Osborne: Economy Showing Signs Of Recovery
George Osborne has said the British economy has "turned a corner" with the latest financial growth figures a vindication of the Government's long-term strategy.
"We held our nerve when many told us to abandon our plan," the Chancellor told an audience of academics, think tank members and business leaders in central London ahead of the Conservative Party Conference later this month.
Mr Osborne said there were "tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery," but warned of the need to make "many billions" more in savings after the next election.
"The plan is working, but the recovery is still in its early stages, plenty of risks remain and more years of hard decisions lie ahead. Our economy is turning a corner, but we must not take anything for granted," he said.
"This is a hard, difficult road we have been following. But it is the only way to deliver a sustained, lasting improvement in the living standards of the British people.
"More tough choices will be required after the next election to find many billions of further savings - and anyone who thinks those decisions can be ducked is not fit for government."
Labour dismissed the Chancellor's speech as a "desperate attempt to rewrite history".
"Three wasted years of flatlining under George Osborne have left ordinary families worse off and caused long-term damage to our economy," said shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie.
"This desperate attempt to rewrite history will not wash when on every test he set himself this Chancellor's plan A has badly failed - on living standards, growth and the deficit."
Opposition leader Ed Miliband is expected to use his speech to the TUC conference to lambast the Chancellor for being "out of touch with ordinary families" by celebrating while they face the squeeze.
But the Chancellor said those who argued for a Plan B, like shadow chancellor Ed Balls, had "lost the argument" as the economy had shown signs of recovery in recent months.
Mr Osborne has been buoyed by revised gross domestic product figures showing the UK economy grew by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year, with predictions it could reach 1% for the third quarter.
The respected OECD think tank has almost doubled its prediction for UK growth this year to 1.5%.
Rising property prices and a summer retail splurge as well as booming car sales have also contributed to the feel-good factor, with surging manufacturing figures for June also helping fuel the improved mood.
Goods exports excluding oil plunged however by 9.3%, and the overall trade deficit more than doubled from £1.3bn to £3.1bn, with real terms wages also in decline.
The economy remains 3% below its pre-crisis level.