Balls responds to GDP growth figures

1st November, 2011 11:06 am

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has responded to today’s GDP figures, saying that they prove the recovery was “choked off” by the government. His full statement is below:

“Today’s figures confirm that the British economy has been bumping along the bottom for the past twelve months – flatlining when we need strong growth to get unemployment and the deficit down.

“As the ONS has said today, growth of just 0.5 per cent over the past year since the Chancellor’s spending review – compared to 1.6 per cent in the US – is a significant slowdown from the 2.6 per cent we saw in the previous twelve months when we were starting to recover from the global financial crash.

“The fact is that our recovery was choked off well before the eurozone crisis of recent months by spending cuts and tax rises which go too far and too fast.

“Already, the stagnant growth and higher unemployment that George Osborne’s failing policies have delivered mean the government is set to borrow £46 billion more than they planned. After today’s figures, the Chancellor will now have to downgrade his growth forecasts for a fourth time later this month – and revise up again his borrowing forecasts.

“These are really worrying times for families and pensioners struggling to pay the bills, young people out of work in record numbers and businesses on the edge. The combination of sluggish growth, rising unemployment, falling confidence and the latest surveys indicating a contracting manufacturing sector and depressed business confidence mean this is no time for complacency from the government.

“We now urgently need Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth to help struggling families, get young people back to work and support small businesses. The reckless thing to do is plough on regardless with a plan that isn’t working, the cautious thing to do on basis of all the evidence of this significant slowdown is to act now.”

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

  • The Grunt

    Osborne will proclaim it an unmitigated triumph.

    • Anonymous

      Yes he will, but the next forecast will be the big one, if that one show a fall or it’s again stagnant then he’s gone.

      But of course for ages labour has been calling for an input into the infrastructure and the Tories gave nearly a billion yesterday, with Cleggie smiling out side Forgemasters.

      But of course it’s from now on that the UK has to improve, but I suspect the people at home will know the mess that the world is in. This was not a down turn or a recession this was a world wide decimation of the global markets.

  • Nathan Constable

    It’s like Groundhog Day – change the record!
    “too far – too fast” “plough on regardless” “flatlining”
    Get some new sound bites! Or are you hoping NLP might work

  • GuyM

    The problem of course Mr Balls is your 5 point plan is largely uncosted and relies upon a “banker bonus tax”, that is in itself inherently vague in terms of actual revenue.

    You want the banks to recapitalise, increase lending to business and generate tax receipts all at the same time. Can you explain how that happens without significant charge increases?

    Your entire economic plan is based upon cutting taxes and inceasing spending funded by what? A solitary bankers bonus tax and risking market wrath at increasing the deficit?

    So likely higher interest rates for businesses and home owners? What does that do to business investment in jobs and consumer spending?

    At a time when EU economies are struggling to find the necessary capital to secure the PIIGS, who do you think is going to either welcome a larger UK deficit or actually want to buy the UK bonds to fund it?

    Lala land economics from the magic money tree man is what we expect, and always get, from you

  • Anonymous

    Better than sitting on your hands and pray for the best. Wake up and smell the coffee, Gideon policies are not working !!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Who is Gideon?

  • The Grunt

    ‘So likely higher interest rates for businesses and home owners?’

    You constantly repeat this refrain, but you have no basis for it. 

  • Jonathan Morse

    I like this Greek referendum. The so-called solution to the euro-crisis was all about keeping France and Germany happy. I think and hope that this is a stunt – if Germany allows the Euro to be a sensible currency, with the central bank able to print money and perhaps a common eurozone income tax, Greece could withdraw the referendum and things could work out. At the moment Greece still suffers and France and Germany more or less get away with their stupid policies on the Euro whose rules don’t apply to them.  If France and Germany don’t act in the interests of the Euro as opposed to themselves Greece should continue as this way it will bring down the whole Euro and all will suffer, not just Greece. Comments from the German stock exchange on C4 news seem to confirm this.

    •  Well of course you do. The collapse of the UK it threatens fills you with GLEE. Thanks for hating this country.

  • The Grunt

    e-petition about tax avoidance sponsored by the Greens and UKUncut

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