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Darling: Budget cuts could send Britain into a Japan-style slump

SHADOW chancellor Alistair Darling yesterday warned massive spending cuts could push Britain into a long-term Japanese-style slump.

He claimed massive spending cuts and a sharp hike in VAT – both announced by George Osborne in his inaugural Budget yesterday – would depress demand and send the economy into a period of stagnation.

“You have a situation where you have fragile growth, you are taking a lot of money out of the economy, and both public and private sector will be affected,” he said.

He added: “I worry that not just Britain but Europe is going to enter into a situation like in Japan where you bump along the bottom.

“Crucially, that causes not only higher unemployment but you don’t ever get your debt and deficit down.”