Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in response to George Osborne’s reported comments to the Cabinet that the economy is ‘on the right track’ said:
"George Osborne’s confident declaration that the recovery is on the right track should be taken with a pinch of salt given his complacent claim last autumn that Britain was ‘out of the danger zone’.
"Our economy should not just be making up all the lost ground from the end of last year but growing strongly on top of that. We will need to compare growth over the last six months, since George Osborne’s spending review and VAT rise but before the bulk of the cuts have really kicked in, with growth of 1.8% over the previous six months.
"The Office for Budget Responsibility, which has already downgraded its forecast for 2011 three times, is predicting growth of just 0.8% in the first quarter. That would mean growth of just 0.3% over the last six months, which would be a very weak recovery indeed.
"Before George Osborne ripped up our plan to halve the deficit over four years growth in 2011 was forecast by the OBR to be 2.6%. We will need to see very strong figures tomorrow if the Chancellor is to get back on to that track."