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Balls borrows Osborne plan 'mantra'
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has attempted to steal a Government slogan by claiming that Labour will deliver a "real long-term economic plan".
The phrase "long-term economic plan" has become a mantra for David Cameron and George Osborne, as they seek to draw a dividing line with Labour for the upcoming general election campaign.
But Mr Balls used an article in the New Statesman to claim that the Government's economic policies have failed to deliver the benefits they promised of balancing the books by 2015, maintaining Britain's credit rating and rebalancing the economy.
Instead, he said the Government has embarked on a "race to the bottom", based on low-paid, low-skill jobs and "stagnation in real wage growth".
"Growing numbers of people do not think the economy or mainstream politics is working for them right now," wrote Mr Balls. "In the face of stagnating living standards and growing insecurity, they want real but credible change, not more of the same."
Writing as Parliament prepared to debate the economic aspects of the Queen's Speech, the shadow chancellor added: "We need a real long-term economic plan to make the reforms needed now to ensure we have a strong and sustained recovery that is built to last and which delivers rising living standards for the many, not just a few at the top."
Labour's plan includes a boost to house-building, measures to create good jobs and make work pay, an end to delays on infrastructure investment, a shake-up of uncompetitive markets and EU reforms to ensure that migrants contribute to the economy, said Mr Balls.
"This is Labour's agenda for economic change," he said. "It stands in marked contrast to Tory ministers burying their heads in the sand, repeating a hollow mantra and hoping that more of the same will restore public trust.
"We will only sustain support for an open and dynamic market economy if we show that it can work for all, and not just some. That is the long-term economic plan Britain needs."