“The Chancellor has failed to deliver the bold action we need on living standards.
“Growth may be returning but families are getting poorer. The official forecasts show that Britain’s living standards squeeze is to get even tighter – a point curiously absent from the Chancellor’s address – and is a major blow to hard-working people.
“The fact that stronger growth is being accompanied by even weaker pay rises proves that the recovery is passing most ordinary people by.
“It’s good that the Chancellor has finally acknowledged his failure to get youth unemployment down. But with a million young people out of work he is wrong to make them wait until 2015 before they receive any help.
“Those with most to fear are Britain’s growing army of low-paid workers who could face further cuts in their tax credits as result of the Chancellor’s newly announced welfare cap, and who are increasingly being asked to work until they drop.”
On the latest fiscal forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Frances said:
“The statistics may show the economy growing but it is passing most families, and most parts of the country, by.
“Far from being a cause for celebration, we could have had this level of growth two years ago if the government had not followed the policies that have made this the slowest recovery from recession in living memory.”
The TUC has compared the fiscal forecast published today by the OBR with their original one from 2010 to show that economic growth is still two years behind schedule. It won’t be until 2015 that the UK economy will reach the level of growth originally forecast for 2013.