British Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has warned that the UK is to pay a "heavy long-term price" unless the coalition government takes urgent action in order to boost the country’s weak economy.
Responding to the World Economic Outlook published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday July 16, Balls, Labour MP for Morley and Outwood, West Yorkshire, urged the Tory-led UK government to act urgently on economy as there are no excuses for delay.
"We need a change of course and urgent action now to boost the British economy. If we fail to act now, and we see years of slow growth and high unemployment being entrenched, Britain will pay a heavy long term price,” he said.
The IMF lowered its growth predictions for the UK economy for 2012 and 2013, warning of “intense” financial risks to the global economy.
The fund slashed its growth forecast for Britain’s economy to 1.4 per cent in 2013 and just 0.2 percent in 2012, down from 2.3 percent in its June 2011 forecast.
However, blaming the eurozone crisis for Britain’s ailing economy, the UK premier David Cameron’s official spokesman said, "The euro area is the UK's largest trading partner and we are feeling the effects of what's happening in the eurozone in our economy.”
Meanwhile, expressing concerns over the austerity plan of British Chancellor George Osborne, Trade Union Congress (TUC), which is the national trade union centre in the UK representing the vast majority of organized workers, described the IMF’s predictions as “a damning indictment of the government's economic strategy.”