Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, responding to public sector finance figures, said:

“Another month of disappointing figures raises very serious concerns that borrowing continues to be way off track. Instead of the expected surplus in what is usually a good month for the public finances, Government borrowing increased with public finances £1.3bn worse this July than last.
“And in the first four months of the year, far from falling the deficit is higher. The Government has borrowed £36.8bn - £1.6bn more than in the same period last year. As the Office for Budget Responsibility has made clear, deficit reduction has stalled.
“Because of his continued complacency, George Osborne is failing to get the deficit down because he has failed to boost living standards and we have seen three years of almost flat economic growth. He’s borrowing billions more than planned simply to pay for the costs of his economic failure. And his promise to balance the books by 2015 is now in tatters.

“As we have consistently made clear, the longer David Cameron and George Osborne plough on and refuse to act to secure a stronger recovery as the IMF has urged, the more difficult the inheritance Labour will face. We will need an iron discipline on spending, but we will make different choices and work for a strong and sustained recovery which delivers on living standards for the many. That’s the way to get the deficit down and do so in a fairer and more balanced way.”

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