Orpington Labour Party

Labour Rose

Ed Balls responds to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement

Failing on jobs and growth, failing on the deficit and the debt: people on low and middle incomes are paying the price for this Government’s failure.

Government failing on jobs and growth

A shrinking economy this year with growth of -0.1 per cent.

Growth forecasts have been downgraded yet again this year, next year and every year up to 2016.

Over the last two years our economy has grown by just 0.6 per cent compared to the 4.6 per cent the Government promised, 3.6 per cent in Germany and 4.1 per cent in America.

Nearly 1 million young people are out of work, long-term unemployment is rising and the claimant count is forecast to be 275,000 a year higher in 2015.

Prices are forecast to carry on rising faster than wages for another year until 2014.

Government failing on the deficit and debt

George Osborne has been forced to announce that he will not meet his fiscal rule to get the debt down by 2015.

The Prime Minister’s pledge to balance the books by 2015 will also not be met until 2018.

Borrowing and debt figures have been revised up this year and for future years.

The Government is set to borrow £212 billion more than they planned – once you take out the transfer of funding from the Bank of England – and more than the plans the government inherited and condemned at the time for not going far enough.

And the reason why borrowing and debt has been revised up is because slow growth and high unemployment means tax revenues are down and the benefits bill is up.

The only reason borrowing is forecast to fall this year is because the government has added the 4G mobile spectrum auction to this year’s figures – even though government delays mean the auction hasn’t happened yet. Without the £3.5bn receipts penciled in from the 4G sale, borrowing would be forecast to be £2bn higher this year than last year.

And people on low and middle incomes are paying the price for this Government’s failure

George Osborne is pressing ahead with a £3 billion tax cut for the highest earners in the country – worth an average of £107,000 for 8,000 people earning over £1 million.

Yet at the same time people on low and middle incomes are being hit hard with higher VAT, the granny tax, and real terms cuts to tax credits, jobseekers allowance, maternity pay and child benefit.

The £1 billion changes to pension tax relief announced today are less than the £1.6 billion George Osborne gave back to people earning over £150,000 when he scrapped Labour’s cuts to pension tax help for the highest earners.

We now know this Chancellor can’t say ‘we’re all in this together’ without a smirk across his face.

They wanted to us to think they were compassionate Conservatives. Now we find out they are the same old Conservatives.

Growth down.

Borrowing revised up.

The fiscal rules broken.

On every target they set themselves:

Failing, failing and failing.

Cutting the NHS and not the deficit

Over £212bn more borrowing than they promised two years ago.

Cutting taxes for the rich, while struggling families and pensioners pay the price.

Unfair, incompetent and completely out of touch.

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