A senior U.K. minister says his country's middle class still hasn't grasped just how much the government's spending cuts will hurt.

In an interview published Saturday in The Daily Telegraph, Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke said "middle England" had still not quite grasped what he called the "calamitous position" of the British economy.

Britain's Conservative-led coalition government is pushing through a wide range of spending cuts and tax hikes in a bid to control the country's burden of debt. Tuition increases intended to help plug the hole in the nation's finances have already led to violent protests.

Clarke, however, says the full impact of the cuts will only begin coming home this year.