The Shadow Chancellor has written in the Evening Standard calling on George Osborne to bring forward investment in infrastructure after IMF warnings last week.
Ed Balls said that the Chancellor, "is still wedded to failed strategy."
Mr Balls said that if the Chancellor, "acted now to boost the economy and so bring in more tax revenues, the scale of cuts could be reduced."
– Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor
All the evidence suggests that Osborne is spending more time on his part-time role as David Cameron’s political and election strategist than on his day job as Britain’s Chancellor. My fear is that our Chancellor is taking his eye off the ball. That is why I have said the focus of Wednesday’s Spending Review should be clear and decisive action to boost growth and living standards this year and next year — not simply setting out cuts for two years’ time.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has attacked George Osborne for focussing on cuts instead of infrastructure projects that he claims would help the economic recovery.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Balls argues that the government should take advantage of "record low" interest rates and bring forward investment in homes and transport:
– ed balls, shadow chancellor
If Osborne acted now to boost the economy and so bring in more tax revenues, the scale of cuts could be reduced. That is why Ed Miliband and I have urged the Chancellor to heed the warnings of the IMF, which last month called on the Government to bring forward £10 billion of infrastructure investment right now.
Getting construction workers back to work repairing Britain’s broken roads, improving transport links and building the affordable homes we need will create jobs now, make our economy stronger and give us a long-term return.
Transport campaigners have said they believe the Treasury may announce additional public funding for the widening of the A14 in the coming days.
A spokesperson for the Campaign for Better Transport said that difficulties in raising private investment may prompt the government to announce the extra support, although details of routing and cost are not expected until the Autumn.
The A14, which links the Port of Felixstowe to the British road network, has been heavily congested for years. The government has sponsored a series of studies into the possibility of charging a toll to pay for the work.
It is one of a number of large infrastructure schemes that may receive financial support when the Chancellor gives his spending review on Wednesday.
Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce some new funding for infrastructure projects, such as roads and railways, in his spending review statement on Wednesday.
Some of the projects that may get funding include:
- Widening of the A14 in Felixstowe, Suffolk
- Mersey Gateway bridge in the North West
- Initial funding for the HS2 railway line
- Roll out of broadband Internet
- Green energy schemes
– Treasury statement
We've completed the spending round savings early and without all the arguments you normally get.
This shows our determination to take the tough decisions needed to deliver our economic plan and to turn Britain around.
Chancellor George Osborne has reached an agreement with all his Cabinet colleagues over the extent of cuts to their department's budgets.
Over the weekend, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Vince Cable settled on the extent of their departments' contributions to the £11.5 billion of cuts for 2015/16, which are set to be announced on Wednesday.