK it faces more than a 50 per cent chance of undergoing a cut over the course of the next few years should the administration lessen its debt-cutting plans.
Next week (22 March), chancellor George Osborne will deliver his next budget and this report - which follows on from similar analysis by Moody's - may influence the minister's announcements.
In its latest review of the market, Fitch affirmed the UK's AAA status, but indicated this could be changed for the worse if government debt peaks "later and higher than currently forecast".
And Danny Alexander, Treasury minister, said this news acts as a "wake up call" and a "salutary reminder" of the importance of driving down the country's deficit.
By Asim Shah