Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the IMF’s report on the UK economy, said:
“Behind the diplomatic language this is the call for action on jobs and growth that the IMF has been threatening to deliver for many months and a stark warning of the consequences if the Chancellor refuses to listen.
“The IMF is clear that we are a long way from the strong and sustained recovery we need and backs the warnings we have made for three years that the Government’s plans are a drag on growth and risk doing long-term damage.
“They say, as we have, that you need to strike a balance between the pace of fiscal consolidation and support for growth and jobs. And it is clear that the Government has not got that balance right. That is why the IMF is calling for urgent action to kick-start the economy, including bringing forward long-term infrastructure investment.
“With the IMF warning that the recovery is far from secure and the risks are to the downside, a sensible Chancellor would listen to the IMF’s advice and take action. Only a reckless Chancellor would try to plough on regardless. George Osborne has gained a reputation for always putting politics before economics. This is his chance to redress the balance and do the right thing for Britain.”<div>