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Ed Balls’s speech: what he said in 22 points

Ed Balls question mark, photo Peter Byrne/PA WireAs the 2015 election approaches the details of policy pronouncements become every more important. The notes below are intended to summarise the points in Ed Balls Annual Conference speech in 22 points.
Under the Coalition:

1. tax increases and cuts have not delivered the promised deficit reduction and economic growth. They have failed by the targets they set themselves;

2. real wages have fallen for 38 out of 39 months, unemployment is rising. Britain has lost its triple A credit rating and has been downgraded twice. The deficit is set to rise to £90bn by 2015.

3. ordinary families are being hit while the wealthy are being given tax breaks, the number of apprenticeships is falling, energy policy is in chaos and Green Bank borrowing powers postponed;

4. we have seen that laissez-faire and trickle-down economics don’t work. They failed the car industry in the 70s and 80s. (Jaguar and Rover have shown what can be achieved with world-class investment.)

5. the mortgage guarantee for houses up to £600,000 without an increase in housing supply will push up house prices;

6. economic growth has started (which Labour welcomes) but only after 3 years of flatlining which has produced the long-term damage to economic capacity and it is ordinary families that have suffered most;
7. in the last financial year the banks paid £2.7bn less in overall tax than in 2010 and the government’s bank levy has raised £1.6bn less than predicted;

8. 400,000 disabled people are threatened with the bedroom tax.

Labour will:

9. boost infrastructure spending by £10bn and build 400,000 affordable houses in two years. This will create half a million jobs and 1000s of apprenticeships. Labour supports high speed train development but is concerned about the spiralling costs of HS2. There will be no blank cheque for such projects;

10. have to accept the Coalition’s day-to-day spending totals set for 2015/16. Potential savings are being identified in order to pursue different priorities. Labour cannot reverse all the cuts and will even have to make cuts of its own. We will also keep the cap on benefits and structural social security spending;

11. not give the winter fuel allowance to the richest 5% of pensioners and it will not rest on child allowance to the highest earners. The benefits cap will remain (but will take into account real housing costs);

12. crack down on tax avoidance and scrap share rights schemes and tax cuts for hedge funds. The proceeds of the sale of Lloyds/RBS stakes will be used to repay the national debt;

13. repeal NHS privatisation and the bedroom tax. No more free schools will be created where there is a surplus of school places;

14. introduce a jobs guarantee for young unemployed after 1 year and for others after 2 years. Benefits will be withdrawn if the offer of a job is not accepted. The scheme will be funded by a tax on bank bonuses and by restricting tax relief for the highest earners to the same rate as that for the average tax payer;

15. help parents with primary school children to work with 8.00 am to 6.00 pm care provision. It will also increase the free child-care for 3-4 year olds from 15 to 25 hours a week;

16. increase a minimum wage to catch up with its 2010 value and introduce a 10 percentage starting rate;

17. reduce taxes for 25m people on middle and lower incomes. This will be paid for by a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m. That is fair and will mean that foreign investors in London property will have to pay their share;

18. increase the bank levy to raise an extra £800m. We will also legislate for a banking code of conduct;

19. review the organisation of manufacturing supply chains, set up an Infrastructure Commission to end dither/delay in Infrastructure planning, change takeover rules and stop short-term asset stripping;

20. unblock £bns for investment in renewables, nuclear and clean gas/coal technology. The Green Investment Bank will get the powers it needs. We will legislate for a 2030 decarbonisation target.

21. consider using the £1bn expected from mobile phone spectrum licences to capitalisean Investment Bank for smaller businesses;

22. consider pooling health and social care as a single service and will ask if we need separate costly management/bureaucracy for so many separate government departments, agencies, fire services and police forces.

One Comment

  1. Robert says:

    Some of it’s OK on the whole I think you may as well stay with the Tories to be honest, as he says the recovery has started, not that I would vote for the Tories myself.

    The cap on the disabled and the sick, and the unemployed seems if you lost your job because of the down turn no matter who you blame both Labour and the Tories are going to kick you a bit more.

    Affordable houses OK fine should help the squeezed middle class will do sod all for the young married couple on the min wage or the four or five million people labour let in or the polish people unless they are middle class, so council houses are out in Milibands Newer labour.

    It’s a toss of the coin really take a chance with labour who say nothing wrong with the banking bonus culture or the banking crimes or in fact the fat cats MP’s who got away with blue murder on expenses. But you dare to be born disabled or at nineteen twenty lose your legs in a Labour war, then sadly your fault and you going to get sod all. but you can dream of owning a nice house which is affordable.

    Never Labour the party of the squeezed middle which was Blair and Brown mantra and the hard working, the hard hard working.

    If your working class disabled sick or poor then sadly voting would be worthless.

    Tory lite

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