Today’s unemployment figures and OECD report

On the day that unemployment has hit a 17 year high and the OECD has downgraded its growth forecast for Britain George Osborne can take little comfort from the report he has launched in the Treasury.

In the real world the evidence is mounting that his reckless plan to cut deeper and faster than any other major economy in the world isn’t working. Our 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, growth stalled and consumer confidence collapsing.

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. But even that twice-downgraded figure of 2.1 per cent in 2011 is now looking pretty optimistic.

Today’s growth forecasts and unemployment figures are yet 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.

This Conservative-led government doesn’t seem to understand that if the economy doesn’t grow strongly and unless we have more people in work paying taxes it won’t be possible to get the deficit down.

George Osborne should listen to the last three Nobel prize winners for economics, the former chief economist at the Cabinet Office and many of the most respected economic commentators in the world, who all agree that he is cutting too far and too fast and needs to urgently think again.

He has just a week until the Budget to come up with a plan B that puts jobs and growth first and gets our economy moving again.

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Posted March 16th, 2011 by Ed

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