The Basics of the plan are;
1.A £2bn tax on bank bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people.
2. Bringing forward long term investment projects such as schools, roads and transport to get people back to work and strengthen the economy for the future.
3. Reversing the VAT rise giving a couple with children a £450 boost - immediate help for our high streets and for struggling families and pensioners.
4. A one year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements -Repairs and maintenance to help homeowners and small businesses.
5. A one year National insurance tax break for every small firm which takes on extra workers - helping small businesses to grow and create jobs.
Now I agree with taxing bankers and the extra £w billion would be a definite boost to the country's coffers and could be used to dull cuts in other sectors.
I get hazy around the extra 100,00 new jobs for young people though. Where and how are they created? I am genuinely interested.
It seems to me, a layman, a bit like trying to win votes rather than a policy - after all we all dislike bankers and we all like young people - the next generation.
Also 100,000- only 100,000? And why only young people? I'm 30 (31 on Friday) so will I count?
I also agree with the investment in roads, education etc but I don't know where the money for this is coming from. Surely Mr Balls is not suggesting we Increase the deficit?
A VAT cut would be good, companies and families are struggling and losing money on the 20% rate and the drop would get people spending again although from my family's point of view - Luxuries are a rarity and only food and clothing comes out of the Sams purse.
A VAT cut to home improvements would mean I could look at all the jobs that and doing such as double glazing, central heating, a real conservatory rather than corrugated plastic... Still this is still going to cost money I really don't have and apparently our family income of around £30k is one of the middle.
I do fully support the NI cut for small businesses though. It will do wonders for failing family business and shops.
Last week Mr Balls came to Chatham to see young people and to discuss issues they were facing. This,
is a move that neither George Osborne or Dr Cable have made and he won't be the last (nor the first) Labour Politician scouting around the marginal seats in Medway trying to recapture confidence.This may have been because Youth unemployment in Medway has doubled to 740 in the Medway towns and nationally to one million.
Here in Chatham the rise is terrible, and if it carries on it's going to be very damaging long-term for this part of the world.
The government choked off the recovery, they tried to cut the deficit too fast. you would think we had learned from the mistakes of the 1980s.
It is very hard for employers when the economy is not growing, unemployment's rising and their own finances are under pressure. Says Mr Balls.
Youth Unemployment didn't start to rise after the general election. We have inherited 97% of this figure. Tracey Crouch returns fire.
|Tracey Crouch Vs Ed Balls|
This hits the nail on the head.
The Coalition has only been in power for eighteen months. The recovery of the nation's finances will take more than that, after all the original problems started back in 2008-9 whilst Labour were in power, in fact it was their mismanagement of the situation that lost them power in Westminster.
Local Labour politicians (and their National counterparts) have been quick to shout that the Coalition's policies, which I do not necessarily agree with all the time, for not reversing the economic crisis. If you look at history though, no new Economic policy has miraculously reversed a nation's fortunes in such a small period of time.
Economic policy is like agriculture; it takes time. You cannot plant seeds and expect fruit bearing plants straight away. It requires time and nurturing to grow. Quick fixes will not work here.
Further more, like agriculture, the growth is dependent on on external pressures and our economy has been hit by the collapse of the Eurozone and several banks in Europe. All of these are beyond the control of the Coalition Government.
Tracey makes a good point as well that unemployment and economic trends are on going. The nation did not wake up to completely new circumstances on 12th May 2010, in the same way they didn't in May 1997. The unemployment figures, and indeed this whole crisis began under Labour's watch and is why they lost the election in the first place!
It seems rather dishonest for any party to blame or take credit for occurrences. It is nothing short of political point scoring for votes with no substance behind it. It makes me think of the tag line from Alien Vs. Predator;
Who ever wins, we lose.
Mr Balls also commented on the use of unpaid interns by Politicians- something that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have worked against earlier this year.
Even if your family can afford to subsidise you, working with no pay is not good enough. Very true Nick - I mean Ed...
Lets take a brief look at our local MPs. Well predictably Rehman Chishti;
Did not answer requests for comment (see end note reference.)
Mark Reckless has no interns but offers one month work experience students. This actually is fairly vital as employers always want experience so in a way it is worth more than money.
Finally, Tracey Crouch also takes short term work experience staff and has one intern on minimum wage.
Mr Balls has three interns on minimum wage.
I make that 2-0?
Reference: Balls clashes with MP over Youth Unemployment Crisis, D. Bloom, Medway Messenger, 18-11-2011