Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said in response to the GFK NOP Consumer Confidence Index for June:
“These are disappointing figures, showing that consumer confidence is lower than at any point last year and suggesting that April’s bounce was short-lived. With bad news from the High Street coming in every day, and output in the service sector having its biggest fall for 15 months, it’s increasingly clear that the Tory VAT rise in January was a terrible mistake.
“George Osborne should admit he got this wrong and agree to temporarily reverse the VAT rise until the economy is growing strongly again. An emergency tax cut now would boost consumer confidence, give the stalled economy the jump start it urgently needs and so help get the deficit down for the long-term.
“Cutting too far and too fast risks getting us into a vicious circle. The Tory-led government is now set to borrow £46 billion more than they were expecting just a few months ago – the cost of the slower growth, higher unemployment and higher inflation their policies have delivered. There is an alternative: a balanced deficit plan that puts jobs first, not a rash and reckless plan which isn’t working.”