We are staring over the cliff into recession - the Government must turn back now
With today's growth figures of just 0.2 per cent, its clear that we are now staring over the cliff into recession.
The Government needs to pull back immediately.
None of this has happened by accident.
Today's dispiriting figures are in stark contrast to the forecasts made by the Government 18 months ago.
They set out on a disastrous road to recession with an austerity programme which was motivated more by ideological spite than economic necessity.
At the time of the spending review, they said the economy would grow by 3.6 per cent - the reality is that the economy has been on the floor ever since.
In the last three months, there has also been an extremely worrying 0.9 per cent fall in manufacturing, with industrial production down by 1.2 per cent.
I hate to say: 'I told you so'. But we did.
The TUC told the Government that the private sector could not fill the jobs gap left by cuts in public spending.
We told them that taking an axe to public services would bring massive jobs losses and hit the most vulnerable hardest.
We told them that cutting jobs would choke off any growth and create the wrong economic climate to get Britain back to work.
But David Cameron didn't listen.
So now we are on the edge of a double dip recession, with the economy flatlining, public services being dismantled and unemployment increasing.
The message for Chancellor George Osborne is clear: 'It's hurting, but it's not working.'
And its not just the TUC which is calling for an end to austerity - so too are the IMF and other leading economists.
Our economy is so deep in the doldrums that we need urgent measures to bring growth and jobs.
That will get people back to work, paying their taxes, spending in the shops, planning for a better future.
With a budget due in March, we are now at real risk of a double dip recession.
It is time for the Government to turn away from this reckless and foolhardy experiment in austerity and take positive steps to stimulate our economy.
That means practical policies for jobs and growth, including a tax on bankers' bonuses and a Robin Hood tax.
So that working people do not continue to pay the prices for a bankers' recession.