Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned that Britain faces a "lost decade" of economic stagnation as a result of chancellor George Osborne's failure to restore growth.
Speaking at the Labour Party's spring conference in Birmingham on Saturday 23 March, he said: "We are five years on from the financial crisis of 2008. We are in the slowest recovery for 100 years. And it is you who are suffering. Wages are frozen. Prices are rising. Living standards falling.
"Yet the chancellor offered no change in the Budget. He offered more of the same. Can you imagine another five years of this? Low growth. Living standards squeezed further. You paying the price.
"A lost decade Britain cannot afford. A decade of national decline."
Miliband conceded that there was work to do to restore voters' faith in his party, and said: "Know that however discredited, divided and damaging this government is, I will not assume that their unpopularity will mean people turn to Labour.
"Indeed, many people will believe that the failure of this government means they should give up on politics altogether."
In response, he pledged a recovery "made by the many, not just a few at the top" and outlined a number of policies Labour would introduce to restore growth and halt sliding living standards, including introducing regional banks, reforming vocational education, investing in building and ensuring employment for the young.
In his budget statement to the House of Commons this week, Osborne said forecasters now believed the economy would grow at half the rate expected in 2013.
Experts now believe that credit rating agency Fitch is now virtually certain to follow Moodys and downgrade Britain's AAA rating in April.
Former business secretary Lord Mandelson warned this week that shadow chancellor Ed Balls should focus on how Labour would rebuild Britain's economy and widen prosperity, not just attack the coalition government's spending cuts.