The CEO of the ICAEW has stated there was a lack of detail in Ed Balls’ speech on how Labour would balance the books if they gained power in the next election.
Balls revealed his list of actions that would be taken in the first Budget; which included setting up a British investment bank; cutting business rates; and tackling tax avoidance. He continued by explaining he would raise the minimum wage to £8 per hour and update the marriage couples tax break with a lower 10p starting rate of income tax. There was no explanation of how Labour would pay for the proposed raise in minimum wage, and Balls also appeared to avoid commenting on borrowing for extra additional capital spending.
Michael Izza, of ICAEW, felt there was not nearly enough detail in the speech on how the government would manage spending if Balls was the chancellor. He explained that the ICAEW remain adamant that they want a CFO at the cabinet table who can provide a regimented oversight of public finances.
Izza also stated that Labour failed to recognise that exports are not doing as well as they have done previously and a plan for extra support to help firms trade is much needed and would be welcomed.