Lord Young Questions British Recession
One of David Cameron's key economic advisers has questioned whether Britain is really in recession.
Lord Young, who quit as the Prime Minister's enterprise tsar two years ago after suggesting people had "never had it so good" and was later reappointed, appeared at the MADE Festival in Sheffield.
During a panel discussion, the peer was asked whether it was a good time to start a business.
According to website TheBusinessDesk.com, he said: "I have experienced every recession since 1955 and I have never known a recession where employment goes up and at a time when the population is growing.
"I am not sure the Government can actually measure the economy any more."
He added: "The internet has had such a tremendous effect on business the last few years. I'm not sure for example sales through Google, eBay, ever get measured.
"One of the things I think we are doing if we are not careful is we are going to talk ourselves into a recession."
He also said that on the back of the Olympics and Paralympics the "nation should have enough confidence, frankly, to get up and get on with it".
Lord Young - a Trade and Industry Secretary under Margaret Thatcher - resigned his unpaid advisory role in November 2010 after suggesting that low interest rates meant most people had "never had it so good" since the "so-called recession" began.
In a newspaper interview, the 80-year-old also dismissed 100,000 job cuts in the public sector as "within the margin of error".
Downing Street played down the peer's latest remarks, insisting he was merely highlighting contradictions in recent economic data.
But shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said: "The reality is that families are facing a big squeeze on their incomes, our economy has shrunk in the two years since the spending review, long-term unemployment is at a 16 year high".