Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has bought into the City’s disastrous policies. He says he will stick to whatever spending plans George Osborne has for 2015-16. Balls calls for “iron discipline” and “big and painful choices” in “a tough deficit reduction plan” with “tough fiscal rules”. He said, “The next Labour government will have to plan on the basis of falling departmental spending.” He said there was little mileage in squeezing global tax avoiders.
Balls said he would end winter fuel payments for all pensioners. This would save just £100 million a year (less than half a per cent of the £207 billion welfare bill). This means-testing a universal benefit abandons opens the door to making other benefits selective. ■