“Joyless and payless” recovery cost UK £116bn says Miliband

It’s been a while coming, but Ed Miliband has finally said something assertive about the failings of the incumbent government.

At a speech in Nottingham later today, Miliband will say that the coalition’s “failure” has cost the Treasury £116.5bn, or around £4,000 per person.

As political rhetoric ramps up ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, Miliband is looking to highlight the growing wealth divide and the “cost of living crisis” in Britain.

For millions, the reality of the last few years has been a “joyless and payless recovery”, he will say.

“The government’s failure to build a recovery that works for everyday people and tackle the cost-of-living crisis isn’t just bad for every person affected, it also hampers our ability to pay down the deficit.”

He will add that the government has missed “every single target they set themselves on clearing the deficit and balancing the books by the end of this parliament.”

The next test for Miliband will come on Wednesday. After Chancellor George Osborne delivers what is likely to be a downbeat Autumn Statement, Miliband’s number two, Ed Balls, will be given the opportunity to respond.

Without knowing exactly how Osborne will frame his economic programme, Balls will be on the spot to some extent.

However, with what we already know – income tax forecasts are well down, wages are tumbling, UKIP are taking seats – it’s practically an open goal into which to blast a burning ball of accountability.

With six months to go until the general election there’s not much time left. Labour will have to breathe fire at the front bench in order to rally the troops. Are they up to it?

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