Osborne has at least one big card left to play - but it might help the Conservatives less than they hope.
The low point in 2000 pre-dated the government's spending increases for health and education.
The shadow chancellor will unveil a full analysis of how the Tories' plans would hit public services.
The Chancellor's politically-motivated project undermines the goal of the national integration of health and social care.
The proposed figure of £6.70 fails to meet the Chancellor's aim of restoring the minimum wage to its pre-recession value.
The Conservatives are more focused on winning back traditional supporters than attracting new ones.
George Osborne and his ministers once mocked the opposition for the goal they now boast of achieving.
The shadow chancellor remembers that it was fear of "Tory cuts" that handed Labour victory in 2001 and 2005, and denied the Conservatives a majority in 2010.
The Chancellor can no longer declare that the UK is the fastest growing major economy.
By insisting that a surplus of £23bn is necessary to reduce the national debt, the Chancellor has exposed himself to the charge that he is an ideologue.