April 22, 2024

Tories deliver leaflet boasting about economy growing on day recession announced

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk’s campaign team delivered election leaflets in Cheltenham claiming there’s ‘good news’ for the economy as Britain slipped into recession

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk’s campaigning leaflet was accused of promoting ‘nonsense’

A Tory election leaflet boasting about the economy growing has been put through letterboxes on the same day it was revealed Britain slipped into a recession.

Campaigning flyers for Justice Secretary Alex Chalk which claim the economy is “GROWING” have been delivered to his constituents in Cheltenham despite official data this morning estimating GDP fell by 0.3% at the end of 2023. The Tory Minister has a razer thin majority of 981 in his constituency. A mega-poll seen by the Mirror last night predicted him on course to be defeated by the Liberal Democrats in a general election.

The leaflet, which labels Mr Chalk on the front as a “local MP” instead of “Conservative MP”, brags about “how Rishi Sunak’s plan is strengthening our economy” and says there’s “good news for our economy”. It tells constituents to “take a look at the facts: we’re making progress and strengthening our economy”, with a gushing paragraph saying: “Economy GROWING. Official GDP data shows that the UK economy has grown more than Germany, France and Italy when recovering from the pandemic. That means more jobs, more investment and a better standard of living.”

Alex Chalk’s flyer to his constituents claims Rishi Sunak is strengthening the economy
The leaflet also boasts about the Tories’ free childcare plan which is also under threat due to shortages of childminders

Lib Dem Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: “Surely Alex Chalk and other Conservative MPs claiming this garbage must now correct the record. This is hugely embarrassing for a senior Cabinet Minister to claim on the day the UK economy went into recession, after years of Conservative chaos. Conservative MPs are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Alex Chalk’s constituents will see right through this nonsense.”

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday estimated that GDP – a key measure of economic activity – fell by 0.3% in the last three months of 2023, following a decline of 0.1% in the previous three months. It means that the economy entered a technical recession, as defined by two or more quarters in a row of falling GDP, for the first time since the first half of 2020 amid the havoc of the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey said: “Rishi’s recession has savaged the British economy by decimating growth and leaving families to cope with spiralling prices. Years of Conservative chaos and a revolving door of Conservative Chancellors has culminated in economic turmoil.

“It’s hardworking Brits forced to pick up the tab for this mess, through high food prices, tax hikes and skyrocketing mortgage bills. This year the country will have the chance to kick out this incompetent and out of touch government once and for all.” The recession announcement comes just three weeks before Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers his Budget.

Mr Chalk’s campaigning leaflet also boasts about the Government’s plan to double free childcare to 30 hours a week. Yet as recently as February 4 the Education Secretary refused to guarantee the childcare pledge will be met on time as she was “not in control of all the bits”.

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