After three wasted and damaging years of flatlining, this economic growth is both welcome and long overdue

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to GDP figures for the second quarter of 2013, said:

“After three wasted and damaging years of flatlining, this economic growth is both welcome and long overdue. But families on middle and low incomes are still not seeing any recovery in their living standards. While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, for everyone else life is getting harder with prices still rising much faster than wages.

“This is also the slowest recovery for over 100 years. In America, where President Obama has acted to support rather than strangle the recovery, their economy has grown nearly three times faster than the UK since autumn 2010. Simply to catch up all the ground we have lost under David Cameron and George Osborne we would need growth of 1.3 per cent each quarter over the next two years.

“Real risks remain. So instead of more complacency from the Chancellor, we need action to catch up all the lost ground and secure a strong and sustained recovery that everybody can benefit from.

“Labour would help families on middle and low incomes with a 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax. We would introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people, paid for by a bank bonus tax, to help get the benefits bill down. And we would bring forward infrastructure investment now. If the £10 billion boost recommended by the IMF was invested in housing we could build 400,000 affordable homes and support 600,000 jobs.

“This is a One Nation economic plan which would ensure we have a strong and sustained recovery which is made by the many, not just a few at the top.”

Ends

Editor’s Notes:

1. Since George Osborne’s spending review in the autumn of 2010, the UK economy has grown by just 1.7 per cent. This compares to forecasts at the time that the economy would have grown by 6.9 per cent by now. Over the same period the US economy has grown by 4.7 per cent (figures only available up to Q1 2013).

2. The UK economy remains 3.3 per cent below its pre-crisis peak, while the US economy is now 3.0 per cent above its pre-crisis peak.

3. Since the 2010 general election average pay has fallen by £1,350 a year in real terms.

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Posted July 25th, 2013 by Ed's team