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Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to today’s GDP figures for the second quarter of 2012, said:
“These shocking figures speak for themselves. As we warned two years ago, David Cameron and George Osborne’s ill-judged plan has turned Britain’s recovery into a flatlining economy and now a deep and deepening recession.
“And with Britain just one of two G20 countries in a double-dip recession and borrowing now going up as a result, it is clear that this Government’s plan has failed. If these figures don’t make the Chancellor wake up and change course, then I don’t know what will.
“Thank goodness the Olympics will give our economy a much-needed shot in the arm. But this short-term boost is not enough – we need a plan B now to get the economy moving again and radical reforms to set Britain on a new course for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The longer the Chancellor refuses to act, the heavier the price our country will pay.”
Ed Balls added:
“For two years the Chancellor claimed he was right and that the IMF supported him. Now it’s clear that he was wrong, the economy is smaller than it was two years ago and the IMF is joining our calls for a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth.
“After two years of blaming everybody but himself, the Chancellor has run out of excuses. The snow, rain, Royal weddings and bank holidays are facts of life in Britain which our economy should be able to cope with.
“As the IMF said last week the Government’s spending cuts and tax rises – which we warned go too far and too fast – have choked off growth and risk causing permanent damage to our economy. But in the Budget the Chancellor decided to pile more and more tax rises on people who are already hard-pressed, even though the signs were clear that this wasn’t working.
“With the Government’s plan having clearly failed, Britain now needs a change of direction and an alternative plan for jobs and growth. We need a bank bonus tax to fund jobs for young people and boost the construction industry by building thousands of affordable homes, a temporary VAT cut, tax breaks for small firms taking on extra workers and to genuinely bring forward infrastructure investment.”