George Osborne declares victory for his economic policy
Chancellor to tell critics the UK economy is 'turning a corner' but Labour dismisses claims
THE UK economy is "turning a corner", George Osborne will say today as he seeks to show that the government's fiscal strategy has been successful.
The chancellor is due to give a speech to academics, think tanks and businesses at a construction site in London, where he will claim that positive data from the last few months has "decisively ended" doubts about his economic policy.
He will cite "tentative signs of a balanced, broad-based and sustainable recovery", but is expected to stress that it is still the "early stages" and "plenty of risks" remain.
A number of forecasts and surveys have suggested an acceleration in the UK's economic recovery. These include the latest GDP figures, which show the UK grew by 0.7 per cent between April and June this year and is predicted to reach one per cent for the third quarter. However, the economy is still below its pre-recession peak.
The speech marks a clear attempt by Osborne to "defend his economic record, and discredit Labour criticisms, before the party conference season", says the Financial Times.
He is expected to say that the economic collapse was "even worse than we thought" and repairing it will take even longer than hoped. "But we held our nerve when many told us to abandon our plan. And as a result, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of the British people, Britain is turning a corner."
Osborne will say that those who advocated an alternative fiscal policy cannot explain recent improvements in the economy. "Those in favour of a Plan B have lost the argument," he will say.
Labour has dismissed the comments. Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie has said the "three wasted years of flatlining" under Osborne have left "ordinary families worse off".
He added: "This desperate attempt to rewrite history will not wash when on every test he set himself, this chancellor's plan A has badly failed, on living standards, growth and the deficit." ·