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Ed Balls MP

Shadow Chancellor

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  • = Key Development Wednesday 21st January
  • = Key Development Tuesday 20th January
  • 13:41 Ed Balls: The mansion tax will not be crude, it will not clobber anyone On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | World at One, BBC Radio 4 Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said that Labour’s so-called mansion tax would not be crude or clobber anyone, despite remarks made by former business secretary Lord Mandelson last night. “I promise you... that it won’t be crude, I don’t want to clobber anyone... Continue to article

  • 11:43 Diane Abbott: Peter Mandelson is on to something with mansion tax On air

    On Air | Diane Abbott MP | Labour MP | BBC News Video Diane Abbott MP

    Diane Abbott said Peter Mandelson was "on to something" with the mansion tax. "I agree with the mansion tax in principle but Lord Mandelson is on to something, it will be problematic in London. What the party leadership has to understand... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Saturday 17th January
  • 11:17 Jack Straw: Cameron's reticence on TV debates is a compliment to Ed Miliband On air

    On Air | Jack Straw MP | Former Justice Secretary | Week in Westminster, BBC Radio 4 Video Jack Straw MP

    Jack Straw said David Cameron's reluctance to take part in pre-election televised leaders' debates was a testament to Ed Miliband's prowess. “On Ed Miliband, I think Chris [Patten] is right in implying that Ed Miliband is not to be under... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 15th January
  • 17:37 Ed Balls: Chancellor must act to protect North Sea revenues from falling oil prices On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls called on the Chancellor to create tax incentives to prevent the fall in oil prices hitting revenues from North Sea oil. “I think George Osborne needs to fast-track proposals. I am not sure if he can afford to wait even for the ... Continue to article

  • 11:11 Ed Balls: Leaving EU could threaten UK’s relationship with the US On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls warned that leaving the EU could threaten the UK’s relationship with the United States.     "I think we have a common challenge not just to meet issues of international security but also to make sure that our economies not only ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 13th January
  • 14:51 Balls and Osborne exchange attacks on spending plans House of Commons

    Balls and Osborne exchange attacks on spending plans House of Commons

    Ed Balls and George Osborne have traded jibes on each other’s economic policies, as they debated a plan to introduce a fiscal target for the next Government. Labour will vote in favour of the Government’s ‘Charter for Budget Responsibil... Continue to article

  • 14:51 Balls and Osborne exchange attacks on spending plans House of Commons

    Balls and Osborne exchange attacks on spending plans House of Commons

    Ed Balls and George Osborne have traded jibes on each other’s economic policies, as they debated a plan to introduce a fiscal target for the next Government. Labour will vote in favour of the Government’s ‘Charter for Budget Responsibil... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 5th January
  • 15:33 Dot Commons: Balls: Russell Brand a 'pound-shop Ben Elton' Dot Commons

    PoliticsHome

    Has Ed Balls just dealt a mortal blow to Russell Brand's hopes for global revolution? The comedian-turned-campaigner, who recently blasted Ukip's Nigel Farage as a "pound shop Enoch Powell", trained his sights on the Shadow Chancellor du...

  • 13:27 Ed Balls: We will only spend more if we can find cuts elsewhere On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | The World at One, BBC Radio 4 Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls rejected claims from fellow World at One guest Sajid Javid that Labour planned to reverse arts cuts. "I'm afraid there'll be no new money in 2015/16 for the Arts Council and for the culture budget over the plans we inherit. Beca... Continue to article

  • 12:25 Osborne leads Tory attack on Labour spending plans PoliticsHome News

    Osborne leads Tory attack on Labour spending plans PoliticsHome News Osborne leads Tory attack on Labour spending plans

    Conservative Cabinet ministers have rounded on Labour's economic plans, accusing the party of making unfunded spending promises. A group of Tory ministers, led by Chancellor George Osborne, unveiled Treasury analysis that they claim show... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 4th January
  • 22:36 Transcript: Ed Balls letter to Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, on the manifesto costing process. Transcripts

    Ed Balls letter to Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, on the manifesto costing process. Transcripts

    Ed Balls MP, Labour' Shadow Chancellor has written to Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury on the manifesto costing process. Full text of the letter: Dear Nick, As you know, we have been proposing for some time tha... Continue to article

  • 13:27 Liberal Democrats: Extracts of Nick Clegg's Press Conference Opening Remarks Press Release

    13:27| Press Release

    Liberal Democrats press release At his press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg is expected to say: "The biggest threat to our economy comes from Labour and the Conservatives, both of ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 2nd January
  • 12:31 George Osborne: Voters face a choice between competence and chaos On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | BBC News Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne hit back at Labour after the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls accused him of planning unnecessary cuts to public spending. “At the beginning of this election year we have had confirmation from Ed Balls and Ed Miliband that they ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 18th December
  • 07:00 Peter Hoskin blog: What’s Osborne’s real record on deficit reduction? News

    Blog | ConservativeHome source icon

    Between Ed Balls and The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson, the Chancellor has had a difficult couple of weeks. He ought to have bigger concerns, though. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 17th December
  • 17:34 Balls: We're going backwards under the Tories, but I will cut every year PoliticsHome News

    Balls: We're going backwards under the Tories, but I will cut every year PoliticsHome News

    Ed Balls said that the NHS is going backwards under the Conservatives, but that Labour would make cuts every year until the budget is balanced. Speaking to LBC Radio this evening, the Shadow Chancellor said that David Cameron’s “attempts... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Saturday 13th December
  • 08:55 Douglas Alexander: Scottish Labour rewrote statute book but didn't rewrite the story On air

    On Air | Douglas Alexander MP | Shadow foreign secretary | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Douglas Alexander MP

    Douglas Alexander argued that the Labour party in Scotland had failed to update its message for the 21st century. “To understand where Scottish politics is today, as you’ve suggested, you need to understand that we’re still in the immedi... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 11th December
  • 11:53 Transcript: Labour: Speech by Ed Miliband MP on the deficit Transcripts

    Labour: Speech by Ed Miliband MP on the deficit Transcripts

    Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech on the deficit, said: My speech today is about the deficit. Its place in our priorities. How a Labour government would deal with it. And how we would do so consistent with our valu... Continue to article

  • 08:05 Ed Balls: Labour would cut spending every year until the deficit is eliminated On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Labour would make departmental spending cuts “every year until we get the deficit down”. “We have said there will be a limited number of protected areas and we will set them out for our manifesto. Clearly, the National Heal... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 4th December
  • 17:46 Story (44 links): House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut

    PoliticsHome House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut Story View links

    George Osborne has rejected warnings that his overhaul of stamp duty could cause another housing boom.

    The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted yesterday that average house prices would increase by 31.4% by 2020.

    Housing experts have also warned that the new system of stamp duty, which came into effect at midnight, could cause base prices to rise on properties which can now be bought at lower tax rates. But the Chancellor denied he was risking a fresh housing bubble with the proposals.

    He told the Today programme: “I don’t agree. I think you shouldn’t be using unfair, punitive taxes that are very badly-designed to achieve the goal of having a stable housing market.

    “What you should be doing is making sure people can afford mortgages and giving you central bank, the Bank of England, the powers to turn off the tap slowly if they feel that a housing boom is developing –that is what I have done.”

    Ed Balls told the same programme he would support the stamp duty changes, but said Labour would also go ahead with its mansion tax plan for an annual levy on high-value properties.

    “I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment... they should be paying more," the Shadow Chancellor said.

    He also labelled Mr Osborne's plans for post-election tax cuts a "fantasy".

    "He is promising £7bn of unfunded, fantasy tax cuts and hoping that he is going to dupe the electorate," he argued. MPs will vote on the stamp duty plans - which came into force at midnight - later today.

    Conservative MP Dominic Raab warned in today's Times that the new rates could become a “stealth tax” because of inflation.

    John Cridland, director of business lobby group the CBI, this morning said the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, but urged Mr Osborne to consider "more imaginative" cuts to public spending.

    "Most of what we’ve seen so far have been efficiency savings," he told Today. "If you’re going to make the cuts you’ve got to be far more lateral. If we can continue that, overall, the economy will move forward."

  • 17:42 Transcript: Lord Palumbo speech on Autumn Statement Transcripts

    Lord Palumbo speech on Autumn Statement Transcripts

      Lord Palumbo speech – 04.12.14   My Lords, the Autumn Statement goes like this.  The Chancellor stands up and says what a wonderful job he has done. The Opposition responds with a ritualistic attack. There’s no sanction ... Continue to article

  • 16:42 Labour: Response to the IFS briefing on the Autumn Statement - Ed Balls Press Release

    16:42| Press Release

      Labour press release Ed Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to the IFS briefing on the Autumn Statement, said: "The continuing squeeze on living standards is the reason why George Osborne has failed to get the revenue... Continue to article

  • 14:23 John Mann: Spending cuts could leave Britain a ten-bob country On air

    On Air | John Mann MP | Labour MP | BBC News Video John Mann MP

    John Mann warned that the NHS, police and Army were under threat if spending cuts were pursued at current levels. “We have to ensure that the annual deficit is got under control, so Ed Balls, Ed Miliband are right to say we’ll get on top... Continue to article

  • 13:25 Nick Herbert: The state must shrink even if the Chancellor addresses the deficit On air

    On Air | Nick Herbert MP | Conservative MP | The World At One, BBC Radio 4 Video Nick Herbert MP

    Nick Herbert said public spending should be reduced, regardless of whether the UK had a deficit or not. "If resources are tighter, it produces the incentive and indeed the necessity to think about how you are going to deliver services di... Continue to article

  • 12:37 Treasury: Chancellor announces new Turing Institute at London's Knowledge Quarter Press Release

    12:37| Press Release

      Treasury press release Chancellor announces new Turing Institute at London'€™s Knowledge Quarter  The Chancellor George Osborne today announced that the headquarters of the £42 million pioneering Alan Turing Institute for Data Scien... Continue to article

  • 10:11 Nick Clegg: I missed the Autumn Statement because I was in Cornwall On air

    On Air | Nick Clegg MP | Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader | Call Clegg, LBC Radio Video Nick Clegg MP

    Nick Clegg said he didn’t attend yesterday’s Autumn Statement because he chose instead to “go out and talk to normal people” in Cornwall.   “The reason I wasn’t is I had a choice. Look, I have been doing these autumn statements and budge... Continue to article

  • 07:37 George Osborne: Autumn Statement means economic security for Britons On air

    On Air | George Osborne MP | Chancellor of the Exchequer | Good Morning Britain, ITV Video George Osborne MP

    George Osborne said the Government’s Autumn Statement meant more security for low-paid families. “The Autumn Statement is the next part of our long-term economic plan so that families like hers have a secure economic future, that she kno... Continue to article

  • 07:04 Ed Balls: Labour will still pursue a 'mansion tax' On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | Good Morning Britain, ITV Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Labour would support George Osborne’s stamp duty reforms but insisted that a ‘mansion tax’ was still necessary.    “I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment and 95% of them a... Continue to article

  • 06:23 John Cridland: Business community welcome Statement On air

    On Air | John Cridland | Director General, CBI | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video John Cridland

    John Cridland said that the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, which was realistic considering the economy. "I think most of the Autumn Statement really pleased the business community, I think entrepreneurs will fe... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 3rd December
  • 15:14 Ed Balls: Labour will support Osborne's stamp duty reforms On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Labour would vote in favour of George Osborne’s stamp duty reforms, and the announcement strengthened the case for a ‘mansion tax’. “We will obviously have to study what he is going to do in the legislation tomorrow, but we... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 2nd December
  • 22:00 Labour: Ed Balls words ahead of Autumn Statement Press Release

    22:00| Press Release

    Labour press release Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, speaking ahead of the Autumn Statement, said:   “David Cameron and George Osborne have now failed every test and broken every promise they made on the economy.   “... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 1st December
  • 22:00 ComRes/Independent poll: Cameron & Osborne lead Miliband and Balls on economy and family finances Press Release

    22:00| Press Release

    David Cameron and George Osborne are winning the economic argument with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as voters make up their mind in the run-up to next May’s general election, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent.   People are... Continue to article

  • 19:10 LabourList blog: Balls tells BBC: “There will have to be cuts. But we will make different choices” News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Ahead of the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, Ed Balls has been doing a media round (which will continue for much of the week). Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 30th November
  • 09:30 Ed Balls: Tory NHS cash plan is unfunded, crisis money On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | The Andrew Marr Show, BBC 1 Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said a Conservative plan for £2bn in additional funding for the NHS, was “crisis money”. “The Conservatives wasted £3bn on their reorganisation of the NHS. So, this is a typical Tory pattern - a winter crisis and then crisis mon... Continue to article

  • 08:00 Iain Martin: Autumn Statement: George Osborne is still cleaning up after Labour’s epic failure News

    Opinion | The Sunday Telegraph source icon

    Despite the deficit, the identity of his accusers gives the Chancellor an enormous electoral advantage that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls still struggle to process mentally Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 28th November
  • 08:46 Transcript: Labour letter to ministers on English regional airports Transcripts

    Labour letter to ministers on English regional airports Transcripts

    Letter from Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna to the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Business Secretary following the conclusion of the Smith Commission on S... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 27th November
  • 20:00 Ed masters discipline The House Magazine

    20:00 | The House Magazine | PoliticsHome The House Magazine Ed masters discipline

      Words: Paul Waugh Photos: Paul Heartfield     Ed Balls is feeling the pressure. In just a few days, he faces yet another big test of his ability, with huge amounts at stake if he fails. But it’s not the Autumn Statement tha... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 26th November
  • 20:01 LabourList blog: Labour will move civil service jobs out of London News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Tonight, Ed Balls will give a speech in Birmingham where he’ll explain that the as part of a next Labour government’s devolution agenda they would move more civil service jobs outside London, Continue to article

  • 13:09 Transcript: Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Transcripts

    Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Transcripts

      Rachel Reeves speech on 'Tory welfare waste' Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, in a speech today in Redbridge, said: It’s a pleasure to be here in Redbridge. Here in May this year, thanks to the hard w... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Saturday 22nd November
  • 13:30 Ed Balls: Thornberry tweet ridiculous and out of touch On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls said Emily Thornberry's decision to tweet a photo of a white van outside a house festooned with England flags had made her resignation inevitable. “Emily Thornberry resigned because she made a big mistake, and I think not just E... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 19th November
  • 17:31 Balls defends mansion tax, admits Labour by-election defeat PoliticsHome News

    Balls defends mansion tax, admits Labour by-election defeat PoliticsHome News

    Ed Balls defended the bedroom tax as something the “vast majority of people” will not have to pay. “The vast majority of people… in London, have a property worth nowhere near £2m,” he told LBC’s Call Ed Balls show. “If they are a taxp... Continue to article

  • 12:38 Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings 2014 - response from Ed Balls Press Release

    12:38| Press Release

    A press release from Labour: Out-of-touch Ministers claim the economy is fixed, but these figures show wages continuing to fall - Ed Balls Ed Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 17th November
  • 17:07 Ed Balls: The one thing people thought the Tories would do was get the deficit down, they have failed On air

    On Air | Ed Balls MP | Shadow Chancellor | BBC News Video Ed Balls MP

    Ed Balls echoed the Labour leader Ed Miliband when he said today that the Government were “getting their excuses in early” over the economic recovery. "What’s going on here is a government that in two weeks’ time is going to have to make... Continue to article

  • 09:38 Rachel Reeves: Cameron needs to stop making excuses and secure the recovery On air

    On Air | Rachel Reeves MP | Shadow Work and Pensions Secre... | Sky News Video Rachel Reeves MP

    Rachel Reeves accused David Cameron of “making excuses” for a potential slowdown in growth in the UK by warning about the impact of potential on the UK problems in the global economy. “What I would say to David Cameron is instead of maki... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 13th November
  • 23:01 Chuka Umunna: We will crack down on avoidance, the party is behind Ed On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | Newsnight, BBC 2 Video Ed Miliband MP

    Chuka Umunna strongly denied that there were people in the Labour party who doubted Ed Miliband’s performance as leader. “The parliamentary Labour party was absolutely clear this week it was absolutely behind the leader, no doubt about t... Continue to article

  • 23:01 Chuka Umunna: We will crack down on avoidance, the party is behind Ed On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | Newsnight, BBC 2 Video Ed Miliband MP

    Chuka Umunna strongly denied that there were people in the Labour party who doubted Ed Miliband’s performance as leader. “The parliamentary Labour party was absolutely clear this week it was absolutely behind the leader, no doubt about t... Continue to article

  • 22:26 Story (4 links): Balls: Labour vow tougher tax avoidance penalties

    PoliticsHome Balls: Labour vow tougher tax avoidance penalties Story View links

    Labour will bring in tougher penalties in attempt to tackle and deter tax avoidance. Under plans being set out tomorrow by Ed Balls, those caught committing tax avoidance could be forced to pay back double the amount they avoided. 

    The Shadow Chancellor wrote in a blog that business and politicians cannot afford to “bury heads in the sand” and that a “fair and robust tax system is vital” to bring down the deficit.

    He said that the amount of uncollected tax had risen last year to around £34bn, and that the “government has failed” in a number of areas.

    Mr Balls outlined proposals including global reforms for multinational organisations and stiffer penalties for the abuse of the General-Anti-Abuse Rule scheme.

    The GAAR scheme was introduced by the Coalition to prevent loopholes being used to avoid tax. At the present, tax avoiders pay back the tax they owed, but under Labour rules, they would pay up to the same amount again in a fine, in an attempt to deter the action.

    The public want us to be tough on the small minority of people who cheat the benefits system,” he said. “They want us to be just as tough on companies and individuals who evade or aggressively avoid the taxes they should rightly pay.”

  • 22:15 Conservative response to Labour tax announcement Press Release

    22:15| Press Release

    A press release from the Conservatives: Commenting on Labour's tax announcement a Conservative spokesman said: 'This is feeble stuff from a party with no economic plan - and a leader who just isn't up it. 'Ed Miliband was at the heart... Continue to article

  • 22:01 Labour to bring in tough new penalties to tackle and deter tax avoidance – Ed Balls Press Release

    22:01| Press Release

    A press release from Labour: Labour to bring in tough new penalties to tackle and deter tax avoidance – Ed Balls Labour will bring in tough new penalties that will act as a genuine deterrent against abusive tax avoidance, Shadow Chancel... Continue to article

  • 22:01 LabourList blog: Labour plans tough new penalties to crack down on tax avoiders News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Following Ed Miliband’s speech earlier today, Ed Balls has announced that Labour would introduce new penalties. Continue to article

Stories involving Ed Balls

House price rise tipped as stamp duty cut

George Osborne has rejected warnings that his overhaul of stamp duty could cause another housing boom.

The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted yesterday that average house prices would increase by 31.4% by 2020.

Housing experts have also warned that the new system of stamp duty, which came into effect at midnight, could cause base prices to rise on properties which can now be bought at lower tax rates. But the Chancellor denied he was risking a fresh housing bubble with the proposals.

He told the Today programme: “I don’t agree. I think you shouldn’t be using unfair, punitive taxes that are very badly-designed to achieve the goal of having a stable housing market.

“What you should be doing is making sure people can afford mortgages and giving you central bank, the Bank of England, the powers to turn off the tap slowly if they feel that a housing boom is developing –that is what I have done.”

Ed Balls told the same programme he would support the stamp duty changes, but said Labour would also go ahead with its mansion tax plan for an annual levy on high-value properties.

“I think people at the top with properties over £2m aren’t paying enough tax at the moment... they should be paying more," the Shadow Chancellor said.

He also labelled Mr Osborne's plans for post-election tax cuts a "fantasy".

"He is promising £7bn of unfunded, fantasy tax cuts and hoping that he is going to dupe the electorate," he argued. MPs will vote on the stamp duty plans - which came into force at midnight - later today.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab warned in today's Times that the new rates could become a “stealth tax” because of inflation.

John Cridland, director of business lobby group the CBI, this morning said the business community was pleased with the Autumn Statement, but urged Mr Osborne to consider "more imaginative" cuts to public spending.

"Most of what we’ve seen so far have been efficiency savings," he told Today. "If you’re going to make the cuts you’ve got to be far more lateral. If we can continue that, overall, the economy will move forward."


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.


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: Labour vow tougher tax avoidance penalties

Labour will bring in tougher penalties in attempt to tackle and deter tax avoidance. Under plans being set out tomorrow by Ed Balls, those caught committing tax avoidance could be forced to pay back double the amount they avoided. 

The Shadow Chancellor wrote in a blog that business and politicians cannot afford to “bury heads in the sand” and that a “fair and robust tax system is vital” to bring down the deficit.

He said that the amount of uncollected tax had risen last year to around £34bn, and that the “government has failed” in a number of areas.

Mr Balls outlined proposals including global reforms for multinational organisations and stiffer penalties for the abuse of the General-Anti-Abuse Rule scheme.

The GAAR scheme was introduced by the Coalition to prevent loopholes being used to avoid tax. At the present, tax avoiders pay back the tax they owed, but under Labour rules, they would pay up to the same amount again in a fine, in an attempt to deter the action.

The public want us to be tough on the small minority of people who cheat the benefits system,” he said. “They want us to be just as tough on companies and individuals who evade or aggressively avoid the taxes they should rightly pay.”


Ed Balls vows 2 year 1% child benefit cap

Labour would cap child benefit and slash ministerial pay in a bid to cut the deficit, Ed Balls will declare tomorrow.

The Shadow Chancellor will pledge to save £400m over the next Parliament by extending the 1% cap on child benefit until 2017.
In his keynote speech to the Manchester conference he will also say a Labour government would cut total ministerial pay by 5% and freeze it until the UK's books are 'balanced'.

He is expected to say: “If we win the election, on day one of the next Labour government the pay of every government Minister will immediately be cut by five percent. Ministerial pay will then be frozen each year until we have achieved our promise to balance the nation’s books.

"We are all clear that everybody in the next Labour government will be fully focused on that vital task of getting the deficit down.”

Mr Balls will also announce that the winter fuel allowance will be stopped for the richest five percent of pensioners and will reiterate his previous plans to reverse the scrapping of the 50p tax rate.

Mr Balls will say: "So as we get the deficit down in the next parliament, the next Labour government will reverse this Tory tax cut for millionaires. Because Labour will balance the books in a fairer way.”

His speech will also set out a number of other elements in Labour’s economic plan, including:

· A Compulsory Jobs Guarantee for young people and the long-term unemployed – paid for by a tax on bank bonuses and restricting pensions tax relief for the highest earners on the top rate of tax

· A plan to get at least 200,000 new homes built a year by 2020

· Making work pay by expanding free childcare for working parents – paid for by increasing the bank levy

· Radical plans to devolve economic power and resources to city and county regions of England

· Establishing a proper British Investment Bank and ensuring proper competition in banking and energy markets to help families and business alike

· A cut in business rates for 1.5 million business properties – paid for by not going ahead with next year’s further cut in corporation tax

· An independent National Infrastructure Commission to end the dither and delay on the big decisions Britain needs to make for the future

The Conservative MP Priti Patel, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, responded to the speech:

"This speech isn’t a serious plan for the economy – Labour would put the deficit up, not down. These savings on ministerial pay only cut a miniscule fraction of the deficit - less than 1 per cent of 1 per cent. 

"Ed Balls still refuses to admit that Labour spent too much and he’s opposed every decision we’ve taken to cut the deficit. All a Labour government would offer is more inefficient spending, more taxes and more debt."

 


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.