Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to today’s public sector finance figures, said:
“This is a damning indictment of a Chancellor who promised to secure the recovery and get the deficit down. His failed plan has delivered the exact opposite - a double dip recession which is leading to soaring borrowing. What more evidence does the Government need that their plan has failed and they need to change course?
“The deficit is up by more than a quarter compared to the same period last year, despite the OBR predicting a fall at the time of the Budget just a few months ago.
“With the double-dip recession now longer than any since the war the Government has borrowed £9.3 billion more in the first four months of this year than in the same period in 2011. This is even worse than forecast in March when the Tory-led Government was forced to admit it would borrow £150 billion more than planned over this Parliament.
“With fewer people in work and fewer businesses succeeding, the Government is having to borrow more not less as welfare bills rise and tax revenues fall.
“George Osborne’s decision to raise taxes and cut spending too far and too fast has choked off the recovery and as a result the Government’s pledge to balance the books by 2015 is now in tatters.
“Unless the Chancellor takes urgent action now he will end up not only borrowing billions more to pay for economic failure but he risks causing long-term damage to our economy too.”