Sept 09 - Britain's finance minister George Osborne says the economy is turning a corner as a result of the government sticking to its guns with its package of austerity. (ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, said on Monday the UK economy had turned a corner and that its recovery was a vindication of his focus on fixing public finances. He accused his political opponents of promising a "disastrous" change of course from the austerity he has imposed. Osborne, his eye on elections due in May 2015, declared the government as the winner of the long-running argument over the pace of spending cuts. In a direct rebuttal to the opposition Labour party, he said anyone who wanted to borrow more in order to spend now was "not fit for government". The Labour party dismissed Osborne's comments as an attempt to "rewrite history" and said his policies had stifled growth for three years. Both Labour and the Conservatives - the main party in the ruling coalition - are looking to set the agenda for their election campaigns at party conferences this month. Osborne used Monday's speech to counter opposition claims that he had done little to tackle a decline in living standards. The minister promised action to cut energy and water bills, transport costs and to reduce the cost of financial services. Labour has a modest lead over the Conservatives, led by prime minister David Cameron, in most polls. However, Labour leader Ed Miliband and his would-be finance minister Ed Balls trail Cameron and Osborne when voters are asked who they trust to handle the economy.