Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

UK 'falling behind economic rivals'

Labour's shadow financial secretary Chris Leslie called for the Chancellor to change course

The UK is "falling behind" in the global economic race, Labour claimed as a study showed the economy was set to grow slower than 23 international competitors.

Analysis of International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures by the TUC suggested the UK will suffer a "lost decade for growth".

The TUC found that in the G7 group of leading economies, only Italy had suffered a worse reaction to the economic catastrophe.

Analysis of IMF GDP per capita figures and projections for 2008-17 showed the Chinese province of Taiwan was expected to grow by 35.7%, with Korea on 29.6%, Hong Kong on 26.2% and Singapore on 24.2%.

The UK's flat 0% figure placed it 24th on the global list and sixth on the list of G7 industrialised nations.

The US was expected to grow 11.2% over the period, Germany 10.3% despite the eurozone crisis, Japan 8.7%, Canada 6.6% and France 1.7%. Only Italy, with a 5.9% contraction, was expected to have a weaker recovery.

With the IMF set to deliver its latest assessment of the UK economy this month, Labour's shadow financial secretary Chris Leslie called for George Osborne to change course.

Mr Leslie said: "George Osborne should not arrogantly dismiss the advice of the IMF team flying into London this week. It's time the Chancellor listened to their warnings that his failing economic policies are playing with fire and that Britain now needs a plan B for jobs and growth.

"This TUC analysis, based on IMF figures, shows that in the global race David Cameron is so fond of talking about, Britain is falling behind as our competitors move ahead. The slowest recovery for 100 years means living standards are falling, the deficit is not coming down and long-term damage is being done.

"What we need now is a plan for jobs and growth and long-term reforms to strengthen our economy, not more of the same failing policies and a tax cut for millionaires."

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