Balls attacks long-term damage of Osborne’s “short-term pain”

Ed Balls will today warn of the “long-term damage” being done to the economy and “long-term price” paid by the country for George Osborne's economic failures.


Shadow chancellor Ed Balls will today warn of the “long-term damage” being done to the economy and “long-term price” paid by the country for George Osborne’s failure to grow the economy.

In a speech to the Trade Union Congress in Brighton, he will say:

“The government’s economic plan has failed. Britain is just one of two G20 countries in recession – the longest double-dip recession since the Second World War. Living standards face the biggest squeeze since the 1920s with prices rising faster than wages. Unemployment is high, with long-term youth unemployment rising month by month.

“And the costs of this economic failure are rising with borrowing up by a quarter so far this year. But it does not have to be this way. Families and businesses are crying out for a plan that will work and some hope for the future. And we need that plan urgently.”


“We now risk a lost decade of slow growth and high unemployment which will do long-term damage.

“Over 33,000 companies already gone bust since the General Election. Investment plans cancelled – or diverted overseas. New ideas and new ventures being promoted in other countries. Our economy weaker and capacity lost. And above all, long-term youth unemployment becoming entrenched – damaging young lives, and racking up costs which we will all have to pay.

“Not short-term pain for long-term gain, but short-term pain causing long-term damage as we pay a long-term price for this government’s economic failure. That is why we need action now – a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth: investing in infrastructure, building new homes and getting young people back to work.”

Balls will also call for the government to look again at the issue of “bogus self-employment”, in the construction sector and wider economy, where a false contract is put in place so a worker who is an employee is disguised as being self-employed, meaning workers can lose employment rights like sick, redundancy and holiday pay, overtime rates, pension contributions and employment protections.

In the construction sector alone, the Treasury calculates there are around 300,000 people in bogus self-employment, costing the Exchequer around £350 million.

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