Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, in response to NIESR’s forecast that the UK economy grew by just 0.1 per cent in the last three months of 2011, said:
“If this estimate comes true it will be a very disappointing figure. It would mean just 1 per cent growth in the UK last year, less than half the rate for the previous year.
“Our recovery was choked off well before the recent eurozone crisis, but if the Government refuses to take urgent action to get our economy moving again, then I fear this stagnant growth is set to continue into 2012.
“This is bad news for families, businesses and for the deficit too. The Government has already admitted that slow growth and higher unemployment means it is set to borrow a staggering £158 billion more than planned. This is wasteful extra borrowing to pay for failure and a bigger dole bill, rather than to support the economy at a difficult time and help get people back to work.
“Of course we need tough decisions on tax and spending cuts, but to successfully get the deficit down we also need to get our economy moving again, get people off benefits and into work and build a better economy for the future. In 2012 we need Labour’s five point plan for jobs to support hard-pressed families and small businesses, get Britain back to work and so help get the deficit down too.”