The Chancellor hinted that he will use his Autumn Statement to outline “important improvements” in the costs facing people in their everyday lives.
He made the suggestion in a speech marking a new tone on the economy, which the Chancellor said is “turning the corner” after a prolonged downturn.
As the Conservatives claim victory in the argument over macroeconomic policy and the case for austerity, living standards are emerging as the new political battleground. Labour has attacked Mr Osborne for complacency, arguing that despite positive data, many households remain poorer than they were when the slowdown began.
Speaking to business leaders in London, Mr Osborne insisted that restoring economic stability and reducing the deficit remained the best way to increase living standards. However, he also accepted that it could take time for households to feel the benefit of his macroeconomic policies.
Not all economists share Mr Osborne’s optimism. Another report out today says the economy is experiencing its slowest recovery for 170 years and will “flatline” for decades. The Institute of Economic Affairs, a think tank, says high tax, debt and regulation will ensure GDP typically grows by just 1 per cent a year, compared to a trend rate since the Eighties of about 2.5 per cent.
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