Are the two Eds aligning together on policy?


11:00 am - August 29th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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I was impressed by Ed Balls’ speech last week on economic policies, where he stressed “there is an alternative” to the Coalition’s cuts.

I’ve also been critical of Ed Miliband not saying enough on the issue.

Labour members need to know how each of the leadership contenders will approach the economy – not just in countering the narrative that harsh cuts are needed immediately, but how they would like to re-model the economy in wake of the financial crisis.

Here’s Ed Miliband in the Observer today:

The tragedy of this government’s approach is that they have no plan for growth, as we have seen with decisions on the cuts they are making . And as the Institute of Fiscal Studies showed, they plan to pay the deficit down on the backs of those with low and middle incomes, with a threat to universal benefits such as child benefit and the winter fuel payment. It seems even David Cameron’s TV debate promises to families and the elderly are to be sacrificed.

It is essential that we defend these payments. The alternative is a dangerous erosion of the social solidarity that comes from a universal system. To do so, I would raise taxes on the banks over and above the timid levy proposed by the government and I would raise revenue from those at the top, continuing the 50p rate permanently at £150,000, and tackling tax avoidance.

I think the whole analysis is spot on, but it’s interesting the “no plan for growth” phrase is near identical to Ed Balls’ “growth deniers” rhetoric.

Both Ed Balls and Ed Miliband have focused more on challenging the Tory narrative that these massive cuts are necessary now. Their view is instead that some taxes must be raised and universal benefits maintained (not just for ideological reasons) to stimulate the economy in the short term and help it recover. Once tax revenues recover it’s easier to reduce the deficit and cut national debt.

Their approach differs from that of Alistair Darling (taken up by David Miliband), who said the deficit needed to be cut immediately. Darling was also reluctant to keep the 50p tax rate permanently along with the tax on bankers’ bonuses. His deficit-reduction plan was only marginally less drastic than that of the Coalition now.

It looks to me that the two Eds are pretty much singing from the same hymn sheet on how Labour needs to oppose the Coalition’s cuts. I think this is a welcome development.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


New Labour or not to be New Labour that is the question, the answer is well lets stay with the Tories, until they mess up big time, then Labour can make a come back mess up again and we can vote in the BNP


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  2. Tam Chandler

    Hope so. > RT @libcon: Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  3. Liz K

    RT @libcon: Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  4. Malcolm Evison

    Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/abAPmm via @addthis

  5. The Old Politics

    Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Udgjfdw via @libcon

  6. sunny hundal

    Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  7. Liza Harding

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  8. fljf

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  9. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  10. tom_watson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  11. Phil Taylor

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  12. Toni

    A potentially excellent team. RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  13. Paul Duxbury

    Interesting analysis from @sunny_hundal Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? http://tinyurl.com/329j5vh

  14. George McNamara

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  15. newleader

    http://www.edballs.tk RT @philntaylor RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  16. Leon Green

    RT @sunny_hundal Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  17. Andy Sutherland

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  18. Andy Sutherland

    RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  19. tom serona

    Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? | Liberal Conspiracy: We have a tight comments policy aimed at foster… http://bit.ly/9QXsk5

  20. mark grip

    Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? | Liberal Conspiracy: We have a tight comments policy aimed at foster… http://bit.ly/9rXwMG

  21. newleader

    http://www.edballs.tk RT @andy_s_64 RT @sunny_hundal: Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  22. newleader

    http://www.edballs.tk RT @leongreen RT @sunny_hundal Are Ed Miliband and Ed Balls aligning together on policy? I think so: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  23. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Are the two Eds aligning together on policy?: I was impressed by Ed Balls’ speech last week on economic p… http://bit.ly/a1lNQw

  24. Fake Gordon Brown

    RT @libcon: Are the two Eds aligning together on policy? http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH < I don't mind if they are, they would make an excellent team.

  25. sunny hundal

    As I've noted earlier, there is lots of overlap between Ed Balls and Ed Miliband on the economy: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  26. Andy Sutherland

    RT @sunny_hundal: As I've noted earlier, there is lots of overlap between Ed Balls and Ed Miliband on the economy: http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  27. sunny hundal

    During Labour leadership, Ed M and Ed Balls were aligning closely on economic policy and focus http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  28. yorkierosie

    RT @sunny_hundal: During Labour leadership, Ed M and Ed Balls were aligning closely on economic policy and focus http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH

  29. Laura Blyth

    RT @sunny_hundal: During Labour leadership, Ed M and Ed Balls were aligning closely on economic policy and focus http://bit.ly/9Ve1pH





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