Labour urges Cameron to push for growth

2011-09-25 22:33
Liverpool - British opposition leader Ed Miliband on Sunday urged Prime Minister David Cameron to show leadership over the international economic crisis and work with other European countries to push for growth.

"Let's get stuck in...let's engage...let's get Europe to grow, that's the priority," he said in an interview.

Miliband, whose centre-left Labour Party has begun  its annual conference in Liverpool, said rising unemployment showed Cameron's deficit-cutting strategy was not working and action was needed to get the economy growing.

Miliband, elected a year ago to lead Labour after its election defeat ended 13 years in power, said he had called a month ago for Cameron to push for a meeting of G20 leading economic powers to get the world economy moving.

"Nothing has happened ... There is an absence of leadership and I say to the prime minister 'Put the politics to one side, start showing some leadership'," he said.

The priority in Europe was growth but Cameron was standing aside and trying to avoid getting lumbered with the euro zone's problems, Miliband said.

Financial markets plunged last week on fears that Greece's near-bankruptcy could spread to other euro zone countries, heaping pressure on European policymakers to prevent a repeat of the chaos that swept the world in 2007-2009.

Britain, a member of the 27-nation European Union but not of the euro zone, has largely left it to the euro zone to tackle the crisis.

Its coalition government has launched a tough austerity programme to eliminate the country's budget deficit by 2015 from a record 10% of GDP before it came to power in May 2010.

Record public sector job losses have pushed up the rise in Britain's unemployment rate to its fastest pace in two years. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) measure, Britain's jobless rate in the quarter to July was 7.9% with 2.51 million people out of work.

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