Ed Balls responds to OBR predictions of rising household debt

Ed Balls, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said in response to tomorrow’s Observer front page on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s predictions of rising household debt:

“These figures underline Ed Miliband’s warning about the cost of living crisis facing families in the squeezed middle.

“George Osborne says the only thing that matters is getting government borrowing down. But while he is cutting further and faster than any other major country in the world, borrowing by hard-pressed families is now forecast to rise every year.

“And to make things harder still George Osborne’s VAT rise is looking like an own goal as it pushes up inflation which threatens higher interest rates for mortgages and household borrowing.

“The Tories say we’re all in this together, but the banks are getting a tax cut this year while millions of families will find it more and more difficult to get by after this week’s cuts to tax credits, cuts to childcare support and child benefit freeze.

“There have to be tough choices to get the deficit down, but by going too far and too fast George Osborne is hitting families hard, damaging consumer confidence and holding back an economy which should be growing strongly this year. That’s a vicious circle because higher unemployment and slower growth means the government is now set to borrow £46 billion more over the coming years.”

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Posted April 2nd, 2011 by Ed's team

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