Latest figures for economies across the EU are a real cause for concern - Ed Balls

6 September 2011

ed ballsEd Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said in response to today’s EU growth figures:

“These latest figures for economies across the European Union are a real cause for concern. They show that while there has been a slowdown in many countries in recent months, over the last 12 months only Romania and Portugal have grown slower than the UK. The British recovery was choked off last autumn well before the global market turmoil we have seen in recent weeks.

“It’s time George Osborne got out of his denial and admitted that Britain now faces a growth crisis, as a senior Minister let slip this week. And he should listen to the head of the IMF and one of the largest investment funds in the world who have warned that cutting too far and too fast risks economic recovery.

“Without strong growth and more people in work it will be harder to get the deficit down. That’s why we urgently need leadership from the Chancellor on the world stage to agree a global plan for growth and a more balanced deficit plan here in Britain.

“Temporarily cutting VAT and using the money raised from a tax on bank bonuses to get young people off the dole and into work would help get our flatlining economy growing again and so help get the deficit down in the medium-term. As Christine Lagarde has rightly said ‘growth is necessary for fiscal credibility’.”