Ed Balls on Labour’s spending plans: Room to increase borrowing to fund projects such as housebuilding to boost economic growth

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls has made a speech setting out how the Labour opposition can turn things around on growth and living standards at the same time as dealing with the deficit in a fairer way than under the Tories.


Speaking at Thomson Reuters Ed Balls said: “As far as capital spending is concerned, it certainly does make economic sense now, as the IMF has urged, to bring forward capital spending to support growth and invest in our long-term infrastructure – creating jobs now, bringing long-term returns and taking advantage of very low interest rates.


“And for the future, we need to invest in the homes, transport and infrastructure Britain needs and ensure a recovery made by the many. Of course, here too we will only set our plans for investing in Britain’s future in the light of the economic circumstances at the time, and the needs of economic growth, informed by the findings of the Armitt review into Britain’s long-term infrastructure needs.”


The speech gives trade unions space to make the case for what the changed spending priorities might be and what the level and nature of capital spending might be.


“…on infrastructure, how should we set priorities within rail spending, and between rail investment, trunk roads, expanding airport capacity, delivering super-fast broadband across the whole country, modernising our energy infrastructure and improving our flood defences?These are some of the questions our zero-based spending review will ask.”


Rather than commiting to Tory spending limits, Ed has put forward a distinct approach to the economy.


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