Shadow Treasury chief secretary Angela Eagle has accused the Government of rewriting history over the causes of the recession when it blames the need to cut public spending on Labour.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Eagle says the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats blame the need to cut public spending on Labour’s fiscal mis-management, even though before the financial crisis they said they would match it and in some instances go further.
She says: “They thought it was popular then to say that and have now decided retrospectively to rewrite history, this recession was caused by the reckless behaviour of the banks in the global money market and began in the sub-prime market in America.
“Neither the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats were warning in 2007 we were spending too much, they said they would match our spending and were demanding we spent more.
“If you look at the record it is a manufactured deceit they are using for their own political purposes.”
She says: “They are claiming we were on the brink of bankruptcy and there was going to be a sovereign debt crisis and so they had to cut spending in the way they did and that was all because of overspending on public services.”
Eagle says some cuts are necessary but the key to one of the best ways out of a recession is through growth and jobs.
Her comments come after Labour leader Ed Miliband defended the level of borrowing under Labour at a press conference on Monday.
He said: “Borrowing was within acceptable limits. It was about two per cent of national income and then the financial crisis hit, that is why we have a high deficit now.”
He added that the level of borrowing should not have come as a surprise to the Conservatives with Labour standing in the 1997 election on a platform of “borrowing to invest”.
It has become a regular refrain of Government ministers being questioned over spending to blame the action on having to “clean up the mess left by the Labour government”.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith used it repeatedly during Monday’s Work and Pensions questions.