Labour Conference: Balls Wants Stamp Duty Cut
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for an expected £4bn windfall from the sale of 4G licences to be used to boost the housing market.
Mr Balls wants the money from the sale next year to be poured into reviving the economy, rather than paying down the deficit.
In a further bid to kickstart the property sector, he also urged the Government to give a temporary stamp duty holiday to first-time buyers.
"In the good times, Labour used every penny of the £22bn from the sale of the 3G licences to pay off national debt. But in difficult times, we urgently need to put something back into the economy," he said.
"So with this one-off windfall from the sale of the 4G spectrum, let's cut through this Government's dither and rhetoric and actually do something. Not more talk, but action right now.
"Let's use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years 100,000 new homes - affordable homes to rent and to buy - creating hundreds ofthousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again.
"Add to that a stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers buying homes up to £250,000 and we can deliver real help for people aspiring to get on the property ladder."
Speaking at Labour's party conference in Manchester, Mr Balls revealed that the man behind delivering the London Olympics will help draw up Labour's plans to "rebuild Britain".
Sir John Armitt, the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, will devise plans for an independent commission set up to assess long-term projects such as superfast broadband and airport capacity.
Mr Balls also used his speech to reinforce his message - fiercely opposed by the unions - that Labour cannot commit itself now to reversing the coalition's spending cuts.
"Hard times will last longer than all of us hoped. And we cannot promise to put everything right straight away," he said.
"That is why, however difficult this may be, when we don't know what we will inherit, we cannot make any commitments now that the next Labour government will be able to reverse particular tax rises or spending cuts."
The shadow chancellor's pledges risk being overshadowed by a bruising clash with the unions, who are poised to vote overwhelmingly for a motion opposing public sector pay freezes.
One union leader has said Mr Balls "would give an aspirin a headache", while another said imposing a pay freeze would lose Labour the next election.
Mr Kenny says he has drawn up a dossier of "Balls Ups" he claims were made when Mr Balls was in government, which he plans to read out at a conference fringe meeting.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, claims Labour would lose the next election if it did not connect with workers, saying that the public sector pay freeze was also starting to have an impact on workers in private firms.
Mr McCluskey was given a standing ovation when he spoke earlier on Monday.
He took a swipe at the party leadership by saying there should be no "false choice" of jobs or wages - constrasting with Mr Balls and Ed Miliband who insist jobs take priority.
"I say to Ed, a public spending squeeze while the City continues to let rip is simply not acceptable. Asking the poorest for further sacrifices for a crisis they did not cause is the road to political ruin and defeat at the next election," he said.
"It is time for Labour to once and for all turn its back on the neo-liberalism of the past. Reject the siren voices from those whose policies and philosophy have been discredited, and embrace the radical alternative the country wants, which is the only way - the only way Labour will return to power."
Elsewhere, business chiefs were dubious about Mr Balls' plans for the 4G windfall.
Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: "The windfall from the 4G auction is a rare bit of good news for the public finances, and any money it raises must be used wisely.
"Ideally, it should be put into the essential process of deficit reduction - or if it's going to be spent, then spend it on the infrastructure which will support economic growth.
"It would be much better for our long term economic prospects to use this to invest in our transport system and digital infrastructure, rather than housebuilding."
what do you think?
4 mates go to the pub, 1 on the dole, one on 15k a year, 1 on 50k a year, the last on 100k a year. The on on the dole gets his drinks for free while the rest of the bill is split between the other 3 mates as a preportion of their income. They do this for a year and then the 100k a year mate is told he has to pay more for the drinks in future, he then decides to drink in another pub on his own costing him a lot less for a night out.......The rest of the mates can't afford to go out drinking leaving the one on the dole twiddling his thumbs cause he has no money anyway.....The message of this is clear the one on the dole can't expect a free ride forever and the rest should realise that the only way they could afford to go ot was because of the mate earning 100k......makes you think eh
Not very good friends then are they, leaving the unemployed one at home, basing the value of friendship on purely fiscal means. Id give my friends the last pound in my pocket if it would help them, even just to put a smile on their face if they were down, whatever financial hardships it meant for me. Tom - think youve misdeed the point on what friendship means. Its meant to be about love not money
How about the reason why the friend is on the dole and can't find a job is due to his banking friend who destroyed the economy. Who is still earning over 100k and been given a tax break.
Not the message for me. The moral of this story is don't drink . You don't need to. It will be more beneficial for your health, you could spend the time a lot better by improving your education, going for a good walk etc. You would not get a beer belly and keep in good shape. If you are thirsty try water. Live in India for six months, you will soon appreciatye how good water is.
What cr8p analogy! Real mates would stick together. Those with an income would pay for their mate down on their luck. It's called working class solidarity.
The problem is we still live in a world full of things we do not need. We are surrounded by c.rap. Many people are slaves to consumerism. Why not give the principles of Buddhism a go. Aim for enlightenment. By giving up your desire for these things, you actually find happiness. And as for friendship, once again just listen to Stevie May, he is enlightened.
missed the point slightly, mates or no mates u pay for the beer forever......see what the wife says after a few months of it let alone a few years............ And for the record its not just bankers who earn 100k + (which is only 5k a month after tax) try living on that in London.......)
Tom, this particular man's friend is a banker. thank you very much.
Oh Dear, sounds like the brothers aren't going to get what they hoped for when they crowned Millibland. . Can't you just hear the next Labour chancellors words. The finances are worse than we thought, we can't reduce VAT nor can we reverse the cuts, we can't increase pensions or benefits and the public sector pay freeze must stay a few years longer. But at least it's not us doing it, it's all the tories fault
They're as good as alreadsy doing that right now, Dave.
Chris. Yep I think you are right. As we have agreed many times nothing is going to change after the election. So many folks seem to think all we need is a change of govt and everything will be hunky dory. They are going to be sadly disillusioned
Absolutely my friends. Until we have a completely refurbishment of our politics and a brand new party, concerned with the good of the country and its people, it will just be more of the same. No truer has it been said that no matter who you vote for, it will be the government who get in.
Dave O so right - talk is cheap and promise utopia until you have to deliver dear Ed. I like Michael Dynes idea but wonder which way such a party would lean if you remember we had the Democrats who then joined with the Libs.
They have not got a clue what is needed in this country and what the people are complaining about
You have to laugh whenever you read a headline with this man`s name in it. Why the hell did he not quietly drop the " S " from the end ?
He already has dropped the last part of his name I've heard! The last two letters were UP!
Hi wife won't even use it. Keeps her maiden name. Thats loyalty for you.
Of course Balls will clash with the Unions, he's a closet tory just like all in New Labour
Public spending is increasing by 20% by the Coalition and they are giving hundreds of billions to Quangos. Cameron said he would cut all by 50% but he has increased all of them. 50% tax down to 45% but the 40% rate was at £43,000 and now it is £38,000 and dropping, so middle class pay more. The Coalition is horrific
I don't understand why the unions still back Labour, they are no different from the Tories And the Liberals.
They are john. They are full of people who governed the country into ruination.
maybe you are right John.However you can still be a union member but opt-out of the political levy.Been doing that myself the past 10years.
That is the nub of the question. Why should our unions continue to fund Labour to the tune of millions of members money only to be continuously kicked in the teeth. Cameron's financial backers in the City are taken care of by the Tories, so why shouldn't Labour take care of its supporter? The answer is that Labour are pale pink Tories. They offer no solutions. They and the other two main parties are simply three wings of the same capitalist party and capitalism has failed. We need our unions to disaffiliate from Labour and begin to form our own party to give ordinary working class people (and many impoverished middle class people too!) proper political representation.
Oh dear the attack of the trots.
Just what is a working class person? Please define that for me.
Ur blind to the fact that the city funded all of your socialite freebe's. parties over mate live with it and stop being part of the new society of envy. Not everyone made their money in the city. do the best job you can or do something different the choice is yours not the governments.....
The union leaders aren't intouch with the working class,some of them have never had a job outside of the union, they get six figure salaries big pensions free houses ,the unions leaders are fat cats,like bankers they help themselves to other peoples money.
Windows Live User
I want Aid to our enemies cut! St. David is a clown. People in the UK are suffering . Does he not know this?
I have as much confidence in Ed Balls and both Milibands as I do in Coco the clown.
2.5k cut on stamp duty, but you got to cough at least 65k as the deposit for a house before the bank will look twice at you. Mate your a joke but I like Milli he reminds me of goofy when he talks. Don't see Stephen putting any comments on this one!!
Mmmm,using a cash windfall to fuel a consumer spending boom,when already in debt.Economics of the "madhouse"?.Please discuss.
If all government was suspended for 5 years - would we really notice any difference?
If I wasn't so handsome, I'd probably be a bit upset now.
u all missed the point its not about mates its about people who earn a lot of money (& not just bankers. get over that one please) its about taxing too much why should the better off be penalised for making money. I agree they should pay their share but you can't pay for the drinks forever.........none of you would........mates or no mates......
Socialists in sheep's clothing this lot - Bliar's children. 90% funded by the unions, The Enemy Within
you are a clown
Oh hold on their Grant. How could you possibly say that? Pink Tories in sheeps clothing would be more to the mark. The unions need to see that and stop f.unding them.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
The labour's lies and empty promises . If this lot ever get back in it really will be the lunatics running the asallim