The problem the Chancellor now faces is that, after almost five years of emphasising the need for tough choices, the public is inclined to think the work of austerity is done. It is not.
New government plans for funding flood defences won't protect us.
George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement on Wednesday. What will it contain?
Littered throughout the speech were references to northern towns and how they will benefit from the coalition's policies.
This recovery runs to a traditional Conservative narrative - harsh medicine applied by a single-minded Chancellor.
The Chancellor's ideological cuts are but one route to sound public finances. Alternatives, centred around investment, are available.
The first poll on the Autumn Statement shows that voters agree with Balls that Osborne is "in denial about the cost of living crisis".
Inequality is a more important explanation than rising employer costs for why the wages of the typical worker have fallen behind GDP.
Minutes after the Chancellor declared that the UK was growing "faster even than America", US growth was revised up.
Both Miliband and Balls know they need to do more if people are going to be persuaded to put them in charge of public money.