Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, commenting on today’s retail sales figures, said:
“Today’s retail sales figures are very worrying. UK retail sales have not grown at all compared to the same month a year ago. It is clear that the UK recovery was choked off well before the current uncertainty in the global economy.
“The Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, was right to warn that ‘slamming on the brakes too quickly will hurt the recovery and worsen job prospects'.
“Unlike the Euro zone which has grown 1.3 per cent the UK economy has all but flat-lined since the autumn when George Osborne’s reckless and incautious austerity policies started to kick in.
"Temporarily reversing January’s mistaken VAT rise would ease the growing squeeze on families and pensioners, and give this stalled economy the jump start it urgently needs.
“The squeeze on family living standards is hitting the high street and the evidence for George Osborne's claim that the UK is a safe haven is collapsing. And yet all we see from the Chancellor is more complacency.
“A balanced plan which gets people off the dole and into work alongside tough decisions on spending and tax is the best way to get the deficit down in the long term.”