IS IT complacency or just plain arrogance that’s stopping the Tory-led Government from ditching its failing economic plan?
The economy has been flat-lining for some months, but official growth figures out this week confirm that it actually shrank at the end of last year.
Given the gravity of the situation, I was astounded to hear David Cameron giving yet more excuses during PMQs last week. There have been too many.
Excuses aren’t good enough for people who have lost their job, or are afraid they will soon.
They aren’t good enough either if your order book is thinning, or your customers aren’t spending as much as they used to.
The Government has to get a grip and stop pretending. David Cameron likes to blame the eurozone crisis, but in fact it is only rising exports (to Europe) that kept us out of recession last year.
By clobbering the economy with spending cuts and tax rises that go too far and too fast, the Government has left us badly exposed if the eurozone crisis deepens this year.
Of course, there need to be tough decisions on spending, tax and pay, but to the Government’s decision to go too far and too fast is backfiring.
Rising unemployment and a lack of growth means the Government won’t now balance the books by 2015 and are set to borrow £158bn more than planned.
That’s a bill for an extra £6,500 for every family in Britain – money that nobody can afford.
It is not too late for the Government to change course and follow Labour’s five-point plan for jobs and growth, but it needs to do so fast before the scars of long-term unemployment and high borrowing leave their mark for generations to come