Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, said:
“It was a serious mistake for George Osborne to totally ignore the IMF’s calls for a reassessment of fiscal policy in the Budget. They are right to step up their warnings and insist that a change of economic policy is considered right now.
“Our economy has flatlined for two and a half years, real wages are falling month by month and the result is £245 billion more borrowing than planned to pay for this economic failure. How much more damage needs to be done before the Chancellor finally acts?
“A year ago the IMF was forecasting growth of 2.0 per cent this year, but now they are expecting just 0.7 per cent. And next year they have cut their forecasts for the UK by more than any other major economy. These downgraded growth forecasts are yet another damaging blow to a downgraded Chancellor whose economic policies have totally failed.
“Urgent action is needed to kickstart our flatlining economy. Instead of more of the same failing policies we need a jobs and growth plan, including building thousands of affordable homes and a compulsory jobs guarantee for the long term unemployed. And instead of a tax cut for millionaires, we need a lower 10p starting rate of tax to help make work pay and ease the squeeze on millions of people on middle and low incomes.”<div>