Ed Balls Attacks Government Over Jobs

The Shadow Chancellor has attacked the Government over its lack of growth in the economy, saying that Britain has flat-lined.

Speaking in advance of Tuesday’s figures for UK economic growth in the third quarter, Ed Balls said 2011 should have been the year when the UK secured the recovery and saw strong growth in the economy.

"But Britain has not grown since last autumn," Mr Balls said.

He added: “Simply to stay on track for the Office for Budget Responsibility’s most recent forecast, already downgraded three times, we will need to see growth in the third quarter of 1.3%. And to reach the OECD’s latest and more pessimistic forecast, we will need to see a figure next week of 0.9%.

“The US economy has grown by a sluggish 1.6% over the last 12 months, which is why President Obama is trying to get agreement for his jobs plan. In Britain, we have flatlined since last autumn, but this out of touch government still doesn’t have a plan for jobs and growth, like the five point plan Labour has set out."

The news comes as David Cameron promised an "all-out mission" to kick-start infrastructure projects and revive the economy.

Writing in the Financial Times on Monday, the PM said he had given the go-ahead for two power plants in Yorkshire that would create 1,000 construction jobs.

Deputy Nick Clegg has also announced which firms in England will benefit from the £950m final installment of the regional growth fund.

However, Mr Balls was adamant that the Government needed a change in tack: “We need a plan B now because plan A for austerity is hurting but isn’t working. The government is set to borrow £46 billion more than they planned because trying to cut spending and raise taxes too far and too fast has choked off the recovery and pushed up unemployment.

"This extra borrowing to pay for the costs of failure will rise even further unless we start seeing strong growth and falling unemployment soon."


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