Ed Balls response to EU growth figures

15 November 2012

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Ed Balls MP, Labour's shadow chancellor, responding to EU growth figures today, said:

"This news that the euro zone has now followed the UK into a double dip recession is yet more evidence that countries collectively piling austerity upon austerity ultimately proves self-defeating.

"Jobs and growth are absolutely vital to get deficits and debts down, alongside steady and balanced spending cuts and tax rises. Who can look at rapidly shrinking economies and soaring youth unemployment in countries like Greece and Spain and think current policies are working?

"The crisis in the euro area has an impact on our economy too. But despite all the problems in the eurozone France and Germany have so far avoided a double dip and grown faster than Britain in the last year. And rather than supporting our flatlining economy at this time with a proper plan for jobs and growth, our Prime Minister and Chancellor complacently sit back and hope for the best.

"We urgently need a change of course and policies to support growth and jobs across Europe. And here in Britain we need next month's autumn statement to take urgent action to ensure a sustained and strengthened recovery. That should include using funds from a bank bonus tax to get young people back to work and using the 4G auction revenues to build 100,000 homes and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"Unless political leaders act now long term damage will be done and millions of people will be paying a very heavy price for this economic failure for years to come."