Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commenting in response to today’s downgraded growth forecasts by the British Chambers of Commerce and PwC, and the retail sales figures from the British Retail Consortium, said:
“This is another wake-up call to a Chancellor who seems to be in denial that his reckless policies are holding back the economy, undermining consumer confidence and smothering the recovery.
“The British economy should be growing strongly this year, but George Osborne’s deep spending cuts and VAT rise are sending things into reverse with unemployment now rising again and growth stalled. He has just two weeks before the Budget to reconsider the speed and scale of cuts and tax rises which go too deep and too fast and come up with a plan B that puts jobs and growth first.
“The Office for Budget Responsibility has already downgraded its growth forecast – once after George Osborne’s first Budget and then again after his spending review. Unless he gets a plan B quickly even that twice-downgraded figure is now looking pretty optimistic.”