Balls Abandons Universality to Save His Job

Ed Balls has finally blinked, tearing up the party’s previously unbreakable commitment to universal benefits, alienating the Labour left and cynically conceding to the centre ground. He announced today that Labour would cut winter fuel payments to the rich, something Miliband has previously defended as “a bedrock of our society”. Channelling Osborne, Balls will say:

“In tough economic times we have to make difficult choices about priorities for public spending and what the right balance is between universal and targeted support. So at a time when the public services that pensioners and others rely on are under strain, it can no longer be a priority to continue paying the winter fuel allowance to the wealthiest pensioners.”

This is of almost no financial significance, it is however hugely significant politically. Abandoning such a historically fundamental Labour policy reveals much of Balls’ fears for his own job. He knows that if he cannot improve flat-lining public confidence in his competency by next year Miliband has a decision to make. This LabourList/Survation poll is why Balls knows being fired could easily become a reality:

ed-kinnockIn the Sun today Trevor Kavanagh says Miliband is the new Kinnock. This is a comparison Guido has made in the past, not least to Ed himself, that he would go the same way as Labour’s 1992 leader. It makes sense for Miliband and Balls to change track two years before the election rather than leave it any later and risk their credibility sinking even lower. They have two years to get the party, then the people, on board…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

“The blame is with the terrorists, but…”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews New Dates for Andrew Neil Interviews
Tory Lead Down 19 Points During Campaign Tory Lead Down 19 Points During Campaign
Corbyn: Foreign Policy A Cause of Manchester Attack Corbyn: Foreign Policy A Cause of Manchester Attack
Sneering Thornberry Sneering Thornberry
Ministers Wheeled Out to Defend Ditched Care Policy Ministers Wheeled Out to Defend Ditched Care Policy
Watch: Crick Roasts “Weak and Wobbly” May Watch: Crick Roasts “Weak and Wobbly” May
Protester Arrested at May Wrexham Visit Protester Arrested at May Wrexham Visit
Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report
Read Tory Manifesto In Full Read Tory Manifesto In Full
Green Leaders Cringe Skit Green Leaders Cringe Skit
Never Ending Tory Deficit Reduction Horizon Never Ending Tory Deficit Reduction Horizon
LibDem Collapse Explained LibDem Collapse Explained
Taxpayers’ Alliance Updates Iconic Tory Poster Taxpayers’ Alliance Updates Iconic Tory Poster
Cult of Corbyn Cult of Corbyn
“Labour is Chocolate Gateau: Too Much Makes You Sick” “Labour is Chocolate Gateau: Too Much Makes You Sick”
Labour Election Broadcast Star’s “Tax Efficient” Accounting Labour Election Broadcast Star’s “Tax Efficient” Accounting