Chancellor Alistair Darling has bravely predicted that the UK will see economic growth before the year is out, despite saying in today’s Budget speech that this is the “worst economic global turmoil felt for 60 years”.
Darling said the UK’s GDP will have shrunk by 3.5% before it can hope to see an upturn which he predicted to be equivalent to 1.25% in 2010, with growth of 3.5% from then on.
“For the first time since the Second World War, the world economy is expected to contract this year.” He added that “there are no quick fixes, no overnight solutions”, but that progress was being made on ensuring a speedy growth out of recession.
Darling pledged that major UK banks will increase the availability of mortgage lending to the tune of £20bn this year to try and stimulate the housing market, while extra support will also be given to the government’s part-buy home ownership scheme.
The government also plans to tackle youth unemployment by offering all under 25s who have been out of work for a year a job or training adding £260M funding for youth training in high future demand industries.