Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Ed Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to today's revised GDP figures, said:

"It's very worrying news that the economy shrank even more than we thought at the end of last year. And these revised figures also show that since George Osborne's spending review our economy has flatlined and not grown at all.

"This slow growth and rising unemployment means the Government is set to borrow an extra £150 billion to pay for the cost of economic failure.

"It's now even clearer that last week's Budget not only made the wrong choice by asking millions to pay more so millionaires could pay less, it also made the wrong choice in sticking to policies that are failing on jobs, growth and the deficit.

"At the start of 2012 our economy should be doing more than just recovering the lost output at the end of last year. Months and years of flatlining or slow growth will make it harder to get the deficit down and cause long-term damage to our economy.

"There have to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay, but raising taxes and cutting spending too far and too fast has backfired. We need a real plan for jobs and growth, like Labour's five point plan, to get our economy moving again and get Britain back to work. That is how we will get our deficit down in a fairer, better way."

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