Families, pensioners and businesses in the North East know it’s hurting, and today we’ve found out it isn’t working

Hard-pressed families and pensioners, young people out of work and businesses in the North East already know that the Tory-led Government’s economic plan is hurting, but today, we’ve found out that it isn’t working either. Independent forecasts today show the Government is set to borrow £158 billion more than they planned a year ago – the bill for the economic failure, higher unemployment and bigger benefits bill their failed plan has created.

Iain Wright, Labour’s Shadow Business Minister and MP for Hartlepool said:

“Despite the pain of £40 billion more spending cuts and tax rises the Chancellor boasted about last year, the recovery he choked off and the higher unemployment he created means billions more borrowing for failure.

“Unemployment is reaching crisis levels and this Government’s half measures are just not doing the job. Since January the number of young people claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or more in the North East has increased by 106% and that’s just not good enough.

"The government's plans for infrastructure investment in the region are wholly inadequate when compared to the rest of the country. The North South divide, which has widened under this Government, will become even larger as a result of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.

“This out of touch Government needs to realise that a flat-lining economy and more people out of work claiming benefits makes it harder to get the deficit down. But there is a better way, as part of Labour’s five point plan for jobs, we are calling for a £2 billion tax on bank bonuses to fund up to 5,550 jobs for young people in the North East."

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said in response to the Government’s Autumn Statement today:

“Let’s be clear what the Office of Budget Responsibility has told us today – though the Chancellor couldn’t quite bring himself to say it:

“Growth flat-lining – down this year and next year and the year after too; unemployment rising.

“£158 billion more borrowing than the Chancellor planned a year ago; more borrowing than the plan which the Chancellor inherited at the last general election and, as a result, his economic and fiscal strategy in tatters.

“After eighteen months in office, the verdict is in: Plan A has failed and it has failed colossally.

“With prices rising and unemployment soaring families, pensioners and businesses already know it’s hurting. And with billions more in borrowing to pay for rising unemployment, today we find out the truth - it’s just not working.”


Editor's notes:

1. Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth in the North East:
- Create up to 5,500 jobs for young people and build 800 new homes

- Bring forward investment projects like new school buildings

-Temporarily reverse the Tory-led Government's VAT rise - a £450 boost for families with children.

- Cut VAT on home improvements to 5% for a year.

- Give up to 58,000 small firms a tax break to take on extra workers.