“Yesterday the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that they think the economy is growing again – by 0.3% in the first quarter of this year. You should take these statistics – good or bad – with a pinch of salt. But the breakdown of growth by sector does undermine lazy claims that the economy is in trouble because of cuts in government spending. Whereas the ONS data shows that manufacturing has shrunk by nearly 7% since 2008 and construction has shrunk by more than 15%, “Government” has grown by 6.9%. The real austerity has been in the more efficient private sector, not a still bloated public sector. Is it any wonder that the economy isn’t growing?”
- Matt Sinclair, chief executive, Taxpayers’ Alliance.