London: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne must “act now” to prevent “immeasurable” damage to the UK economy, his predecessor Alistair Darling wrote in a letter published in the Sunday People newspaper.
“You and the Bank of England seem to have given up on any plan for growth,” wrote Darling, a chancellor in the previous Labour government. “It’s as if you’re both saying there’s nothing you can do and nature must take its course. But the damage that will do to our country is immeasurable.”
Darling said it was “no use” blaming the Eurozone crisis for the slump, as the UK was the only Group of 20 nation apart from Italy which was in a recession. He said Osborne should introduce “major” spending projects such as replacing power stations, investing in rail, building a third runway at Heathrow airport and building more houses.
“Your policies since 2010 simply haven’t worked, you need another plan — call it plan B, call it whatever you like,” he wrote. “Unless you do something now it will be years before we recover.”
Darling also said the Bank of England should not increase its so-called quantitative easing programme “until we are sure that the money gets into the hands of businesses and onto the high streets.”
“This money is simply not finding its way out of the bank vaults,” he said. “So the Bank of England should use its powers to make it less attractive for banks to sit on money.”