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Balls: 'Millions paying more - millionaires paying less'

Ed Balls has said a further reduction to 40p would benefit them by £340,000, £1.94 million and £3.94 million over the course of the next parliament, it said.

While millions are paying more, millionaires are paying less.

David Cameron and George Osborne have given the very highest earners a huge tax cut. The Tories ditched the idea that we are 'all in this together' and looked after their friends first.

And if the Tories win the election, they're set to give the top 1% of earners another big tax cut - cutting the top rate of tax again from 45p to 40p.

How can this be fair when working people are struggling, our NHS is in crisis and when we still need to get the deficit down?

– Ed Balls writing in the Sunday Mirror

Labour manifesto pledges 'fully costed and funded'

Ed Balls has insisted all of Labour's manifesto pledges would be fully costed and funded as he accused the Conservatives of planning "even deeper cuts in the next three years than we have had in the last five".

The shadow chancellor visited Swindon to set out Labour's plan to cut and then freeze business rates, which he said would save 1.5 million small businesses an average £400.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls speaks in Swindon today. Credit: ITV News

This would be funded by reversing a coalition cut in the main rate of corporation tax from 21p to 20p, due to come into effect on April 1.

"It's not right to go ahead with the further cut for larger companies when we can use the money in a better way to help us create more good jobs by backing small companies," Balls said.

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Ed Balls urges the Conservatives to 'bring it on'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has urged the Conservatives to "bring it on" as election campaigning on all sides gets underway.

Looking back at the Tory-led coalition government's record, Balls told an audience in Swindon, "If that is as good as it gets then we need change and a better future for our country."

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls speaks in Swindon today. Credit: ITV News

"If George Osborne and David Cameron want to spend the next six weeks going round telling people, 'You're better off', then we say, 'Bring it on', Balls said.

"People are really struggling in our country and we can do better than this," he added.

Ed Balls: Tories need VAT hike to make sums add up

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has claimed that another hike in VAT is "the only way the Tories can make their sums add up".

He vowed Labour would not do so with him in No. 11 if the party takes power at the General Election.

Ed Balls: Tories need VAT hike to make sums add up Credit: ITV News

The shadow chancellor said the Conservatives had a consistent history of raising the rate of the consumption tax after elections as he launched the Opposition's latest salvo ahead of the May 7 poll.

Balls, who believes Gordon Brown's refusal to accept his calls for a similar pledge in 2010 contributed to the party being defeated, said he would "resign rather than break this promise".

The Conservatives claimed the pledge left Labour with no option but to impose a "jobs tax" of higher national insurance or income tax to meet its own deficit-reduction strategy.

Balls: I would resign rather than break promise on VAT

Ed Balls said the Tories would raise VAT.

Ed Balls has announced that Labour will not raise VAT if it wins the General Election, saying: "I would resign rather than break that promise."

The Shadow Chancellor added: "VAT is a tax that hits pensioners and the poorest hardest. For many people on low incomes, it's the biggest tax they'll pay."

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Labour to pledge no increase in VAT

Ed Balls Credit: PA Wire

Labour will not increase the rate of VAT if the party is elected in May, Ed Balls is expected to say.

The shadow chancellor is expected to make the pledge in a speech in Birmingham.

During the speech, Mr Balls will renew warnings of a repeat of Chancellor George Osborne's increase in VAT - from 17.5% to 20% - immediately after the 2010 general election.

Mr Balls will say: "We will make our tax commitments in full in our manifesto. But I am clear that while millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, working people are paying more in tax after the last five years of the Tories.

"So today I can announce a clear pledge to the British people. The next Labour government will not raise VAT. And we will not extend it to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares.

"We will not raise VAT because it's the tax that hits everyone. It's the tax that hits you every day. And it hits pensioners and the poorest hardest."

Balls: Public service cuts 'quite a chilling prospect'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has told Good Morning Britain that cuts in public services are "quite a chilling prospect" following George Osborne's final pre-election Budget.

Describing the Chancellor's Budget as "out of touch", Balls said, "This idea that it is going well for people I just don't think fits with our lives."

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls speaks to Good Morning Britain. Credit: ITV/Good Morning Britain

"Don't forget, a few years ago George Osborne said he was going to balance the books ... and he's failed," Balls said.

"it doesn't have to be this way. We could have had a better Budget for working people that boosted wages and got the economy growing in a more sustainable way - he didn't do any of those things".

Poll shows majority of voters against SNP coalition

A large majority of voters would not want a coalition government involving the SNP, according to the latest poll from Tory peer Lord Ashcroft.

Some 61% of those polled said they would be unhappy at the prospect compared to 31% who said they would welcome a coalition involving the Scottish nationalists.

The poll also found 57% of voters to be against UKIP taking part in government in comparison to 36% who would be happy for them to participate.

The telephone poll of 1,003 adults gave Conservatives a four-point lead over Labour, 34% to 30%.

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