A union leader condemned the UK's economic strategy

Big spending cuts by the UK government will threaten the recovery, warned a major union leader.

Commenting on the UK's economic strategy, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “At worse we will suffer a double dip, and at best we can expect a glacially slow jobless recovery.”

Without public investment the latest GDP growth figures would have been significantly lower, he said. “Spending cuts will reveal just how fragile the UK economy remains.

“Public investment accounted for at least 20% of construction output - the fastest growing sector of the economy - and around 25% of total quarterly output.

“Consumers, particularly those who work in the public sector or in jobs that depend on public spending, are increasingly nervous about the future. The big cuts threatened in the comprehensive spending review will hit both the private and public sectors.

Barber appealed for a different approach: “There is still time to adopt an alternative approach of stimulating growth by maintaining spending and using a fairer tax system to ensure that those who gained most from the boom years now pay their fair share of undoing the damage they caused.”