By Max Clarke
Millions of Britons woke up this morning to what has been dubbed "Worse off Wednesday" as coalition implemented cuts and taxes come into effect at a cost to UK households of an estimated £2.3 billion.
This morning also saw the latest forecast from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which shows that UK’s growth over the next three months will be one third that of other major world economies.
Unions have been quick to connect this reduced growth to government cuts, including Unite who fear that “Worse off Wednesday” will compound the economic contraction caused by the cuts, saying that Britain urgently needs an economic plan B.
Despite this slowed growth, the OECD remains in support of Cameron’s austerity plan, as Chief Angel Gurrie told the Evening Standard in January: “... they should stay the course. The package was an ambitious, far-reaching package. It cleared the markets in terms of its credibility. It's what was necessary. The fiscal situation in the UK absolutely requires this approach."
"With forecasts being revised down with every new economic forecast, there is now little hope we can grow our way to recovery under the government's one-note strategy of savage cuts to spending,” Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey.
"This week the government was forced to heed the warnings that they were being reckless with the NHS. George Osborne's economic policy is looking decidedly reckless too. Unless this government has a serious rethink about its economic strategy, Worse off Wednesday will become Groundhog Day reality for millions of ordinary people as living standards collapse.
Coalition policies are not without their supporters, as UK200 member David Ingall - partner at leading accountancy JWPCreers- explains:
“We are revisiting the issues that have been rehearsed since the Budget last year. The cuts (or reductions in expenditure) are absolutely necessary as the Government has been hopelessly overspending and it cannot go on. There will be pain - no one has ever pretended anything else,” said Ingall.