Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mr Osborne must think again

Today the Office for National Statistics announced that Great Britain had slipped back into recession. The dreaded 'Double Dip' which many of us had feared but predicted.

You may think as a Labour politician I would be gloating at this news, but I am not. Of course I disagree with many things that this Tory-lead coalition has done but I truly want the best for our country and it is deeply sad that we are in this position.

Of course recession is a technical term meaning that the economy has contracted for two successive quarters. To most of us technical terms mean nothing, it's more about the money in our pocket and for most of us that means we feel and are significantly worse off.

This government told us continually that severe austerity measures were the only option. But whilst the Conservatives pushed ahead with a program of swinging cuts and tax rises (in many cases disproportionately aimed at the worst off in our society) comparative countries who took more gradual steps in eradicating the structural deficit have seen growth.

Whilst the economies of Germany and the United States are now back to pre-recession levels we continue to struggle. Since Mr Osborne's spending review 18 months ago our economy has contracted 0.2%.

Of course the draconian cuts are not working and we are now spending billions more to pay for the failure.

The disturbing thing is that Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, is predicting that contraction will continue into next quarter as well.

Mr Osborne must think again - it is not too late. If he doesn't we will continue to go on hurting for much longer whilst other countries plough on ahead.

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