Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said in response to interviews in tomorrow’s Times and Financial Times with the deputy secretary-general and chief economist of the OECD:
“This is a very significant intervention. Even the OECD, which has traditionally supported government economic policy and George Osborne’s deficit reduction plan, is now saying the Chancellor should consider changing course.
“As Labour has consistently argued we need more jobs and strong growth to get the deficit down in a sustainable way. But since the Conservative-led Government decided to cut further and faster than any other major economy, growth has been much weaker and both unemployment and inflation higher than expected. The result is that the Government is set to borrow £46 billion more than expected.
“George Osborne’s rigid determination, despite all the evidence, to stick with deep and fast cuts and refuse to even consider a plan B does not boost his credibility, it undermines it. We know the Government’s most senior civil servants have drawn up a plan B, which Ministers have hastily rejected. But it’s now time George Osborne listened to wise advice, looked at what is happening to the economy and thought again about the speed and scale of his cuts.”