Aiming to show that Labour is ready to deal with the deficit, the shadow Chancellor has got pensioners paying top rate tax in his sights.
The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says George Osborne's creditability has been damaged by today's Autumn Statement.
The Prime Minister has hit out at EU institutions for not going far enough to rein in spending as budget talks were postponed until January.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has committed to cut winter fuel payments for wealthy pensioners if Labour wins the 2015 general election.
The move would affect about 600,000 people and generate savings of around £100 million.
Under current laws, pensioners are entitled to means-tested and universal benefits.
- Pension credit
- Housing benefit
- Council tax benefit
- Winter fuel allowance
- Free bus travel (for over 65s)
- Free TV licence (for over 75s)
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that the shadow chancellor Ed Balls' pledge to axe winter fuel payments for wealthier pensioners shows he is "making it up as he goes along":
During a speech at London's Docklands, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls is expected to say Labour must start planning for a "very tough inheritance" in 2015, for which the party will need an "iron discipline".
– Shadow chancellor Ed Balls
With the Chancellor refusing to change course, Labour must start planning now for what will be a very tough inheritance in 2015.
It will require us to govern in a very different way with much less money around. We will need an iron discipline and a relentless focus on our priorities.
And this iron discipline on spending control must go alongside action to deliver a fairer approach to deficit reduction. And that will mean answering big and immediate questions for 2015 in our manifesto.
Labour would axe winter fuel payments for hundreds of thousands of the UK's richest pensioners, Ed Balls will signal today.
Support for better-off OAPs "can no longer be a priority" at a time of harsh public spending cuts, the shadow chancellor will declare.
Mr Balls will hail the move to end universality as an example of the Opposition's willingness to show "iron discipline" if it takes power in 2015.
He will urge Chancellor George Osborne to heed warnings about the UK's economic prospects and increase borrowing to boost growth.
But he will insist Labour is ready to deal with a "bleak inheritance" if Mr Osborne fails to change course on the coalition's austerity programme.
Andy Coulson, Downing Street's former spin doctor, has compared the relationship between Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls to the "shamefully dysfunctional" Tony Blair and Gordon Brown partnership when Labour were in power.
He wrote in GQ: "The prime minister should pray Ed Balls remains shadow chancellor until the election. Appointing him as George's (Osborne) opposite number was the Miliband gift that will keep on giving...
"The Tories must look for the divisions and make the most of them a) because they are most certainly real - always a plus - and b) because it's history repeating itself. We are in this hole at least in part because of the shamefully dysfunctional Blair/Brown relationship.
"Labour's Two Eds dislike each other and each thinks he is smarter than the other.
"The Conservatives should imagine in some detail how it would work if they actually won...and share that vision with the British public."
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said "there is no doubt" the Government's controversial "bedroom tax" is driving people to "the edge of despair".
Mr Balls was commenting after a family of a woman who committed suicide blamed the pressure of the tax for contributing to her death.
"There is no doubt that this policy is driving people to the edge of despair in their many thousands across the country," Mr Balls told Sky News.
He said: "David Cameron and George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith should stand back from the rhetoric, which is always a little bit nasty and a little bit divisive, and say: 'What are we actually doing here?'"
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The shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has called today's GDP figures "lacklustre" and accused the Prime Minister and George Osborne of delivering the "slowest recovery for over 100 years".
– Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor
They [the government] took an economy that was starting to grow strongly, with falling unemployment and a falling deficit, and delivered stagnation, rising unemployment and £245 billion more borrowing than planned ...
If we’re to have a strong and sustained recovery, and catch up all the ground we have lost over the last few years ...
We need radical bank reform and a jobs and growth plan, including building thousands of affordable homes and a compulsory jobs guarantee for the long term unemployed.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said he would not support a 50p top rate of tax if it was not raising revenue.
He told Radio 4's Today programme:
I would rather see every tax rate come down. I'm not a high tax person, I'd rather get taxes low.
I wouldn't support a 50p tax rate if it wasn't raising revenue but the reason why it's important to have it, the reason why it was introduced first in 2008 and then 2009 was at a time when families are paying a big price for the global financial crisis it is important that we share the burden fairly.
Ed Balls has admitted to being caught speeding in his West Yorkshire constituency - saying that he was "bang to rights".
The shadow chancellor said he was going 56mph in a 50mph zone on the motorway.
Writing on his blog, the Labour MP said: "Like many local people, I was caught out by the never-ending roadworks on the M62. Pulling on to the motorway at Morley I realised too late that the speed restrictions were still in place.
"I was caught and bang to rights - doing 56 in a 50 mile restriction zone. Going too far, too fast, you might say.
"I paid my fine and chose to attend a speed awareness course. I currently have no points on my licence and would like to keep it that way.