London, Jan 01 (Agencies): The British government will be "relentlessly focused" on supporting economic growth and job creation in 2011, despite the "heavy lifting" needed to rein in the country's gaping budget deficit, Prime Minister David Cameron said in his New Year message.

"We have been living seriously beyond our means. We have to sort this out. Every sensible person knows this," Wall Street Journal reported quoting Cameron as saying.

"2011 is going to be a difficult year, as we take hard but necessary steps to sort things out. But the actions we're taking are essential, because they're putting our economy and our country on the right path," he added.

The coalition government, which Cameron's Conservatives share with the smaller Liberal Democrat party, plans to slash public spending by 81 billion pounds, in a move that will cost hundreds of thousands of public-sector job losses.

Cameron's message Friday was not entirely downbeat. He cited forecasts by the country's budget oversight body, the Office for Budget Responsibility, that the British economy will continue to grow in 2011 and that growth will accelerate further in 2012.

The prime minister also pledged to encourage banks to lend more to small and medium-sized businesses in 2011.