British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said squeezing public spending now would make the recession worse as he defended his budget plan that spared big cuts for two years until after the next election is likely to be held.

"I think it's important to support the economy, to support families and businesses through a difficult period. So I think it'd be the wrong thing to make that recession worse," he told BBC television on Friday. (Reporting by Muvija M and Farouq Suleiman, writing by Paul Sandle)