Ed Balls’ conference speech last week was notable for the way it committed Labour to pursuing the same austerity policies that have led to such a weak recovery over the last 4 years. The key passage was this one:
“We know there would have been tough decisions on tax, spending and pay restraint in this parliament whoever was in government.
But three years of lost growth at the start of this parliament means we will have to deal with a deficit of £75 billion – not the balanced budget George Osborne promised by 2015.
And that will make the task of governing hugely difficult.
And this goes to the heart of the political challenge we face.
People know we are the party of jobs, living standards and fairness for working people.
But they also need to know that we will balance the books and make the sums add up and…
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