Labour says Osborne in denial over cost of living crisis

LONDON Thu Dec 5, 2013 12:50pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's economic recovery has yet to benefit many people across the country and Prime Minister David Cameron's government is in denial about a cost of living crisis hurting voters, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said on Thursday.

"For all their complacent boasts, after three damaging and wasted years, for most people ... there is still no recovery at all," Balls told parliament in response to George Osborne's half-yearly budget update.

"The whole country will have seen today that for all his boasts and utterly breathtaking complacency, the Chancellor is in complete denial."

Living standards have been falling since Cameron came to power in a coalition in 2010, Balls added.

"There is a cost of living crisis, even if they won't admit it," Balls said. "Working people aren't better off under the Tories, they are worse off."

Labour, which leads Cameron's Conservatives in the polls before an election in May 2015, is trying to rebuild its economic credibility after the budget deficit reached a peacetime record of 11 percent of gross domestic product shortly before it lost power in 2010.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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