Chancellor of the Exchequer
Edward Balls (Morley and Outwood, Labour)
In October, the IMF said that if growth
“were to undershoot current expectations”
the Government should change course. The Chancellor did not know the answer to my question, so let me give him the answer. The IMF was forecasting UK growth of 1.1% in 2011 and 1.6% in 2012. The latest Office for Budget Responsibility forecast is that the UK is now expected to grow by just 0.9% this year and to grow next year not by 1.6% but by 0.7%.
Let me share another international judgment with the Chancellor:
“Wiser policies, mixing short-term stimulus with longer-term deficit reduction, should have been embraced last year…Instead, the Cameron government persists on a failed, irresponsible course that is unlikely to lead to recovery anytime soon.”
With growth undershooting IMF expectations in October, with borrowing now set to be £158 billion higher than he planned, and with even the IMF calling for a change of course, why is the Chancellor ploughing on? If even across the Atlantic The New York Times can see that it is not working, why can the Chancellor not see it?