ICAEW chief bemoans ‘lack of detail’ in Ed Balls action plan

“NOT ENOUGH DETAIL” is the verdict of the ICAEW CEO to yesterday’s speech by Ed Balls on how Labour would balance the books if in power during the next parliament.

In Balls’ speech to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, he set out a list of actions that would be taken in its first Budget. This included: setting up a British investment bank; business rates cut; and tax avoidance “tackled”. Balls also outlined raising the minimum wage to £8 per hour, and replacing the married couples tax break with a lower 10p starting rate of income tax.

He also seemed to eschew borrowing for extra capital spending, an area he had previously left open.

ICAEW’s Michael Izza said there “was not nearly enough detail” in the speech on how the government’s books would be balanced with Balls as chancellor.

“We continue to call for a CFO at the cabinet table with the authority to provide a regimented oversight of public finances,” said Izza.

“Manifesto promises such as the £8 minimum wage need to be paid for but Labour has not provided any explanation as to how.

“Exports aren’t doing as well as we’d all like, so any extra support to help firms trade is good news and Labour has recognised that this issue needs to be tackled.”

Related reading