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Balls: Cuts are 'larger than any time in post-war history'

The Opposition analysis indicates Tory plans could mean the equivalent of 260,000 fewer older people receiving social care and the loss of 30,000 police officers.

The scale of these cuts is unprecedented. The analysis we are publishing today shows Tory plans mean spending cuts larger in the next four years than in the last five years. We are not even half way through the cuts the Tories are planning.

Spending cuts which are larger than any time in post-war history - a bigger fall in spending as a share of GDP in any four year period since demobilisation at the end of the Second World War.

– Ed Balls

Mr Balls will claim Labour will offer a "tough, but balanced and fair plan" to improve living standards while getting the deficit down, while the Tories will "cause huge damage to our vital public services".

Ed Balls warns of Osborne's 'extreme and risky cuts'

Ed Balls is to claim austerity measures planned under George Osborne will mean "extreme, risky and unprecedented" cuts to policing and social care.

Ed Balls warns of Osborne's 'extreme and risky cuts'. Credit: PA

The shadow chancellor will say that, if the Tories remain in power, the next four years will see deeper cuts than those implemented since 2010. Ahead of next week's Budget, Mr Balls will warn the Chancellor's plans involve spending cuts "larger than any time in post-war history".

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts indicating a £23 billion surplus in 2019-20 would require a Tory administration to make deep cuts in areas of unprotected spending, Mr Balls will say.


Ed Balls warns against 'flirting' with European Union exit

Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said that Britain "shouldn't flirt" with the idea of exiting the European Union.

He told attendees at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference that Britain walking out of the EU was the "biggest risk to our economy in the next decade".

Balls to blast Tories over 'damaging' EU exit hints

A British exit from the European Union is the greatest threat facing the country's economy in the next decade, Ed Balls will say as he attacks Conservative ministers for creating uncertainty for the country's businesses.

The shadow chancellor will acknowledge the need for reform of the EU but will hit out at David Cameron's policy of offering an in/out referendum, warning the Tories are "flirting with exit" for narrow political party interests.

Labour frontbenchers Mr Balls and Chuka Umunna will address the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference and stress the party's pro-business agenda following a string of attacks from senior corporate figures in recent days.

Mr Balls is expected to say:

Because Britain walking out of the EU is the biggest risk to our economy in the next decade. EU exit risks British jobs, trade and investment and the future prosperity of the UK. And every comment by senior Cabinet ministers saying they would be happy or relaxed to see us walk out, and every hint that a referendum could happen as early as next year - before any meaningful reform agenda could be achieved - only adds to the uncertainty and risk for British businesses.

– Ed Balls

Cameron mocks Ed Balls for 'Bill somebody' gaffe at PMQs

Labour faced ridicule from David Cameron after Ed Balls forgot the name of one of the party's business supporters in an interview.

David Cameron mocked shadow chancellor Ed Balls failed to remember the name of the man who chaired Labour's small business taskforce, identifying him only as "Bill".

Mr Cameron seized on Mr Balls' gaffe, claiming that the shadow chancellor could only identify "Bill somebody" when he was asked for the name of a business leader who supported Labour.

Cameron mocks Balls' 'Bill somebody' gaffe at PMQs Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister joked: "Bill somebody isn't a person, bill somebody is Labour's policy."

In a BBC interview, Mr Balls failed to remember the full name of Bill Thomas, the former HP and EDS executive who is leading Labour's small business taskforce.

Labour leader Ed Miliband responded by accusing the Prime Minister of failing to act to close a tax loophole for hedge funds because "too many of his friends would get caught in the net".


Ed Balls calls for support for North Sea oil industry

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has written an article calling for the protection of the North Sea oil industry amid plummeting oil prices.

Writing in the Press and Journal ahead of a visit to Aberdeen with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, he warned that the industry was "at a cross-roads" and called for a resilience fund for oil workers and tax incentives:

The oil industry is vital to the Scottish economy and nobody can doubt it needs support. There's nothing to stop the SNP Government in Edinburgh setting this up now. There's no time to waste ...

We need to see urgent action to improve the tax incentives for North Sea oil investment. And if George Osborne fails to act then I am clear that, after the general election in May, a UK Labour government will. Because failing to act will not only risk jobs and investment now, it will also cost the UK taxpayer in the long-term as we lose revenue from oil that gets left in the ground.

– ed balls, shadow chancellor

Ed Balls congratulates newest Labour MP after win

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has congratulated Labour's newest MP after she won the Heywood and Middleton byelection:

McInnes was elected just 617 votes ahead of the Ukip candidate and was jeered as she made her victory speech last night.

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