Like a Tory: Ed Balls’ plans to cut deficit declared ‘indefensible’ by Oldham Labour MP

Ed Balls’ proposed deficit cuts have been branded ‘indefensible’ by Oldham West Labour MP Michael Meacher, who wants more spending to increase jobs.

The MP rallied against Shadow Chancellor Balls for pursuing deep spending cuts – the same plan proposed by the Tory government – following the Labour Party conference this week.

He claims such cuts will be damaging to economic growth, and do nothing to separate Labour from the Tories.

In his blog Mr Meacher said: “He clearly must believe that the voters don’t trust Labour because it’s profligate so we must at all costs prove to the electorate that we’re fiscally sound and hence be at least as tough as Osborne in pursuing austerity to cut the deficit. It’s not only wildly unpopular, but simply wrongheaded.”

Mr Meacher pointed out that wages have fallen by 9% in real terms and unemployment still remains over 2million, and more money should be invested to allow the country to recover fully.

He said: “There is now an overwhelming need to kick-start the economy on a sustainable course of growth.

“[Investment] would create a million jobs within two to three years, increase incomes and thus aggregate demand, boost government tax receipts and thus pay down the deficit far quicker.

“That is what the economy desperately needs and the people of Britain desperately want.”

However Mr Balls believes lowering spending is the best way forward and justified his decision to the part conference in his speech.

He said: “We cannot and will not duck the hard choices ahead.

“Without fiscal discipline and a credible commitment to eliminate the deficit, we cannot achieve the stability we need.”

Image courtesy of Ray Collins, via Flickr, with thanks 

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