George Osborne blames previous government as GDP shrinks again

Chancellor George Osborne has reacted to the GDP figures released today. Photo: Toby Melville/PA Wire

You might wonder why, if the economy is still shrinking, the government is not planning to change its mind about the strategy it has taken in the last two years.

George Osborne's answer? Shifting course would make the country's "deep rooted" economic problems worse. Dealing with the debt is not easy but adding to it by spending more, he says would be an ever bigger risk.

He admits there has to be "more effort" from the government to try to get the economy going.

Yet he refuses to accept that the action the government is taking is at all responsible for the fact that the total amount of all we make and do has been shrinking for nine months in a row.

What the Chancellor did not do this morning however is seek to blame the eurozone for the poor shape of our economy, or even the disruption caused by the Queen's Jubilee.

Instead he referred time and again to the problems built up over the previous government - the depth of the crash in 2008 and the level of debt built up over time. But after more than two years in charge will the public accept that explanation?

I also asked him if it was time he gave up his role as the government's top political strategist. There have been rumblings at Westminster in recent months even in his own party over whether he can do both jobs. He told me "he only had one job...Chancellor of the Exchequer".

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