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Britain's Labour Party backs "iron discipline" on spending

Other News Materials 26 September 2011 18:43
Britain's opposition Labour Party Monday set out a plan aimed at reviving the flagging economy but refused to promise to reverse the deep spending cuts announced by the Conservative-led government, DPA reported.
Britain's Labour Party backs "iron discipline" on spending

Britain's opposition Labour Party Monday set out a plan aimed at reviving the flagging economy but refused to promise to reverse the deep spending cuts announced by the Conservative-led government, DPA reported.

Ed Balls, the party's economics spokesman, said Labour would adhere to an "iron discipline" on spending in order to rebuild the party's credibility on economic policy.

Among the steps proposed by Labour was a temporary cut in Value Added Tax (VAT), an increase in investment in infrastructure projects and the creation of 100,000 jobs for young people on the dole.

However, Balls appeared conciliatory on the key issue that dominates the economic debate in Britain - the large public sector spending cuts announced by the Conservative-Liberal coalition a year ago.

The cuts, of between 10 and 20 per cent, are aimed at reducing Britain's massive budget deficit during the current parliamentary term, which runs until 2015.

As the economic recovery remains fragile, critics have said that the volume and pace of the cuts threatens to undermine economic growth.

But Balls, to the disappointment of many of his party's followers, made clear Monday that Labour had no better recipe for deficit reduction.

While accusing the coalition government of making "reckless, ideological, unfair" spending cuts, he said Labour could not promise to reverse the cuts and tax rises brought in by the current government.

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