Robin Walker welcomed figures published today that showed that Britain's economy is at last emerging from the longest recession in decades. The lower than expected figure of 0.1% growth in GDP represents the first time that the economy has grown since the second quarter of 2008, but is so small that it could easily be reversed by updated statistics that will be published later in the month.
Most major economies emerged from recession three months ago and Britain, which was one of the first economies to enter the recession is going to be one of the last out.
Earlier this week Insolvency experts R3 warned that 2010 was likely to see even more corporate insolvencies than 2009 as companies struggle to cope with a slow recovery, hampered by rising taxation and a continuing lack of credit. Last week also saw a decrease in the claimant count but 2,420 people still claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Worcester and a rise in the national figure for economically inactive people to over 8 million.
Conservatives have been campaigning to get banks lending more to business, to reform the benefits system to get more people back to work, to avoid Labour's planned increases in tax on anyone earning over £20,000 through an increase in national insurance and to help companies threatened with an increase in business rates.
Robin Walker, Parliamentary Candidate for Worcester today said
"There is no doubt that a return to growth is good news. Nobody could be more hopeful for a strong, sustained recovery than I am. We desperately need a strong recovery to bring jobs and investment back to places like Worcester. However the way in which we are limping out of recession is definitely a cause for concern. Labour's policies are handcuffing the recovery and holding back business from creating new jobs. We're still borrowing money at a rate of around £6,000 every second - every five seconds, the Government borrows more than the average British person earns in a year."
"Today's figures confirm more than ever why we need a change of government. We need a government that supports business and will support a strong recovery. Labour doesn't understand business and, with the best will in the world, they are failing to support the recovery. Gordon Brown promised to abolish boom and bust but instead he has driven this country through the biggest boom and the longest bust in recent history. Far from entering the recession in a stronger position than our neighbours, as he used to boast, we have been shown to be one of the weakest of the major economies. This needs to change."
Notes to Editors
The GDP data was published here:
The Claimant Count figures for Worcester between 1996 and the present can be found here:
The information on 8 million people economically inactive is here:
Conservative policies to help small businesses out of the recession and support the recovery include:
• Ending Labour's practice of pushing thousands of businesses into bankruptcy over small amounts of unpaid taxes. Jobs would be saved and entrepreneurs would be given the support they deserve. The statutory threshold over which the Government can petition to make a business insolvent would be raised.
• Boosting social mobility by ending the unfair restrictions on people starting a business in social housing. Social tenants could become entrepreneurs, creating new jobs and opportunities. Measures to prevent noise and nuisance would remain in place.
• Making it easier for people to set up new enterprises by cutting the time it takes to open a new business. Britain should become the fastest place in the world to start a business. Under Labour, it takes twice as long to start one in the UK as in the USA, Denmark or Hong Kong. The number of forms needed to register a new business will be cut, moving towards a ‘one-click' registration model.
These changes come on top of Conservative plans to reduce small company corporation tax rates to 20p; to make small business rate relief automatic in England, saving small firms up to £1,260 per year; and to abolish tax on the jobs created by new businesses in the first two years of a Conservative Government.
The Conservatives today published a detailed explanation of how Gordon Brown has contributed to the severity of the recession that can be found here: