Government pledges to clear up Labour's 'mess'

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Labour is to blame for the fact that many people are still struggling in the economic climate, a Treasury minister has said.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid told MPs the economy had "turned a corner", but acknowledged business and families "are still suffering from Labour's recession... in 2008".

"We know that times are tough. Labour left the country a lot poorer and families are feeling it. That is why we had to put in place a long-term sustainable plan to fix things," he said.

However, shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie, who led the opposition debate on 27 November 2013, accused the coalition of creating a "cost of living crisis" with its "failed" economic policies.

"The reason we have a cost of living crisis is that the historic connection between economic growth and household wealth has been severed.

"Even though it looks like we are seeing some growth in some parts of the economy as a whole, we are not seeing this growth shared fairly," he told the Commons.

Mr Leslie called for urgent help with energy bills, childcare costs, tackling low pay, and freezing business rates for small companies.

Mr Javid reeled off a list of the government's achievements and asserted that the government's "sensible" and "sustainable" economic strategy will "raise living standards".

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