Osborne condemns Labour's 'snake-oil' economic prescription


Chancellor George Osborne has described his Labour counterpart Ed Balls as an economic "snake-oil salesman".

As Mr Osborne took questions from MPs on 12 March 2013, Mr Balls asked whether the chancellor's fellow cabinet members were losing confidence in his ability to revive the British economy.

"The chancellor has had plenty of advice over the weekend on how to change his failing economic plan, and it's not all come from me," Mr Balls said.

"The former defence secretary says cut capital gains tax, the business secretary wants a £15bn housing boost, even the home secretary is making a speech calling for a new growth plan."

He added: "Businesses and families are feeling the squeeze, so why won't he act to stimulate the economy?"

The shadow chancellor concluded: "His plan is failing: that is why they're all losing confidence."

But Mr Osborne replied: "His prescription of borrowing more as a solution to Britain's borrowing problems is exactly the same prescription that got this country into this mess in the first place.

"He is like the snake-oil salesman selling his miracle cures when people remember that his medicine almost killed the patient, and we're not going to listen to him again."

Conservative MPs were "perfectly entitled to ask for things in the budget", he added.

"In this party, we're perfectly prepared for people to express an opinion, we're perfectly prepared to listen to colleagues."

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