Sunday, 23 March 2014

What is Labour's position on our Budget? I have debated two of their key people lately and I am still unclear

On Wednesday I listened to Ed Miliband MP in the Commons replying to the Budget. It was all class war, and a few short term fixes. That afternoon even Ed Balls MP criticised his boss's performance. And then on Friday I debated Catherine Mckinnell MP at a North East Chamber of Commerce Event. I went second after the key budget issues were outlined by James Ramsbotham, Chairman of the NECC. Then third up was Catherine.

I waited for what she would do differently. She is a very important woman - because she is number 3 in the Treasury team behind Ed Balls and Chris Leslie. I have my notes of her speech.
I know she would put up taxes.
I know she loves a short term energy price freeze that will not make a difference.
But on the issue of a Labour policy approach to business, Corporation Tax, Business Rates, NICS, in fact on any policies, I am still no clearer. I know business would be hit. And, as usual, there was criticism of what the Coalition did not do.

In short, on economic policy, I would love to be able to help the thousands of my readers that I could tell them what the Labour alternative is. The reality is that we are 46 months into this parliament and we are still unclear. Every financial, welfare, and budgetary reform has been opposed with no alternative provided.
We did discuss APD, Help to buy, local banks, new housing projects, regional development, LA7 and changes in energy policy. Again, I struggled for an a different approach, save criticism.  
Boris Johnson has done a good piece on Labours approach: