Balls: vision is needed

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls , visits Scarborough to talk to at the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference, at the Spa. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121270g 23/03/12
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls , visits Scarborough to talk to at the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference, at the Spa. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121270g 23/03/12

THE Budget was a missed opportunity to support small businesses claims the shadow chancellor.

After bowling on the foreshore and making candy floss in the South Bay, Ed Balls addressed more than 700 delegates at the Federation of Small Businesses National Conference.

Speaking at The Spa, he said the Government lacks a long term plan for growth beyond reducing the deficit.

Mr Balls said; “George Osborne, Vince Cable and I agree on the big things we think need to be done.

“We agree after the global financial crash a big deficit opened up. We have to have a credible deficit reduction plan for the budget, there’s no doubt about that. We also need a long term plan for jobs, for growth, to win investment for jobs from around the world.”

However, he said a deficit reduction plan is not a guarantee for jobs and investment, and a strategy is needed.

Mr Balls added: “I have substantial concerns with George Osborne’s policy, and Vince Cable and I probably agree on rather more than he would admit to.

“In the last year the economy has barely grown at all, unemployment is rising and I think the budget was a big missed opportunity. There is a gaping hole on jobs and growth.”

Mr Balls proposed a cut in National Insurance for businesses taking people on will boost employment, and VAT cuts in home improvements will boost the construction sector. He finished by saying: ”There isn’t a vision beyond deficit reduction. We must have a focus on growth as well as financial stability.”