• News Feeds
Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Thursday, 8 September 2011 08:55 UK

Balls: Time for Plan B for the economy

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has once again called for a temporary cut in the VAT rate, saying it will give the economy a much-needed boost.

Mr Balls told Today presenter James Naughtie that he was "more worried about Britain, Europe and America than a year ago" and that economies around the world now needed to go to a "Plan B" to create growth and jobs.

He again accused chancellor George Osborne of trying to cut the deficit too quickly.

"Our coalition has decided the cornerstone is sticking to a deficit reduction plan which isn't working, has flat-lined our economy. Our problem is we can't argue for sanity in the eurozone, in America, if we are sticking to a failing policy in Britain."

And he dismissed the idea of ending the 50p top rate of tax, adding: "Do we really think, when we need to get our economy moving... the first priority is... to only cut incomes over £150,000?"

Mr Balls' comments come as new Bank of England figures have revealed the extent to which borrowers have benefited from two and a half years of low interest rates, while savers have lost out.

It is estimated that savers are £43bn worse off than they would have been if they had earned more interest on their investments. But those paying mortgages have seen £51bn trimmed from their bills.

In a speech earlier this week, the chancellor told an audience in the City that he will not change his deficit reduction plan.

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.


Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific