By politics.co.uk staff
Failure to quickly address Britain's public finances imbalances would set the country on the "road to ruin", George Osborne has warned.
The chancellor told The Andrew Marr Show Britain would see higher interest rates, rising unemployment and declining living standards if the "truly awful financial situation" he has inherited from Labour ministers was not confronted.
Mr Osborne is expected to unveil sweeping cuts totalling up to £80 billion in Tuesday's emergency Budget, which he said would cover a four-year period.
He said "determined and concerted action" was needed to address the structural deficit but sought to press the positive steps the Budget would include to reshape Britain's economy as the recovery continues.
"As well as paying for these past mistakes which we've got to do as a country and most people understand that, it also I hope lays the foundations for a much stronger and more balanced economy in the future," Mr Osborne said.
He said the Budget would reduce Britain's reliance on the financial services sector, realign "prosperity" in the country away from the south-east exclusively and reduce the number of people on out-of-work benefits.