On 3rd December 2014, George Osborne, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer gave his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament. This Statement is one of the two most important economic statements that the Chancellor gives every year.
The key issues that were portrayed in this statement were, the State of the economy, public borrowing/deficit, stamp duty, savings and pensions, energy and fuel, personal business and taxation and health and education.
As these issues were addressed by George Osborne in Parliament, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls gave his view and evaluation of the Autumn Statement. Balls had dug in deep in regards to the problems around wages and public borrowing.
The senior Labour MP stated against his opponent George Osborne, that the inactive wages and low-paid employment have now hit revenues. Osborne was asked how much tax revenue has been lost because of these wages and forced part-time employment due to it. This issue then also linked to how much governmental borrowing had taken place this year in comparison to Osborne’s budget target that was initially set.
In regards to the stamp duty issue stated, Balls had suggested that Labour could more or less be ‘for’ this stamp duty reform in which this case the party will actually support it, as well as annual taxes on high-value property which links into Labour’s Mansion Tax proposal on properties worth more than £2 million.
Balls had also commented on other slips in the autumn statement made by Osborne, stating that there were hardly any specified details about how Osborne would pay for the £7 billion unfunded tax cuts which had been promised for after the next election.
Although many say that Labour have had their fair share of poor responses to the Autumn Statement over the years, this year Ed Balls has more or less held the stake high in regards to his responses.
He produced a decent respons to Osborne’s statement and tackled several issues well handedly, but his closing speech was regarded as very well put, where he had stated that Osborne had claimed to have fixed the economy and had promised to make public better off however working people are now in fact worse off.
Balls also stated that Osborne and Party failed every target and every promise they had set out and that a long term plan is needed to save the economy as well as the NHS, he ended with the lines “That is the Autumn Statement we needed. It will take a Labour government to deliver it.”
As the Shadow Chancellor stated all this, it had certainly given the impression that Labour could actually do a better job.
By Zakia Sheba, Junior Writer, Daily Politics View.