Angela Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said in response to today's retail sales figures:
"These are disappointing figures which show that, like the economy as a whole, retail sales have flatlined over the last year.
"Spending cuts and tax rises which go too far and too fast have pushed up unemployment and choked off last year's recovery well before the problems in other countries of recent months. Slow growth and more people out of work on benefits rather than paying taxes will make it much harder to get the deficit down.
"We urgently need a plan for growth and jobs to get our economy moving again and get Britain back to work. It's time David Cameron and George Osborne stopped sitting on their hands and listened to wise voices like the IMF who warned months ago that if weak growth continues temporary tax cuts should be considered.
"Temporarily reversing the Tory VAT rise now would help struggling families and retailers and help to kick-start our stalled economy. And the billions that could be raised from another tax on bankers bonuses should be used to build thousands of affordable homes and get young people off the dole and into jobs."