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Ed Balls: Osborne's goal of balancing books now in tatters

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Ed Balls: Osborne's goal of balancing books now in tatters

Chancellor George Osborne's goal of balancing the books now lies in tatters, according to shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Speaking in the wake of Osborne's Autumn Statement, Balls pointed to economic contraction this year, and described current economic conditions as the longest double dip recession since the Second World War and a slow and prolonged recovery.

'Far from securing a recovery, the economy has flatlined since 2010,' Balls said.

Balls said Osborne has failed to meet his goal of a balanced budget and reducing national debt by the end of this parliament.

'Their one goal to balance the books is now in tatters,' he added.

'The chancellor confirmed the prime minister’s pledge to balance the books by 2015 will not be met by 2015 or 2016 or 2017 either. The fact is there will be more borrowing next year and the year after. We will look at the details when we get the figures,' Balls continued.

Balls also pointed to Osborne's previous comments the deficit plan is on course. 'The chancellor said the deficit plan is on course. "We will not waver. He is not wavering, he is drowning Mr Speaker. The chancellor can now try and claim failure on growth, borrowing and debt, breaking his own fiscal rule.'

The shadow chancellor also questioned the OBR's figures, pointing to independent forecaster's expectations of a £6 billion rise in debt figures and asked the Liberal Democrats why they rescinded on their Mansion Tax plans, which were not announced in the Autumn Statement as many had expected.

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