My article in the Sunday Mirror

For once, Britain’s high streets will be thanking George Osborne this week.

By delaying his Autumn Statement until December, he ensured the mood of bargain shoppers on Black Friday wasn’t dampened by bad news and broken promises.

Because that’s all we’ll hear in the Commons on Wednesday.

George Osborne and David Cameron promised living standards would rise. But since the last election, wages have fallen behind prices month after month.

Working people are now on average £1600 a year worse off since the Tories got elected, while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut.

And new figures show full-time workers are now £2,000 a year worse off under David Cameron.

This cost-of-living crisis is why the Chancellor is set to break another promise – to balance the nation’s books by next year. When wages aren’t rising and too many are stuck in low-paid jobs, the tax revenues we need to get borrowing down don’t come in.

So the Tory failure to deliver a recovery that works for the many and not just a few is the reason why they’re failing on the deficit too.

Ed Miliband and I have a different plan – a better and fairer plan. We’ll raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour, get 200,000 new homes built a year, freeze energy bills and reform the banks.

We’ll cut business rates for small firms, boost apprenticeships, tackle the abuse of zero-hours contracts and expand free childcare for working parents.

And because this Autumn Statement will deliver too little too late to stop our NHS going backwards this winter, Labour will tackle tax avoidance and introduce a mansion tax to raise an extra £2.5 billion a year for the NHS

So our plan will make Britain better off and get the deficit down in a fairer way too.

The shops may have been busy this weekend. But in a few days George Osborne will have to admit his deficit plan is in tatters, his promises have been broken and once again people have been left worse off under the Tories.

Black Friday looks set to turn into Bleak Wednesday.

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Posted November 29th, 2014 by Ed

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