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Ed Balls MP

Shadow Chancellor

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Stories involving Ed Balls

Former chancellor Alistair Darling and Ed Balls have clashed over Labour's plans to deal with the deficit, the Guardian reports. Mr Darling will warn the party conference that they will lose credibility if they move away from his program of halving the deficit, while Mr Balls urges a slower pace of recovery.


Balls: Osborne has run out of excuses

Ed Balls has said George Osborne has "run out of excuses" as figures showed the UK had slipped into a double-dip recession.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, the Shadow Chancellor said yesterday was a "Black Wednesday" for families across the country, and that the current recession was "made in Downing Street by David Cameron and George Osborne".

He also said the Conservative Party had "arrogantly refused to listen" to warning about their deficit reduction plan and that families had a right to be angry.


NHS funds £0.5bn 'clawback'

The Treasury has been accused of failing to publicly disclose its plans to claw back £500m that was allocated for health spending this year. Ed Balls said that the "tax grab" on pensioners, referred to in the media as the 'granny tax', was "not the only hidden bombshell in the budget. David Cameron and George Osborne have silently taken half a billion pounds from the National Health Service". Figures published in the Budget show the Department of Health underspent its allocation by £900m this year and whilst £400m will be rolled over into this year's budget, the remaining £500m will be returned to the Treasury.


Govt 'redoubles efforts' on growth

David Cameron has insisted the economy is “the biggest issue” for the Coalition and vowed to push for growth, but Ed Balls accused the Prime Minister of “doing nothing” for the economy.

After figures this week showed the UK is in a double-dip recession, Mr Cameron told the Andrew Marr Show: “This is the biggest issue for the Government... the biggest issue for the country, this is the thing that drives me.”

He added that ministers would "redouble all our efforts to make sure" that all the Government's programmes were delivering jobs and growth.

But Mr Balls accused the Prime Minister of empty rhetoric and said the Coalition’s policies had failed: “David Cameron today is saying the economy is the most important thing but he’s doing nothing about it. He’s nothing to say, his plan’s not working and he’s ploughing on regardless.”

The Shadow Chancellor earlier warned of a "lost decade" of slow economic growth and high unemployment if the Government does not change its plans for the economy. Speaking to the Observer, Mr Balls said: "I am not predicting years of recession, although we could well be in for a long 'lost decade'-style period of slow growth and high unemployment."


Balls: Osborne ‘in denial’

The Shadow Chancellor has accused George Osborne of being in “denial” about the “self-defeating extreme austerity” which he said is the reason why “Britain is stagnating while America is growing strongly”.

In a statement Ed Balls said: “Not only was last month’s botched Budget deeply unfair, it failed to come up with the plan for jobs and growth Britain desperately needs right now.”

Speaking ahead of this week’s growth figures for the first quarter of 2012 he predicted the country is likely to have grown by around 0.3% to 0.5% and he said such “sluggish growth” meant the UK economy has “barely grown at all over the last six months”.

“George Osborne’s economic mistakes mean this is now a slower recovery than even the 1930s depression. And unless he changes course I fear Britain could be set for a lost decade of slow growth – bumping along the bottom while other countries race ahead."


Balls: Brown will never be viewed as a 'great' PM

Ed Balls has said Gordon Brown will never be seen as a "great" Prime Minister. In a Times interview, the Shadow Chancellor maintained Mr Brown's leadership was "of monumental significance", but he was less keen to discuss his relationship with Ed Miliband. "Ed’s not going to agree with everything I want to do and I’m not going to agree with everything he wants,” he said.