The other key announcements by Ed Balls


1:37 pm - June 3rd 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

The news that Labour would not continue pay a Winter Fuel Allowance to rich pensioners dominated the headlines today.

But his speech also pointed to other places where Labour is considering cuts:

Free Schools
“With primary school places in short supply in many parts of the country, and parents struggling to get their children into a local school, can it really be a priority to open more free schools in 2015 and 2016 in areas with excess secondary school places?”

Police commissioners
“When we are losing thousands of police officers and police staff, how have we ended up spending more on police commissioners than the old police authorities, with more elections currently timetabled for 2016?”

Mansion Tax and 10p Tax
“With family budgets under such pressure and living standards falling, surely it makes sense to introduce a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m to pay for a lower 10p starting rate of tax?”

Mega prisons
“Has the Ministry of Justice properly made the case for a major new ‘Titan’ prison, at a time when the prison population is falling?”

Slashing govt bureaucracy
“Does it really make sense to have separate costly management and bureaucracy for so many separate government departments, agencies, fire services and police forces – the same number as when this Government came into office – all with separate leadership structures and separate specialist teams?”
“Do we really need four separate government agencies delivering services to motorists?”

Slashing military levels
“Do we need more admirals than ships and more officers in our forces than our international counterparts at a time when frontline armed forces are under pressure?”

Ed Balls says that “these are some of the questions” that Labour’s zero-based spending review will ask. But he is pointing to a few areas they’re looking at more closely than others.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


There are many things wrong with what Balls says, but this is a curious one.

“With family budgets under such pressure and living standards falling, surely it makes sense to introduce a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m to pay for a lower 10p starting rate of tax?”

Has he actually done the math? Has he realised the tax raised from a mansion tax would be insufficient to cover a 10p rate. Which is fine, but he fails to tell us which services are being cut…over to you Ed.

@1

Providing Universal Credit does not completely sink into the ocean beyond 2015; it enables politicians to make a ridiculous number of tax-cutting promises to the low paid with no fiscal consequences. Because the sneaky bastards made sure that unlike current means-tested benefits and tax credits, Universal Credit’s brackets and tapering is based on pre-tax income: so a claimant gets a tax cut, the government reclaims it by taking it out of the income component of their single benefit.

Balls already knows he doesn’t need to raise any money for any kind of low income tax cut. The Guardian managed to cover this for five minutes and then forgot all about it and columnists couldn’t be arsed writing anything about it.

3. John Reid

Good ideas here but will the legislation be rally thought through?

Sorry, I mean that the tapering is based on post-tax income.

5. Raman Wickramasinge

Psssst!

I’m a Chartered IT Professional who is – or was – working on the Universal Credit project.

In it’s “digital by default” form it’s finished, and when I say “finished” I mean it’s dead in the water. The system has never worked and never will work properly. I hear now that the plan is to fudge Universal Credit until 2015 by making it largely telephone based, where claimants ring call centres to update their circumstances and such like. This makes Universal Credit impossible without an enormous unaffordable bureaucracy to administer it, so when I say “Universal Credit is dead in the water” take it as read that I know whereof I speak.

This will all soon be public knowledge, but remember…

… you heard it here first!

While the details remain slim the broad brush strokes are incredibly disappointing. The “austerity has failed”, but we’re going to carry on doing it anyway attitude is particularly frustrating. It’s looking like a “not the Tories” vote come the next election, rather than actually voting *for* someone.

Any news yet on how a Labour government proposes to reform the banking system to prevent a repeat of asset-price bubbles and what Labour would do to curb those bankers’ bonuses which create the incentives for bank to engage in high risk lending? The evidence is that bankers have been ripping off both bank depositors and bank shareholders.

“Outgoing Bank of England (BoE) governor Sir Mervyn King believes the public has ‘every right to be angry’ with the banking system for Britain’s financial crisis. In one of his last interviews before stepping down, he expressed sympathy with widespread frustration as sluggish growth takes its toll on standards of living.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22732400

“Individuals had less disposable income to spend on average in the first three months of the year than during any quarter since 2003.” [BBC website July 2012]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19060716

Btw I was pleased to see the commitment to “slashing military levels.”

I wondered if Ed Balls had any comments to make on this highly topical piece in Saturday’s The Economist on macroprudential policy:

“Macro control, micro problems: History shows the limits of macroprudential policy in curbing dangerous risk-taking”
http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21578654-history-shows-limits-macroprudential-policy-curbing-dangerous

Recap: The BoE now has responsibility for macroprudential policy in addition to applying monetary policy to achieve an inflation target.

9. Charlieman

Ed Balls: “Do we need more admirals than ships and more officers in our forces than our international counterparts at a time when frontline armed forces are under pressure?”

Parkinson’s Law was outlined in 1955 and published as a set of essays in 1958. It is comforting to learn that Ed Balls is keeping himself up to date.

I keep posting this and it keeps disappearing:

Any news yet on how a Labour government proposes to reform the banking system to prevent a repeat of asset-price bubbles and what Labour would do to curb those bankers’ bonuses which create the incentives for bank to engage in high risk lending? The evidence is that bankers have been ripping off both bank depositors and bank shareholders.

“Outgoing Bank of England (BoE) governor Sir Mervyn King believes the public has ‘every right to be angry’ with the banking system for Britain’s financial crisis. In one of his last interviews before stepping down, he expressed sympathy with widespread frustration as sluggish growth takes its toll on standards of living.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22732400

“Individuals had less disposable income to spend on average in the first three months of the year than during any quarter since 2003.” [BBC website July 2012]

Btw I was pleased to see the commitment to “slashing military levels.”

Raman @ 6:34pm: Thanks for that, having not ‘heard’ of it before.

Raman @ 6:34pm: Thanks for that, having not ‘heard’ of it before in Scotlandshire.

13. Baton Rouge

Balls has swapped New Labour’s Keynesian demagoguery of yesterday (literally) for Coalition austerity. Should have swapped it for class struggle.

14. Anthony Turtle

OK, so Mr Balls is going to stick in a Mansion Tax, what’s wrong with adding 1-2% on the higher rate of tax as well.

The ConDem Coalition cut benefits, cut the number of people paying the lower rate of tax and cut the amount the higher rate of tax was paid at. Three measures to increase the money in the exchequer? Yet two of these methods reduce the amount of money the government had to play with!

Come on show you have some other than in your surname – raise the tax that high earners pay and levy a tax on the bonuses bankers pay people for doing their job!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs




Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.