Latest Ed Balls News

Labour is offering first-time buyers a stamp duty holiday worth up to £5,000

Miliband tax break for new buyers

First-time buyers will be offered a tax break worth up to £5,000 by Ed Miliband today in the latest pitch to break the contin…

  • HSBC looks at moving HQ from Britain as tax and regulations bite
    HSBC looks at moving HQ from Britain as tax and regulations bite Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Steve Slater and Sinead Cruise LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC , Europe's biggest bank, has ordered a review into whether it should move its headquarters out of Britain and potentially back to its former home in Hong Kong, threatening London's reputation as a global hub for finance and investment. The announcement from HSBC , founded in Asia but a key part of the British establishment, prompted a warm response from Hong Kong, where it is revered as "The Bank", and silence from the British government. The commitment to the review comes less than two weeks before British parliamentary elections on May 7 and poses challenges for both Prime Minister David Cameron and his main challenger, Labour party leader Ed Miliband. HSBC has been one of the most vocal critics of the regulations and additional taxes imposed on British banks in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and Chairman Douglas Flint singled out the threat of Britain withdrawing from the European Union in a speech to investors on Friday. More »

  • Stefan Stern: Tory letter U-turn shows Duncan Bannatyne and co must read the …
    Stefan Stern: Tory letter U-turn shows Duncan Bannatyne and co must read the … Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Who said the art of letter writing was dead? Without naming or explicitly criticising the Labour opposition, the letter writers suggested the present government deserved another term in office. Another of the business leaders, Duncan Bannatyne, announced on Twitter that he would in fact be voting Labour after hearing the party's plans to end or limit non-dom status for tax affairs. I think Ed Balls, Labour's shadow chancellor, was right to say most business people are not all that bothered about party politics – they would rather just be allowed to get on with the work in hand. More »

  • Sturgeon To Make Manifesto Offer To The North
    Sturgeon To Make Manifesto Offer To The North Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    The SNP will offer to help the North of England "rebalance Britain" as it makes manifesto pledges about public spending south of the border for the first time, Sky News has learnt. Nicola Sturgeon's party will promise to be "natural allies" of MPs in the North with pledges of increased spending on infrastructure – specifically high-speed rail. It comes as David Cameron warned a deal between the SNP and Labour, which would put Ed Miliband in power, was a "frightening proposition". More »

  • Cameron says Labour-SNP power deal would be frightening
    Cameron says Labour-SNP power deal would be frightening Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    By Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - The prospect of Scottish Nationalists holding sway over a minority Labour government is "frightening", Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, as polls suggested deadlock 18 days before an election. The Scottish National Party could win 53 out of 59 seats north of the border, according to recent forecasts, giving a party whose aim is an independent Scotland huge influence over a British parliament where no single party commands a majority. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP and Labour, which are both left of centre, could "work together" to prevent Cameron from regaining power. Labour has ruled out a coalition with the SNP, but it could seek a vote-by-vote arrangement that enables it to govern. More »

  • Cameron: Tory majority within reach
    Cameron: Tory majority within reach Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    David Cameron has promised voters the chance to buy Lloyds bank shares at discount prices if the Conservatives win the General Election - as he renewed warnings of the "frightening prospect" of a Labour government relying on SNP votes. More »

  • David Cameron didn’t show up for a debate – and it might cost him dearly
    David Cameron didn’t show up for a debate – and it might cost him dearly Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    With just 21 days left, did Cameron make a big mistake? More »

  • 'Accidental PM' Warning As SNP Enjoys Poll Boost
    'Accidental PM' Warning As SNP Enjoys Poll Boost Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Labour has been rocked by a new opinion poll in Scotland suggesting the SNP has almost doubled its lead in the past month. More than half of voters certain to take part (52%), said they would vote SNP, against 24% backing Labour. The poll is a severe blow for Labour's Scottish leader Jim Murphy, who has been energetic in his efforts to clawback support for Labour from the SNP. Mr Murphy told Sky News the poll showed the nationalists were "David Cameron’s little helpers" and could make him an "accidental Prime Minister". More »

  • Labour Launches 'Responsibility Lock' Manifesto
    Labour Launches 'Responsibility Lock' Manifesto Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Economic responsibility will be front and centre of Labour's manifesto, being launched in Manchester later. The party uses the first page of the election document to make a 'Budget Responsibility Lock' pledge, claiming every policy is paid for. Ed Miliband will promise that all of his party's commitments will be fully-funded, refuting Conservative claims that Labour’s plans would lead to economic chaos. The party says it will cut the deficit every year, placing the promise on "the first line of Labour's first budget". More »

  • Ed Miliband: Labour election manifesto promises 'no extra borrowing' …
    Ed Miliband: Labour election manifesto promises 'no extra borrowing' … Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Ed Miliband will reveal that each of Labour's general election commitments will require no extra borrowing when he launches the party's manifesto in Manchester today. Miliband will also announce that the first line a Labour government's first Budget would be that it "cuts the deficit every year". The pledge is a clear bid for Labour to sure-up their economic credentials, an area where the Conservatives have been campaigning heavily. The Conservative Treasury minister David Gauke, in response to the news, claimed Miliband has "no plan to clear deficit and balance the book". More »

  • Miliband seeks to bolster economic credentials in bid to win power
    Miliband seeks to bolster economic credentials in bid to win power Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband will seek to allay concerns about his party's economic competence by unveiling a manifesto on Monday that pledges to protect the national finances and end tax avoidance by the rich. In a bid to edge ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives in what polls indicate is the closest British election of recent times, Miliband will pledge to build a fairer society if he is elected prime minister on May 7. Pitched as a manifesto for "the working people of Britain", Miliband will unveil his shop window of election promises in Manchester, a party stronghold in the north of England. "My case is simple: Britain can be better - for you, your family and our country," Miliband, 45, will say according to advance extracts supplied by the Labour Party. More »

  • Conservatives Promise To Cut Inheritance Tax
    Conservatives Promise To Cut Inheritance Tax Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    The Conservatives have said they will take family homes out of inheritance tax by introducing a new allowance which effectively increases the threshold for tax to £1m. David Cameron said that if his party wins the 7 May election, parents will be offered a new £175,000 allowance to enable them to pass property on to children tax-free after they die. Inheritance tax is currently payable at a rate of 40% on the value of an estate above the £325,000 threshold - or £650,000 if a couple takes advantage of the existing allowance. It is thought around 22,000 families will benefit from the move by 2020 and Mr Cameron said the costs would be paid for by a £1bn raid on pension tax relief for people earning more than £150,000. More »

  • Labour pledge 7.5 billion pound tax avoidance clampdown
    Labour pledge 7.5 billion pound tax avoidance clampdown Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party on Sunday pledged a clampdown on tax avoidance which it says would raise 7.5 billion pounds ($10.97 billion) per year, seeking to tap voter anger over perceived unfair tax rules to help win a close May 7 election. Labour announced the plan a day before it launches its election manifesto, setting out the policies which party leader Ed Miliband hopes will win over enough voters to oust Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron in what is expected to be the closest national ballot in decades. Labour's Ed Balls, the man who would become finance minister if Labour formed the next government, said the current administration had not done enough to close loopholes that allow wealthy individuals to legally reduce their tax bills. "It will take a Labour government to call time on this lax approach and launch an assault on tax avoidance," Balls said in a statement. More »

  • Labour to crack down on tax dodgers
    Labour to crack down on tax dodgers Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    Labour has unveiled plans for a crackdown on tax-dodgers if it wins the May 7 General Election, with a target of cutting avoidance and evasion by at least £7.5 billion a year by the middle of the next Parliament. More »

  • PM stands by campaigning tactics
    PM stands by campaigning tactics Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    David Cameron has signalled he will resist pressure to rethink his General Election tactics, after Ed Miliband said the hallmark of the Conservative campaign had been "desperation". More »

  • In British election, nationalists may seize nearly all Scottish seats
    In British election, nationalists may seize nearly all Scottish seats Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - A forecast on Friday showed Scottish nationalists could take nearly all the parliamentary seats in Scotland in the British election on May 7, potentially giving a party that wants to leave the United Kingdom huge influence at the heart of power. Less than seven months since they lost a referendum on independence, the nationalists hope the likely failure of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party to win an overall majority will put them in a kingmaker position. Although Scots voted to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has since attracted record support, partly due to anger at London's perceived failure to deliver on promises of greater autonomy given before the referendum. A YouGov poll for The Times newspaper found the SNP had 49 percent support in Scotland, while Labour was on 25 percent. More »

  • Miliband Attacks SNP's '£7.6bn Black Hole'
    Miliband Attacks SNP's '£7.6bn Black Hole' Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Ed Miliband has visited Scotland for the first time in the election campaign - claiming SNP policy would cause a £7.6bn black hole that would need to be funded by cuts or tax rises. Sharing a platform with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Ed Balls he attacked SNP plans for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland. He said SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's announcement on Wednesday that nationalist MPs at Westminster could vote for autonomy for Scotland as early as next year was "one of the most significant" events of the campaign. Ms Sturgeon dismissed Mr Miliband's attack as "desperate" and said the only cuts facing Scottish voters are "the ones that the Tories are proposing and Labour are backing". More »

  • Miliband tackles SNP fiscal stance
    Miliband tackles SNP fiscal stance Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Ed Miliband will today insist he would "never sell Scotland short" by backing SNP plans to make Holyrood responsible for raising enough funds to cover all its spending. More »

  • Labour Would Abolish 'Non-Dom' Tax Status
    Labour Would Abolish 'Non-Dom' Tax Status Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Ed Miliband has defended his policy to abolish non-dom status after it emerged the shadow chancellor recently said scrapping the tax rule would cost the country money. The Labour leader unveiled plans to end the rule that allows some of the wealthiest to limit the amount of tax they pay in the UK and stop Britain effectively becoming an "offshore tax haven" for the wealthiest. But the Conservatives were quick to point out an interview with BBC Leeds in January in which Ed Balls said doing away with non-dom status would be expensive. The Tories tweeted out a version of the video in which Mr Balls' last sentence was omitted as evidence that the Labour policy was "unravelling". More »

  • Miliband challenge over non-doms
    Miliband challenge over non-doms Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Ed Miliband has challenged the Conservatives to "stop defending the indefensible" and match a Labour pledge to strip wealthy individuals of their "non-dom" tax break status. More »

  • Labour plan to squeeze wealthy by scrapping tax loophole
    Labour plan to squeeze wealthy by scrapping tax loophole Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party on Wednesday pledged to scrap tax rules that allow wealthy individuals to legally reduce the amount of tax they pay on money earned overseas if the party wins a national election on May 7. The change would affect about 116,000 people who live in Britain but who currently are not required to pay tax on income earned abroad, unless they bring the money into the country, under the so-called non-domicile or "non-dom" tax rules. The plan highlights the centre-left party's willingness to pitch itself against the wealthy to win over voters and edge ahead of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives in what polls show is a neck-and-neck election race. It is not fair, it is not just, it holds Britain back. More »

  • Everything You Need To Know About Non-Doms
    Everything You Need To Know About Non-Doms Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Who are the non-doms, what tax do they avoid and who introduced these rules anyway? Here is all you need to know. More »

  • UK needs 'export trade revolution'
    UK needs 'export trade revolution' Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Britain's trade with the rest of the world must "no longer play second fiddle" according to a new report recommending radical changes to boost exports. More »

  • HSBC Faces New Hit Under Labour Bank Levy
    HSBC Faces New Hit Under Labour Bank Levy Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    HSBC faces an additional bill running to several hundred million pounds under Labour plans to increase a tax on the balance sheets of Britain's biggest lenders. The hike would be likely to come on top of an increase announced in last month's Budget by the Chancellor, George Osborne, who said the tax was "here to stay". Mr Osborne's comments, and Labour's plans to increase the Bank Levy still further, are fuelling disquiet among some of HSBC's largest shareholders, who are pressing its board to re-evaluate the growing cost of its UK domicile. One investor, who asked not to be named, said the growing tax burden on the bank meant that the case was becoming "unanswerable" for HSBC to conduct a further formal review of the location of its headquarters. More »

  • Election 2015: I've known Nicola Sturgeon for 20 years and she'd never …
    Election 2015: I've known Nicola Sturgeon for 20 years and she'd never … Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    For those of us north of the border, it was only a matter of time before the right-wing press exacted revenge on Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, following her assured performance in last week's televised debate between the main party leaders. Sure enough, it was less than 48-hours before there surfaced a 'leak' of her private conversation with the French ambassador – or rather, a second-hand gloss by a UK civil servant who had not been present – in which the First Minister supposedly professed her preference for David Cameron as Prime Minister. The First Minister went further and repeated the SNP's invitation to Labour leader Ed Miliband to form a progressive alliance against the Tories. Faced with a meltdown in its Scottish heartland, it is no surprise Labour is keen to talk up the notion of Nicola Sturgeon favouring a Tory victory. More »

  • William Keegan: Do not be fooled by Conservatives rhetoric as UK economy struggles …
    William Keegan: Do not be fooled by Conservatives rhetoric as UK economy struggles … Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    This is in contrast to the position in 2010, when the general view was that the government led by Gordon Brown was almost certain to lose. So we entered an era of coalition politics, with the Conservatives as the senior partner and the Liberal Democrats the junior. Now, your correspondent will stick his neck out and say that in the UK, retiring governments tend to lose elections rather than oppositions win them. Regular readers of this column should already be in no doubt that in my view the Conservatives deserve to lose. More »

  • Tories 'Plan Secret Tax Cut For Millionaires'
    Tories 'Plan Secret Tax Cut For Millionaires' Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    Labour has accused the Conservatives of plotting a secret tax cut for millionaires after the General Election, as political parties launched a battle over economic statistics. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls predicted a Conservative government would hike VAT - something David Cameron has ruled out - and slash the top rate of income tax for earnings over £150,000 from 45p to 40p. The allegation was among a series of claims and counter claims as Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all claimed their rival parties would make people worse off. Mr Balls said: "We know that is their secret plan - another big tax cut for millionaires. More »

  • Parties exchange tax hike claims
    Parties exchange tax hike claims Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    David Cameron has accused Labour of planning to bring almost one million more people into the higher 40p rate of income tax as the two major parties exchanged blows over claims of secret plans to hike taxes. More »

  • Tories Accused Of 'Secret Tax Plan' By Labour
    Tories Accused Of 'Secret Tax Plan' By Labour Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    The Conservatives have been accused by Labour of favouring the rich after the Chancellor refused to rule out cutting the top rate of income tax in a Sky News interview. George Osborne told the Murnaghan programme his party had "no plans" to further reduce the top rate of tax and insisted it was not a priority. But Labour claim the Chancellor has been "flushed out", pointing out Mr Osborne used the same words about VAT before the last election, which he then raised from 17.5% to 20%. Pressed on whether top earners could be in line for another tax cut, Mr Osborne said: "You can judge us by what we say we want to do. More »

  • Labour accuses Tories over tax rate
    Labour accuses Tories over tax rate Sun, Apr 5, 2015

    David Cameron and George Osborne have been accused by Labour of favouring the richest in society after failing to rule out cutting to the top rate of income tax to 40p in the next parliament. More »

  • Families 'worse off under Tories'
    Families 'worse off under Tories' Sat, Apr 4, 2015

    Tory tax policy has left households £1,100 a year worse off on average and families with children have suffered most, Labour will claim. More »

  • Make your mark - poop a politician
    Make your mark - poop a politician Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    Gamers have been given a chance to have their say on some of the country's best-known politicians - by using a pigeon to poop on them. More »

  • Parties trade blows on job policies
    Parties trade blows on job policies Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    The big parties exchanged blows on jobs on the third day of the General Election campaign, with Chancellor George Osborne accusing Ed Miliband of "an assault on everyday working people", while the Labour leader said Tories were only interested in "looking after a few big firms and individuals at the top". More »

  • Leaders' Day Of High Visibility Campaigning
    Leaders' Day Of High Visibility Campaigning Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    David Cameron attempted to capitalise on higher than expected economic growth as his promise to create 1,000 new jobs a day in the next parliament came under attack. More »

  • Economic figures give mixed message
    Economic figures give mixed message Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    The economy grew at its fastest pace since 2006 last year according to revised official figures that showed growing exports helped boost performance in the final quarter. More »

  • Labour To Cut Rates For Small Businesses
    Labour To Cut Rates For Small Businesses Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Labour has pledged to reverse the Government's final cut in corporation tax to pay for a reduction in rates for small businesses. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has also promised smaller firms they will be the first to benefit from future tax cuts if Labour takes power in the General Election. Mr Balls said that reversing the corporation tax cut would allow Labour to slash business rates on 1.5 million small business premises. Labour argues that 17 small firms would benefit from the cut for every large business helped by the reduction in corporation tax. More »