Can we swap Balls for Parker?

He may be a pommy bastard but Ed Balls at least is realistic about spending increases.

Mr Balls said he could make no promises to reverse the freeze on public sector pay before the end of this parliament.

He blamed Chancellor George Osborne’s “mistakes” with the economy for making such pay restraint necessary.

But he said Labour would not make commitments on public spending unless they were “responsible and credible”.

The government announced in November that public sector pay would rise by only 1% in the two years to 2015.

Mr Balls appeared to endorse the decision in an interview with The Guardian and then again on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ahead of a speach to the Fabian Society on Saturday.

He said: “I can’t just promise to people that I can just wave a magic wand and be able to spend more and tax less.

“I cannot make commitments now for three years’ time. I won’t do that, it wouldn’t be credible.”

Mr Balls said voters faced a choice between higher public sector pay or tackling rising unemployment.

Wonders will never cease, at least one Labour politician understands the trade off between overpaying public servants, increasing government debt, slowing down the economy and unemployment. 


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  • Hakim of Phut

    When the Tories own Chancellor is going to act to save middle class welfare, I think the ‘cuts’ are all smoke and mirrors
    George Osborne signalled  yesterday that he will try to ease the burden of child benefit cuts on middle-income families.
    Families earning between £40,000 and £80,000 are expected to receive some financial relief to ease the pain of plans to strip the benefit from those with one parent paying the 40p rate of income tax
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    • Alex

      You’re are right to some respects.  But the solution is to cut middle class welfare as well, rather than find another group to tax so that middle class welfare and all other payments made by the welfare juggernaut can continue (which I suspect is your solution).  So you have to ask why have middle class welfare in the first instance?  The blame lies with Blair and his “third way” — which meant promoting the contradictory policy setting of low taxes and high social welfare.  Or in other words, being all things to all people.   It just doesn’t work. 

      But sadly — as with our WfF policy — the middle class are now addicted to welfare payments, and it is the middle classes who are the voting pool the Torys need to retain so as to stay in power.   Not unsurprisingly, Labour talks about the “squeezed middle” hoping that this will lure the middle classes away, and neither party address the abomination that is middle class welfare.  The same story is happening in New Zealand, where no party is willing to touch the disgrace that is WfF, where those with children and high incomes are subsidised by childless people on lower incomes.

      So if Labour (both in the UK and here) had stayed true to its working class roots, and not been taken over by the middle class liberal elite, I suspect UK and NZ would be in better shape.

  • Alex

    Well this is a better approach.  What I can’t understand is why Labour don’t say to their union and beneficiary supporters, look most New Zealanders want some reform.  So work with us to achieve some reform, or else National will come promising more drastic reform and you’ll have little or no input.  If Labour did that, rather than wait until after being voted out to have Road to Damascus experiences a la Pagani, then they might find that they’re in power more and actually achieve some good.  

  • Hakim of Phut

    Thats what Pagani should have said to the ‘ungrateful’ truck driver. What about  WFF ?.
     And to the small contractor, what about Construction Contracts Act  which tilted the system back to pay subbies rather than be ripped by the likes of the big builders and developers. 
    And you only have to go to Devonport to see all the naval vessels ordered under labour, or the LAVs, and LUVs in the army but do the military  say’ thanks a lot ‘Thats where Pagani falls down, she hasnt been an MP  so doesnt know what has happened before. Shes just in Labour for the social life and all the spin , not for the hard yards on policy  etc.