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Page last updated at 08:33 GMT, Thursday, 6 December 2012

Balls: Osborne 'in last chance saloon'

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Talking to Today presenter Sarah Montague, shadow chancellor Ed Balls outlined what he made of the Autumn Statement.

In the statement, George Osborne said the coalition's austerity measures would continue until 2018 and he announced a squeeze on welfare benefits, most of which will rise by only 1% a year for the next three years.

When asked whether he supported George Osborne's announcements on "a freeze on benefits", Mr Balls said that "the test for me will be, is will this hit lower income families [and] does it lead to rising child poverty."

"We need to look at the detail," he said.

He highlighted that the import issue at hand is the question of "how do we stop these failings" on the economy.

Speaking later on the programme, he explained that his hesitant start in reply to the chancellor's Commons statement chamber was due to his speech impediment: "I have a stammer. And sometimes my stammer gets the better of me in the first minute or two, when I speak, especially when I have the Prime Minister and the Chancellor and 300 Conservative MPs yelling at me at the top of their voices.

"But frankly that is just who I am. I don't mind that. I want to win the arguments for what's right for Britain."


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