Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to today’s public sector finance figures, said:
“George Osborne’s borrowing plans are wildly off track. He has already had to revise his borrowing targets up by £150 billion over this parliament. And in the first six months of this year borrowing is over 4 per cent higher than in the same period last year.
“This is billions more in borrowing not to invest in jobs for the future, but simply to pay for the costs of economic failure as no growth and rising long-term unemployment means higher benefit bills. By choking off the recovery with tax rises and spending cuts which go too far and too fast George Osborne’s pledge to balance the books by 2015 now looks set to be missed and by some margin.
“We need tough decisions on tax, spending and pay but to succeed in getting the deficit down we also need a plan for jobs and growth. Unless the Chancellor takes urgent action to boost the economy now he will end up borrowing billions more to pay for economic failure and cause long-term damage too.”<div>