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Last Updated: Monday, 24 March 2008, 20:57 GMT
Cameron attacks big price rises
David Cameron at Conservative spring forum
David Cameron said tax rises had compounded pressure on families
The Conservative Party has said that people in Britain are suffering price rises far in excess of the official rate of inflation.

Tory leader David Cameron said the prices of staples such as bread, butter and eggs had increased by 28-37% since Gordon Brown became prime minister.

The government responded that overall inflation and interest rates were low.

Labour said the Tories knew no way of insulating Britain from external pressures on fuel and food prices.

Local elections

The Tories' challenge over inflation came as all parties gear up to launch their campaigns for local elections in May.

David Cameron said that during Gordon Brown's tenure, the price of butter had risen by 37%, eggs by 34% and bread by 28%.

The official Consumer Prices Index rated inflation in February 2008 at 2.5%.

Mr Cameron said petrol had gone up by 8%, and electricity and gas prices by 10%.

'Out of touch'

The Tory leader said the government had compounded the pressure on families by increasing taxes in the Budget.

"Labour now seem so out of touch with the lives of working people that they keep on making things worse, with an extra 110 of taxes a year in the Budget for the average family", he said.

"Why are Labour kicking families when they're down? Why won't they understand that life is getting really tough for people?"

'Global squeeze'

David Cameron said the UK now had the highest interest rates in the developed world, making mortgages, student loans and business credit more expensive.

Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, rejected his criticisms.

She said: "With increases in world fuel prices and a global credit squeeze, the most important thing for families is economic stability here at home to keep overall inflation and interest rates low and employment high - something the Conservatives still fail to understand."

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