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Think tank says downgrade in growth forecasts is a response to the threat of further austerity


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Contact: Ellie O’Hagan E: T: 0207 611 2571

Responding to the news that the CBI has downgraded growth forecasts for the UK, a spokesperson from Class said:

“The news that the CBI has downgraded growth forecasts for the UK economy highlights mounting concerns about the impact of further aggressive austerity measures.

“This news must prompt the government to evaluate the UK’s poor productivity record, which is linked in large part to poor investment by both public and private sectors. Under the first two years of the Coalition government public investment halved and productivity remains lower than before the economic crash of 2008.

“Austerity has reduced demand and damaged economic growth. The labour market has adjusted to this weaker growth rate through a squeeze on wages and reductions in the quality and security of work. The latest downgrade in forecasted growth is a direct result of policies for more austerity and reduced investment.

“It is only through improving productivity via public sector investment that wages will increase, living standards will improve, and the UK will be able to enjoy a sustainable and even recovery.”


Notes to Editors:

1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade unions including ASLEF, BFAWU, CWU, GFTU, GMB, FEU, Musicians' Union, NUM, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, UCU and Unite the Union. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.

2. Statistics referred to in this statement can be found in the ONS’ Labour Productivity, Q4 2014. You can access the report here:

3. Class recently published a briefing on the impact of productivity on the UK economy, which can be accessed here:

4. The CBI’s Economic Forecast for June 2015 can be accessed here:

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For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Ellie O’Hagan on or 0207 611 2571.