The Milibrothers may be 'increasingly confident' about their chances of being the next leader of the Labour Party, but Ed Balls thinks his economic policy could be a winner.
The Milibrothers may be “increasingly confident” about their chances of being the next leader of the Labour Party, but Ed Balls thinks his economic policy could be a winner. In a column in today’s Tribune magazine, Mr Balls says that waiting for the effects of the Coalition’s austerity measures before attacking them is a “huge political trap for Labour“.
He also makes the case for a Keynesian-style approach to stimulate economic growth, compared to the cuts proposed by Alistair Darling. His flagship economic policy is a £6 billion house build which would create new jobs and ease the housing shortage. Mr Balls writes:
“It’s not just Ken Livingstone and The Guardian’s economics editor who have praised my Bloomberg speech, as you may expect, but the respected Financial Times commentators Samuel Brittan and Martin Wolf too.”
Last night’s BBC Question Time leadership special saw Mr Balls clash with fellow contestant, Andy Burnham, on the Labour Party’s approach to the cutting of public services, with Mr Burnham saying that the Labour Party would have had to seriously cut public services too if the Party had won the general election.
Mr Burnham said that Labour should not oppose every cut:
“Let’s get some honesty in this debate. There would have been significant spending cuts under Labour and there would have been job losses under Labour.”
Ed Balls cut in, telling the audience:
“I think Labour would have been creating jobs this year. At a time when the economy is slowing down, we should be building houses, not cutting them, building schools, not cutting them. Let’s not do the Coalition’s job for them.”
Elsewhere, Ed Miliband advocated that the financial sector should pay for the damage to the economy suffered during the recession – raising the biggest cheer of the evening, according to LabourList. Diane Abbott said Labour had lost “millions of voters” because of the introduction of tuition-fees and scrapping of the 10p tax band. Meanwhile, David Miliband won the backing of the Economist magazine yesterday.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.