Cameron & Osborne are trying to take us back to the 1980s – extracts from Ed’s speech today

Speaking this lunchtime at the TUC Yorkshire & Humber region’s Annual General Meeting in Sheffield, Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls said:

“Across the north, south, east and west of our country we are starting to see the devastating effect of this government’s reckless plan to cut too deep and too fast.

“David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to take us back to the 1980s – not just the hike in VAT and deep spending cuts, but trying to provoke confrontation with Labour councils like Liverpool and now with Thatcherite enterprise policies too.

“The economy should be growing strongly this year, but instead thousands of jobs are being lost in both the public and private sectors and our economic recovery has stalled.

“George Osborne just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t seem to understand that without strong economic growth and with unemployment now rising again, you cannot get the deficit down. And he seems to be in denial about the state of the economy he is responsible for.

“When Labour left office our actions to support the recovery meant the economy was strengthening, inflation was lower and unemployment was falling. That’s why the deficit ended up being £20 billion lower than forecast last year.

“Now we have the worst of all worlds – a stalled economy, consumer confidence collapsing, rising unemployment and rising inflation. But this Chancellor has no plan other than to carry on regardless with cuts that are too deep and too fast and aren’t working.

“George Osborne needs to get his head out of the sand. He has just two weeks until the Budget to come up with a plan for jobs and growth that gets people into work and gets our economy moving again.

“He should start by heeding Labour’s call to repeat last year’s £3.5 billion bank bonus tax and use that money to support the jobs and growth Britain badly needs this year.

“And he should be helping hard-pressed families now by immediately reversing the Tory VAT rise on fuel, which has added £1.35 to the cost of filling up a 50 litre tank.”

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Posted March 5th, 2011 by Ed's team

4 Responses to “Cameron & Osborne are trying to take us back to the 1980s – extracts from Ed’s speech today”

  1. Stu Mitchell says:


    Only thing I’d disagree with on your blog is that the 80s weren’t all a bad time. Many of us voters were about in the 80s and remember it fondly! (Don’t do a Gene Hunt…)

    It’s a good time to keep plugging away at just how bad things are going to get. It was Ken Clarke that said that even the middle classes don’t know how terrible things will be soon. What amazes me is that people have swallowed the continuous ‘we inherited this mess’ rhetoric that the coalition always seems to spout whenever one is interviewed.

    Keep plugging away Ed.

  2. Paul Exeter says:

    The coalition are sounding like the sheep in animal farm instead of “four legs good two legs bad” it is “the mess we inherited” sooner or not much latter every one is going to see that it is not the past but the present policies are causing the problems.

    I remember the 80s, I was in the unfortunate position of relocating from Hampshire to Devon (not unfortunate in going to Devon) and I could not sell the Hampshire property as the recession bit me and ended up loosing out on the move. Interest rates in double figures – perhaps if you had money this was a good thing but not if you owed money.

  3. Paul Exeter says:

    animal farm should have been “Animal Farm”

  4. “we inherited this mess” is well past its use-by date and totally thread-bare – typical of a barren mind-set of constructive thought. Its’ use is self defeating, whenever I hear it my reception switches off.

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