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Ed Balls: GDP figures show a 'concerning slowdown'

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says today's GDP figures show a "concerning slowdown" in the economy.

He also claimed several areas of the economy were performing poorly.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

“For all George Osborne's claims that the economy is fixed most people are still not feeling the recovery. Working people are over £1600 a year worse off since 2010 and these figures now show a concerning slowdown in economic growth too.

“Under this government house building is it at its lowest level since the 1920s, business investment is lagging behind our competitors and exports are way off target," Mr Balls added.

Farage: Cameron 'in real political trouble' over EU budget

Nigel Farage said an increased EU budget contribution is "outrageous". Credit: PA

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said:

David Cameron once claimed that he had reduced the EU budget - but the UK contribution went up - and now, quite incredibly, our contribution goes up a second time. It's just outrageous.

The EU is like a thirsty vampire feasting on UK taxpayers' blood. We need to protect the innocent victims, who are us.

– Nigel Farage

Mr Farage told the Press Association that Mr Cameron is in "real political trouble".

Yes, it's outrageous, but that's how the European Union works.

He's in a very weak position. He can do nothing about this.

And I think, really, he's now being pushed into a position where, unless he brings forward his referendum promise, I think he's in real political trouble.

– Nigel Farage


  1. Wales

Farm owner due to be sentenced on forced labour charge

David Daniel Doran Credit: Gwent Police

Farm owner David Daniel Doran, also known as Daniel Doran Junior, will be sentenced today on a forced labour charge.

He pleaded guilty to forcing a vulnerable man to work for him for more than 13 years without pay.

The court heard how Darrell Simester was found in an "appalling" state on Cariad Farm near Newport last year.

The former warehouse worker said he worked 15-hour days without pay and was made to live in a rat-infested shed for a decade.

George Osborne: UK is 'leading the pack'

Chancellor George Osborne has welcomed today's GDP estimate, saying it shows the UK is "leading the pack" in the uncertain global economy.

The Chancellor published several tweets immediately after the figures came out, describing the economic outlook as "very encouraging".


Construction fastest-growing sector in third quarter

Construction was the fastest growing sector of the economy in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest GDP estimate.

The ONS estimates that construction was the fastest-growing sector in the third quarter. Credit: ONS

The Office for National Statistics preliminary estimate found that the dominant services sector grew at 0.7%, while agriculture was the slowest-growing sector at 0.3%.

Two more charged over Pennie Davis death

Two people have been charged with conspiracy to murder a mother-of-five in the New Forest.

Pennie Davis was stabbed to death as she tended to her horses in the New Forest. Credit: Family handout

Supermarket worker Pennie Davis, 47, was stabbed to death as she tended to her horses near Beaulieu in September.

Benjamin Carr, 22, and Samantha Maclean, 28, both from the New Forest, have been charged with conspiracy to murder and will appear before Southampton Magistrates' Court later.

Justin Robertson, of no fixed address, has already been charged with murdering Ms Davis, while Leanne Doyle, 24, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, was also charged with assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Davis's funeral is due to take place in Southampton later today.

ONS: 'Nothing much to worry about' on GDP

The director of the Office for National Statistics has said there is "nothing very much to worry about" after new figures estimated a 0.2% drop in GDP in the three months to September.

The ONS estimates the economy grew 0.7% in the third quarter, compared to 0.9% in the second quarter.

Chancellor George Osborne visiting a factory in Leeds. Credit: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

Joe Grice told the BBC: "Having said that This is a little bit lower than 0.9% we saw last quarter, this is all within the margins of error."

"It is a bit lower, 0.2% lower than last time, but it's still pretty health growth. At an annualised rate that's 3% year. at this stage one would have thought in these figures, [there's] nothing very much to worry about.

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