Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, in response to EU growth figures for the first quarter of 2011, said:
"With Germany, France and the eurozone as a whole avoiding recession, it’s now clear that Britain’s double-dip recession was made in Downing Street by David Cameron and George Osborne's failed economic policies.
"In the 18 months since George Osborne's spending review, Britain has been out-performed by most European countries. And without exports to Europe and the rest of the world Britain would have been in recession a year ago. The Chancellor has now run out of excuses for why his reckless and unfair policies have failed.
"But these are very concerning figures for many eurozone countries and what happens in the coming weeks and months will have an impact on Britain. That is why, instead of calling for deeper spending cuts and bigger tax rises which are making things worse not better, George Osborne should be making the case for a plan for jobs and growth in Britain and across Europe.
"As even the credit rating agencies now recognise, extreme austerity is self-defeating. We are already seeing that in Britain where the Government is set to borrow an extra £150 billion to pay for economic failure. A balanced plan to get unemployment down and economies moving again is the only way we will get deficits down and do so in a fair way. If we fail to act now, we will pay a very heavy long term price."