As Labour’s iron man, Ed Balls could do the trick

The tough-as-titanium spending plan Ed Balls laid out could clinch an election. Can Ed Miliband provide matching vision?An alarming 47% of voters say Labour “cannot be trusted with the economy”, in a Labourlist/Survation poll this week. Two years to the election the two Eds need to scale that cliff of mistrust: this week they strap […]
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Labour would cut winter fuel payments for rich, says Ed Balls

Shadow chancellor says Labour will deny grant to richest pensioners, but critics claim measure will make little differenceA future Labour government will halt winter fuel payments for 600,000 of Britain’s richest pensioners, Ed Balls will say in a speech that represents a significant break with the tone of Labour’s previous economic announcements.Stung by criticism that […]
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Labour to set out approach to public spending

Two key speeches will seek to define spending priorities and remove perception of party as indecisiveEd Miliband and Ed Balls plan to make two major speeches on the economy next week setting out their approach to public spending, including a commitment to cap spending on what is described as structural welfare spending as opposed to […]
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Boris Johnson: cutting London transport spending would be insanity

London mayor says Crossrail shows importance of transport infrastructure spending, but coalition considered scrapping itBoris Johnson has warned the government it would be “insanity” to curb transport investment in London at a ceremony to mark a major milestone in the construction of Crossrail, which he said the coalition had considered scrapping.The mayor was speaking 30 […]
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Treasury chief says threats to quit EU undermine UK’s economic revival

Danny Alexander backs EU membership and aims for capital overhaul in long-term expenditure planDanny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, on Thursday warned that the UK’s nascent recovery would be squandered if the coalition continued to suggest willingness to leave the EU.He also revealed that the government wanted the spending review, due to be […]
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George Osborne plans to harness £11.5bn savings via new star chamber

Chancellor upbeat on target for 2015-16 spending review but ministers may face grilling in revived cabinet committeeThe chancellor has decided to reconstitute the government’s “star chamber” to help him persuade cabinet colleagues to yield up savings worth £11.5bn for the 2015-16 spending review.The announcement came after George Osborne announced on Tuesday that seven departments had […]
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Austerity: the History of a Dangerous Idea – video interview with author Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth, author of Austerity: The History of A Dangerous Idea, argues that not only has the policy of slashing state spending so far failed to repair the economy, it can never work. Instead he proposes that economists take a version of the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm”Aditya ChakraborttyPhil MaynardKen Macfarlane    
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Britain is a lab rat for George Osborne’s austerity programme experiment

There is no evidence – and never has been – that austerity works in the fashion promised by those who support itWhat do you think about George Osborne’s austerity programme? No, I am not trying to be funny. When the chancellor says he is tackling Britain’s large budget deficit through a mix of spending cuts […]
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Falling investment poses another problem for Osborne

UK economy does need to rebalance towards investment, manufacturing and exports; thus far there is precious little sign of it happeningEd Balls and Chuka Umunna chose their moment well. On the day that official figures showed that capital spending fell by 0.8% in the first three months of 2013, Labour released figures showing that Britain […]
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