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.
The Chancellor boasted of higher GDP and employment, but the living standards squeeze is set to continue.
Minute-by-minute coverage of the Chancellor's announcements and the OBR's new forecasts.
The Chancellor should use his Autumn Statement to reward families on modest incomes who have quietly endured squeezed living standards during austerity.
Including, when will living standards start to rise, will there be new money for the NHS and how much more austerity is Osborne planning?
Rather than using the forecast structural surplus to pay down the national debt, the government should invest it in science, skills and childcare.