Struggling to come to grips with the country's soaring deficit, the new British government said Thursday that it has scrapped plans to contribute $67 million to the construction of a new home for the British Film Institute. In announcing the decision, Jeremy Hunt, the new head of the government's Dept. of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said, "We are facing an unprecedented financial situation in this country, and it is essential that we act now to reduce debt." A BFI spokesman later announced that plans to build the new BFI Film Center will continue to move forward. "We had already anticipated that the Government would not be able to afford investment in the BFI Film Center at this time and knew that we would face a challenge on the project, but we remain committed to taking it forward," the spokesman said.
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