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Leaders clash over economy

Labour leader Ed Miliband and David Cameron clashed in Parliament last week over the significance of the latest GDP figures, with the Prime Minister accused of complacency.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions after figures were released showing 0.5 per cent growth for the first quarter after a 0.5 per cent fall in the final quart of last year 2010, Miliband said: “What terrible complacency from this Prime Minister. Six months ago, what did he tell us? He told us we were out of the danger zone. Since then, there has been no growth at all in the British economy.”

Cameron accused Miliband of “being desperate” for the economy to shrink to fit with his and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls’ predictions of a double dip. “He said we were going to get two quarters of negative growth, so when he gets to his feet, perhaps it is time to apologise for talking the economy down?”

Miliband blamed Cameron’s “aust-erity rhetoric” for knocking consumer confidence and warned him that “he cannot blame the snow” this time.

He added: “Why does he not admit we have had six months of no growth because of his decisions, his Chancellor’s decisions and his Government’s decisions?”

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