Fighting for his job, Ed Balls has done what Ed Balls does best and relaunched an old idea to try distract from his current woes. Labour have today announced a zero-base cost review of all public spending: “a root and branch review of every pound the government spends from the bottom up”. Which is all well and good.
Labour are saying that they are launching this review today. Except for the fact that Labour already launched it. Here is Ed Balls in September 2013
“Of course Labour will always make different choices. We will combine iron discipline on spending control with a fairer approach to deficit reduction. And with our zero-based review – a review of every pound spent by government from the bottom up – Rachel Reeves and my Shadow Cabinet colleagues have begun the work of identifying savings so that we can switch resources to Labour’s priorities.”
And here is Ed Balls launching it in September 2012:
”The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending. For a Labour government in 2015, it is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way.”
Ed Balls should know by now that just because you say something three times, it doesn’t make it true.
He’s going to have to try harder than this.