Balls Tells Business: I'm Just Like Osborne

After his vote winning booing at the TUC, Ed Balls has donned his bow-tie to butter up the CBI. Though he won’t say it on the airwaves, behind closed doors with businessmen the Shadow Chancellor is desperate to play up the resemblance between himself and George Osborne:

“George Osborne and I have some real differences but we also have some areas where we really agree. There is no doubt that a credible deficit reduction plan is essential… There have to be tough decisions on spending and pay and measures to kick-start the economy. We need action now for growth, jobs and confidence.”

It rolls off the tongue of the former City Minister.

And it’s clear where he has got his inspiration – Osborne’s Mansion House speech in June:

“My conclusion from that the balance of risks in the UK argues strongly in favour of credible deficit reduction… A time for decisions has come. The common challenge is [how to] create the conditions for sustainable growth and new jobs… I will take action [to] inject new confidence into our financial system.”

What is the point of the Shadow Chancellor if he’s just an echo? 

UPDATE: A source close to Osborne tells Guido:

“Looking forward to Balls announcing this deficit reduction plan at Labour conference, but not holding our breath. So where is this Balls deficit plan? Or is he adopting ours?”




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Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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