David Hanson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury Minister, said in response to today’s retail sales figures and the latest Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index:
“This increase in retail sales is welcome, partly thanks to the extra bank holiday last month, but the underlying picture remains concerning.
“Retail sales volumes are only up a very modest 0.2 per cent in the last three months compared to the previous three. Consumer confidence fell last month with the biggest fall on the spending index. And we have yet to see the full impact of last month’s further squeeze on families through this Tory-led Government’s cuts to tax credits, cuts to childcare support and child benefit freeze.
“By cutting too far and too fast, George Osborne risks getting us into a vicious circle. The higher inflation, higher unemployment and slower growth now forecast compared to a year ago means the Government will have to borrow £46 billion more than it was expecting.”