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Ed Balls pledges to keep low corporation tax rate

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is to set out how Labour would help nurture British business by maintaining the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G7 group of major industrialised nations.

At a speech in London, Mr Balls will say: "The last Labour Government left Britain with the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7 and we are committed to maintaining that position."

Ed Balls is setting out how business taxes would look under a Labour government. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

However he will also argue that a further cut in corporation tax next year is not "the right priority", instead committing Labour to a freeze on business rates that would affect 1.5 million business properties.

He will say the aim of Labour's business tax approach will be to make the UK "a great place to do business, not simply a cheap place to shift their profits".

Read: Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

Ed Balls: Jon Cruddas 'excited' by Labour reforms

Ed Balls said policy chief Jon Cruddas was "excited" by the party's agenda despite him claiming that Labour was stopping bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy."

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/

The shadow chancellor told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "I talked to Jon a couple of days ago and he's not frustrated, he's excited about his policy agenda.

"He's frustrated by the way in which one report of 250 pages gets reduced down to one headline."

He added: "Jon Cruddas, with me and Ed and others, has been working for years on big reforms, they're going to come out in the next few months, people will see the policy review he has led has been a big deal."

Read: Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

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Cruddas comments come as Labour reveals UK vision

Jon Cruddas, Labour's policy chief, said the party was parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy" as Labour prepares to set out its vision for rebuilding Britain through reforms of the state and big business.

Jon Cruddas or parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy|" Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Hird

The party will reverse a century of centralisation by diverting £30 billion of funding to create "powerhouse" English cities and counties, Ed Miliband has said.

As well as pulling together plans on tackling "broken markets", changes to the welfare system and a crackdown on tax avoidance, it will lay out the results of former transport secretary Lord Adonis's review on growth polices.

Read: Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

Labour's policy chief has hit out at the leadership for parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy" designed to appeal to the press and focus groups.

Jon Cruddas has warned that the top of the party wields a "profound dead hand at the centre" that blocks plans, according to the Sunday Times (£).

Labour's policy chief Jon Cruddas Credit: PA

A recording of the head of the party's policy review made at a meeting of the left-wing Compass group captured him attacking recently announced Labour plans to cut Jobseeker's Allowance for 18 to 21 year olds as "punitive".

Mr Cruddas warned the "clock is ticking" but raised fears that interesting ideas were "not going to emerge through Labour's policy review".

Labour may offer voters an EU referendum

Labour could offer a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership at the next election, its policy director Jon Cruddas told The Daily Telegraph.

The opposition party would consider “in depth” whether to hand the vote to the public as it drafts its next manifesto, according to Cruddas, who is chairing Labour’s policy review.

“It’s something we will be looking at in depth in the policy review. At some stage there is going to have to be some resolution of what our relationship is here and what format that takes. It could be a referendum.

"We have said the time is not right as regards a referendum on Europe given the economics ricocheting around the eurozone. Obviously our position needs to be developed over the next period."

– Jon Cruddas

The paper claimed that Cruddas' comments would pile pressure on the Prime Minister, who is already facing calls from his party to give the public the EU vote.

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