Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Treasury Minister, said in response to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest economic forecast:
"The British Chambers of Commerce is just the latest major organisation to downgrade their forecasts for economic growth in the UK and continue to predict a rise in unemployment as deep cuts and tax rises start to kick in.
"Slow growth and more people out of work and on benefits will make it harder to get the deficit down. That's why the Conservative-led government is now forecast to borrow £46 billion more than they were expecting last autumn. As we have been warning, cutting too far and too fast risks a vicious circle. And the deputy secretary-general of the OECD was right to say last week that if weak growth continues the government should reconsider the pace of the cuts.
“We need a plan B that puts jobs and growth first, because getting people off the dole and back into work is the best way to get the deficit down. And instead of giving the banks a tax cut this year, George Osborne should repeat the bank bonus tax to get jobs for young people, build more affordable homes and support small businesses.”