EU growth figures show UK has gone from fast lane to slow lane since Osborne’s spending review & VAT rise

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said in response to first quarter of 2011 growth figures for European Union countries:

“These figures expose how, since George Osborne’s spending review and VAT rise, Britain’s economy has gone from the economic fast lane to the slow lane.

“As our economy has flatlined with zero growth over the last six months countries like France, Belgium, the Netherlands and even Spain have overtaken us while Germany is powering ahead.

“All these major economies were hit by the global financial crisis and so have a big challenge to get their deficit down and they also face the same high world oil prices as us. But while they are now growing strongly, our recovery has been choked off. In fact the UK economy is still 4 per cent smaller than it was before the global financial crisis hit.

“We’ve gone from the top end of the economic growth league table to being stuck at the bottom just above Greece and Portugal – countries which have had austerity package after austerity package but are struggling to get their deficits down because they are not growing.

“These figures show the huge risks George Osborne is taking in Britain by making a political choice to cut further and faster than any other major economy in the world. He doesn’t seem to understand that without strong growth and more people in jobs, paying taxes rather than claiming benefit, it’s harder to get the deficit down”.

Download a table showing economic growth in EU countries in the last six months compared to previous six months

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Posted May 13th, 2011 by Ed's team

2 Responses to “EU growth figures show UK has gone from fast lane to slow lane since Osborne’s spending review & VAT rise”

  1. Joe J says:

    The Tin Man and his Scarecrows look more and more like clones of the Iron Lady everyday. Cut, cut, cut is alwasy the answer regardless of social impact. An unfounded belief that free market economics equates to a fair society is the driving ideological force behind these cuts.

  2. Mark Brown says:

    You are right Ed, unfortunately Cameron and Osborne have convinced everybody that this kind of slash and burn approach is the only way forward. Joe is right that these cuts are ideological, but I’m not sure that George Osborne has any kind of commitment to a fair society. He seems hell bent on rolling back the social welfare infrastructure that Gordon Brown and others were able to put in place. What concerns me is the ruthless and spiteful way they are portraying minority groups inorder to justify their cuts. mb

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