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PM: We brought Britain back from the brink

Parliament has officially been dissolved after Prime Minister David Cameron met with the Queen at Buckingham Palace as the general election campaign - one of the most closely-contested in decades - officially gets underway.

The Prime Minister used the opportunity to tell voters the Tories had put Britain "back on her feet again", and urged people to let them continue what they has started. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband was expected to say the Tories pose a "clear and present danger" to businesses and jobs with their plans for an EU referendum.

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Ed Miliband: Labour will close UK productivity gap

Ed Miliband has said that Britain's productivity gap with fellow G7 countries is Labour's "biggest economic challenge" as he launched his party's business manifesto in London today.

Productivity is the key to the country we want to be.

– Ed Miliband

He said that for every hour worked, the UK produces nearly 20% less than its G7 competitors and is "losing its competitive edge in a world that won't wait".

Labour's plans to close the UK's 'productivity gap' include:

  • Securing public finances by "balancing the books and cutting the deficit every year"
  • Creating a surplus on the current budget and have the national debt falling
  • Starting a "revolution in vocational education"
  • Maths and English until the age of 18
  • Greater access to finance for small firms
  • Working "with our banks to ensure they work for our businesses"

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