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Categories:Politics

AS 2011: Balls slams 'catastrophic' Govt policy for hitting recovery

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has attacked the Government’s autumn statement saying it is a continuation of the “catastrophic” errors which have undermined growth and increased public sector borrowing.

Responding to Osborne’s autumn statement in Parliament this afternoon, Balls said new figures from the OBR, which contain falling growth projections and a slowing in the reduction of public borrowing, show Government policy is hitting the economy. He said measures announced by the Government today to help boost small business growth, including a new small firm investment scheme, were a “fantasy growth package” that was “cobbled together” and would do little to boost growth.

He said: “These would be difficult times for any Chancellor, but our fear is that once again the Chancellor is making a catastrophic error of judgement in his statement today. He is refusing to learn the lessons of history or economics. He is refusing to shift to a more balanced plan.

“If after just 18 months his plan is leading to falling growth, rising unemployment and £158bn more in borrowing the country either needs a new Chancellor or a new plan. We need real tax cuts and real investment. The Government set up the OBR, maybe they should listen to it.”

Osborne attacked the credibility of Labour singling them out as the only party in Europe proposing an extra spending. He said proposals laid out by Balls and the Labour party would require more borrowing than the Coalition is taking on, at a time when spending must be reduced.

He said: “As far as I can see the Shadow Chancellor complains we are borrowing too much and then calls for more borrowing. That is why so many of us are pleased he is in the job he is in.”

When Balls suggested low interest rates on Government borrowing were not necessarily a sign of strength in the British economy, Osborne accused him of pursuing the “completely stupid” policy wanting higher interests rates.

Click here for all the latest news and views from the autumn statement 2011.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Balls living up to his name as usual.

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  • So when GB was in charge of the economy and we had a global boom, it was all down to him, when the credit crunch hit it wasn't his fault it was a global problem but he still managed to claim that his prompt actions saved the world!

    When the global recession hit it wasn't his or Labour's fault either as it was a global problem, but the current problems are down to the Coalition and nothing to do with the Euro meltdown or general state of the developed economies.

    Its a shame that those who are supposed to run the country can't do so without trying to win cheap points off the oppostion.

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  • Golden Brun's protege at the Treasury now carrys on living up to his name by talking it.

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  • Just what we all need, another diatribe from a failed Labour Politician. When will this half wit finally be found out for the croney he is!

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