Labour urges new economic approach
Labour has sought to increase pressure on the Government to change its economic policy by demanding an "emergency budget" to promote jobs and growth.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband said Wednesday's rise in unemployment to a 17-year high was the clearest sign that a fresh approach was required.
Chancellor George Osborne is scheduled to set out his proposals to combat stalled growth in an autumn statement on November 29.
But Mr Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the country could not wait that long, and announced plans to tour the country promoting their own five-point plan.
Prime Minister David Cameron refused to budge from the coalition's tough deficit-reduction strategy, claiming doing so would send the economy into a "tailspin".
The premier was highlighting industry success stories, helping unveil a £4.5 billion North Sea oil project in Scotland and opening a £400 million aerospace factory in Wales.
Mr Miliband accused him of being blind to the problems facing the UK, however. "Week by week, with every downgrade in growth, with every rise in unemployment we see, it is clear the Government's plan is not working," he told a Westminster press conference.
"Each and every day more than 1,200 people are becoming unemployed in this country and over 800 extra young people. That is an economic emergency and only a government so out of touch with what is happening in Britain's factories and Britain's high streets would fail to realise that."
The Tories seized on comments by Mr Balls about the short-term cost of the five-point plan as proof that Labour had abandoned its pre-election plans to halve the deficit in four years.
But Mr Balls said that while there were up-front costs - including the £12 billion needed to fund a temporary cut in VAT to 17.5% - there would also be benefits from the kick given to the economy.