This is final proof Plan A is not working, says Balls


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The Independent Online

The shadow Chancellor Ed Balls declared yesterday that George Osborne's mini-Budget was final proof that "plan A has failed – colossally".

In a wide-ranging attack on the Government's strategy, he said that deep cuts to spending had aggravated the country's economic woes by snuffing out recovery. Mr Balls cited "flatlining" growth figures, rising unemployment and increased borrowing as evidence that the Chancellor needed to order a dramatic change of direction.

In the Commons, Mr Balls said: "With prices rising and unemployment soaring, families, pensioners and businesses already know it's hurting. And with billions more in borrowing to pay for rising unemployment, today we find out the truth – it's just not working."

Mr Balls said: "For his sake, for his party's sake and in the national interest, the Chancellor needs to change course and he needs to do so now."

He attacked the Chancellor for trying to blame "anyone or anything but himself" for the grim economic forecasts facing Britain.

He said: "We know the truth – cutting too far and too fast has backfired and every one of the Chancellor's claims of a year ago have completely unravelled."

He lambasted the Autumn Statement as a "a cobbled-together package of growth measures which he must know do not address the fundamental problem that is his rapid, reckless and deflationary plan that is choking off the recovery and pushing up borrowing".