Cameron Urged by Labour to Visit Food Banks as Economy Shrinks

Lawmakers from Britain’s opposition Labour Party urged Prime Minister David Cameron to visit a food bank to understand the hardship faced by families and accused him of doing too little to help the economy.

Labour leader Ed Miliband used the parliamentary offensive during the weekly question session with the prime minister to attack the government’s record after data last week showed the economy teetering on the edge of a triple-dip recession. Two Labour lawmakers urged Cameron to visit food banks in their district as they tried to highlight the effect of the slump.

“What’s his excuse this time?” Miliband asked Cameron in the House of Commons in London today. “We have had a flat-lining economy which means people’s living standards are falling.”

The U.K. has recovered half of the economic output lost during the 2008-2009 recession as inflation outpaces incomes, government spending cuts bite and the euro-region debt crisis saps demand in the biggest market for British goods. Britain’s economy shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, more than economists forecast.

Cameron said there are signs that the economy is recovering, citing a fall in jobless figures and that Britain will grow more quickly than any other “major European” economy this year.

“There’s nothing complacent about this government,” Cameron said. “There have been 1 million new private sector jobs. In the last year alone, half a million new jobs have been created -- that’s fastest rate of job creation since 1989.”

Labour lawmakers Dave Watts and Frank Roy today added to the weekly campaign from the rank and file of the party calling for Cameron to visit a food bank.

“Why is it the case that the prime minister is frightened to go and visit a food bank,” Watts said. “Could it be that if he visits one he would see the heartless Britain that he is creating?”

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