Balls knows best?

Ed Balls, the secretary of state for children,...

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls indulged in a spot of Tory bashing and today urged the coalition to change course on debt reduction – claiming, “it’s hurting, and just not working.”


But he has promised he will not be able to reverse all of the cuts made by the government – should he win power at the next election in 2015.


He said though he had a five point plan to try to boost growth in the British economy in his speech at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool..


Measure included a bankers’ bonus tax, and a temporary VAT cut for one year, capital investment brought forward, and a one year insurance tax break for businesses.


Balls said: “Call it plan A, call it plan B, call it plan C. I don’t care whatever they call it. Britain just needs a plan that works.”


Labour did a temporary VAT cut a year or so ago before they lost the election, and reports suggested it boosted the economy.


He has proposed that revenue generated from the banker bonus shares will help to part repay some of the debt.


His semi-new stance on the economy comes as the polls show that Labour’s own supporters, and the wider British public are still unconvinced by Labour’s ability to tackle the British economy soundly.


The Balls speech was not so much a change in stance, or a dramatic flip flop – more a wait and see designed to win back trust from jaded Labour grassroots, and wider British floating voters – cynical of the coalition’s policies.


Balls is playing the waiting game here.


Yesterday his leader Ed Miliband had a grim news day – with support among Labour members sliding, with only 9% supporting him as leader. They much prefer his big brother to be leading the party – David Miliband, whose support was at 30%, according to one poll.


Miliband denied a rift with little brother, Ed, and told a fringe meeting apparently last night, that, “we were all here to put Ed into Downing Street.”


Balls said: “It’s hurting, and just not working. I urge George Osborne to change course, and change course quickly. If he does that, fabulous.”


Markets are still volatile to EU politicians dithering over how to restore faith in the Eurozone. They are also working around the clock to try to create an “orderly” default for the Greek economy – a case of when, not if.

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