Latest Ed Balls News

  • PM warning on 'nightmare scenario'
    PM warning on 'nightmare scenario' Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    Britain could be left with the "ultimate nightmare scenario" of Labour and the SNP in power at Westminster after May's general election, David Cameron has warned. More »

  • British business takes fright at prospect of a Miliband government
    British business takes fright at prospect of a Miliband government Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    By Kate Holton and William James LONDON (Reuters) - British opposition leader Ed Miliband has so alarmed business executives with his talk of 'asset strippers' and 'tax dodgers' that many want a Conservative win at the election, even if it carries the risk of an exit from Europe. Representatives of some of Britain's biggest firms accuse the Labour party leader of demonising big business as a way to align himself with ordinary voters before the May 7 election. As a result, executives are backing David Cameron's Conservatives, even though that entails a referendum on Europe before the end of 2017, potentially deterring companies from investing in Britain and, if there is a vote to leave, disrupting trade with the 500 million-strong EU. "On the one hand we have Labour ... that seems to believe that bashing business will be good business at the ballot box, but you don't have a referendum," Martin Sorrell, CEO of the world's largest advertising agency WPP and an employer of 179,000 people, told Reuters.     "On the other you have the Conservatives who tend to be more attuned to business but have a commitment to a referendum." British business has long aligned itself with the centre-right Conservatives, but that changed under Tony Blair, Labour's most successful leader, who embarked on a "prawn cocktail offensive" to build relations with Britain's boardrooms before winning three elections starting in 1997. More »

  • Tuesday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Miliband: Apprenticeships For School Leavers
    Miliband: Apprenticeships For School Leavers Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    Ed Miliband has announced plans to make sure every school leaver who makes the grade is given an apprenticeship. Setting out Labour's economic vision, he promised 80,000 new apprenticeships for 18-year-olds who achieve two A-Levels or a similar vocational qualification. He said the public sector would provide thousands of places, while firms awarded major government contracts or those who recruit from outside the EU would be required to deliver apprenticeships. The announcement was the centrepiece of a speech in Birmingham in which Mr Miliband set out a "better plan" for an economy that would succeed for "working families of Britain as a whole". More »

  • Labour sets out apprenticeship plan
    Labour sets out apprenticeship plan Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    A Labour government would create 80,000 more high quality apprenticeships a year to guarantee a place to any school-leaver who gets the required grades, Ed Miliband has announced as he set out his plans for boosting the UK's prosperity. More »

  • Balls' receipt comments played down
    Balls' receipt comments played down Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    Labour leader Ed Miliband has insisted his party is more interested in tackling tax dodging by "hedge funds" rather than "hedge trimmers" after Ed Balls came under fire for suggesting people should insist on getting a receipt for the smallest cash-in-hand jobs. More »

  • HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards
    HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    HSBC has taken out adverts in national newspapers offering "sincerest apologies" over past activities at its Swiss operations. In the open letter to its customers, shareholders and colleagues, HSBC's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver described recent media coverage about practices at the Swiss Private Bank eight years ago as a "painful experience". Vince Cable told Sky's Murnaghan programme that what emerged is "striking and unacceptable" - and he has called on former HSBC boss Lord Green to answer specific allegations about the business. The full-page HSBC advert states: "We would like to provide some reassurance and state some of the facts that lie behind the stories. More »

  • Monday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Labour tax claims 'small beer'
    Labour tax claims 'small beer' Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    Ed Balls has dismissed allegations of tax-dodging by Labour as "small beer", as the bitter row with the Tories over wealthy backers showed no sign of abating. More »

  • Labour promises tax avoidance probe
    Labour promises tax avoidance probe Sat, Feb 14, 2015

    Ed Miliband has promised a UK Labour government would begin an immediate and independent investigation into multi-billion pound tax avoidance claims by wealthy firms. More »

  • Labour Reveals 10-Year Bank Bonus Clawback Plan
    Labour Reveals 10-Year Bank Bonus Clawback Plan Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Bankers who engage in "inappropriate behaviour" could have their bonuses clawed back 10 years after they were paid if Labour wins the General Election. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said a Labour government would extend the UK's current seven-year "clawback" period - already seen as one of the toughest in the world - to at least a decade. Mr Balls said the  allegations swirling round HSBC's private bank in Switzerland - which date back to 2005 - underlined the need for an extended period. Publishing Labour's banking reform paper, he said: "As we have seen in recent days, wrongdoing can take years to uncover. More »

  • Labour says would extend bank bonus clawback to 10 years
    Labour says would extend bank bonus clawback to 10 years Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour party said on Friday it would extend to at least 10 years the length of time over which miscreant bankers face having their bonuses clawed back, if it wins a national election in May. As part of a regulatory clamp-down on wrongdoing in the financial sector, the Bank of England last year announced bankers could have their bonuses clawed back for up to seven years from the date they were fully paid out. As the HSBC scandal has once again made banking ethics a hot political issue ahead of the May 7 vote, Labour finance spokesman Ed Balls set out his party's plans for the sector, and said current rules on bonuses were "too weak". More »

  • UK's Labour would toughen penalties for banker misdeeds
    UK's Labour would toughen penalties for banker misdeeds Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Britain's Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says he would toughen penalties for financial crimes More »

  • Labour to extend bonus clawback
    Labour to extend bonus clawback Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Bankers who engage in "inappropriate behaviour" could have their bonuses clawed back 10 years after they were originally paid if Labour regains power at the general election in May. More »

  • British opposition goes on warpath over HSBC scandal
    British opposition goes on warpath over HSBC scandal Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    Leader of the opposition Labour Party Ed Miliband has accused PM David Cameron of being "dodgy" More »

  • Cameron rebuffs 'dodgy PM' jibe
    Cameron rebuffs 'dodgy PM' jibe Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    David Cameron has dismissed claims that he is a "dodgy Prime Minister" who is "up to his neck" in the HSBC tax avoidance scandal, accusing Ed Miliband of repeating "fiction after fiction" about the Conservatives. More »

  • Labour pledges tax dodge crackdown
    Labour pledges tax dodge crackdown Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    Labour is stepping up its attack on the Government over tax dodging, pledging an immediate crackdown if it wins the general election. More »

  • Ministers 'not told of HSBC claims'
    Ministers 'not told of HSBC claims' Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    There is no record of any Government minister being informed by HM Revenue and Customs about alleged wrong-doing by employees of HSBC in relation to its Swiss banking arm, Downing Street has said. More »

  • Ed Balls: Quitting EU 'Biggest Risk' To Firms
    Ed Balls: Quitting EU 'Biggest Risk' To Firms Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    Ed Balls has insisted Labour is pro-business as he warned the threat of leaving the EU posed the "biggest risk" to British firms this decade. The shadow chancellor said the UK "must bang the table for change" in Europe, but he was critical of the Tories "flirting with exit", which he argued was "deeply destabilising". Addressing the British Chambers of Commerce's annual conference, Mr Balls also stressed the party's pro-business agenda following a string of recent attacks by senior corporate figures. However, with other party leaders giving speeches at the event, the Labour leader Ed Miliband faced claims he had "snubbed" the business community. More »

  • Ahead of election, Cameron calls on businesses to boost worker pay
    Ahead of election, Cameron calls on businesses to boost worker pay Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan and Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - Businesses must share the rewards of Britain's economic recovery by boosting pay, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, as they in return called for an early referendum on membership of the European Union to help reduce damaging uncertainty. With the opposition Labour party threatening tougher regulation in several sectors and Cameron's Conservatives promising a referendum by end-2017 which could see Britain leave the EU, business faces a difficult choice ahead of what is set to be a closely fought national election on May 7. More »

  • PM funding pledge for growing firms
    PM funding pledge for growing firms Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    A £1 billion-a-year funding gap for growing firms will be plugged by a Tory government in an attempt to emulate the German model of successful medium-sized companies, David Cameron said. More »

  • Cameron: 'It's Time Britain Had A Pay Rise'
    Cameron: 'It's Time Britain Had A Pay Rise' Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    David Cameron will call for business leaders to pass the benefits of economic growth and low oil prices to employees, saying Britain deserves a pay rise. In a speech at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference today, Mr Cameron will say economic success should be reflected in the contents of workers' wallets. The Prime Minister will argue that business chiefs should share the proceeds of economic growth with their workers. More »

  • British business leader urges early EU referendum
    British business leader urges early EU referendum Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    Three months before a general election which could help decide Britain's future in Europe, a business leader Tuesday urged a referendum on EU membership next year, regardless of who takes power. More »

  • EU exit 'biggest risk to economy'
    EU exit 'biggest risk to economy' Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    The prospect of a British exit from the European Union is the greatest threat facing the country's economy in the next decade, Ed Balls will say as he attacks Tory ministers for creating damaging uncertainty for the country's businesses. More »

  • HSBC Helped Clients Dodge Tax - Report
    HSBC Helped Clients Dodge Tax - Report Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    HSBC's Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers avoid tax and hide millions of dollars, according to a report by a network of investigative journalists. The documents have led to criminal investigations in several countries and attempts to get the money back after being stolen by an IT worker in 2007 and passed to authorities in France. David Cameron has today been forced to defend Lord Green, who ran the bank during the period in question and was appointed as a trade minister in 2010 - the same year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received data on potential British offenders in the files. The files are reported to include evidence that the bank colluded with some clients to hide accounts from tax authorities in their home countries. More »

  • PM defends record on tax evasion
    PM defends record on tax evasion Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    David Cameron has defended his Government's record on tackling tax evasion, after senior politicians and HM Revenue & Customs were accused of failing to act over claims that HSBC helped clients dodge payments totalling millions of pounds. More »

  • Labour 'furiously' pro-business
    Labour 'furiously' pro-business Sun, Feb 8, 2015

    Labour MPs have insisted their party is "furiously" pro-business in a concerted fight back after days of backlash against Ed Miliband. More »

  • Big business raises voice in British election campaign
    Big business raises voice in British election campaign Fri, Feb 6, 2015

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L), Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (C) and leader of the opposition Labour Party Ed Miliband (R) are gearing up for one of Britain's most unpredictable elections ... More »

  • Labour accused over business row
    Labour accused over business row Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    A senior Labour MP has accused the party leadership of bringing a public row with business leaders on its own head by failing to engage properly with the sector. More »

  • Political Times: Ed Balls' gaff, a 'quiet revolution' in welfare …
    Political Times: Ed Balls' gaff, a 'quiet revolution' in welfare … Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    Usually a capable media performer, the Labour front bencher forgot the name of a business leader supporting his party's plans. He explained to presenter Emily Matlis that he had been at a meeting with a number of business supporters. It turned out to be Bill Thomas and David Cameron seized on the gaff at Prime Minister's Questions. Iain Duncan Smith stressed that the next parliament must be about getting money flowing to "where it will have the most impact". More »

  • IFS: UK Faces Toughest Public Spending Cuts
    IFS: UK Faces Toughest Public Spending Cuts Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Government spending cuts set out for after the general election are the toughest out of 32 advanced economies, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Speaking in December's Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne said Whitehall departments faced real-terms cuts of £51.4bn (14.1%) between 2015-19. In its annual Green Budget report, the IFS said the planned "fiscal consolidation" was the largest out of 32 advanced worldwide economies. IFS director Paul Johnson said UK public finances had a "long way to go" and accused Mr Osborne of failing to deliver on deficit reduction plans. More »

  • PM mocks Labour after name gaffe
    PM mocks Labour after name gaffe Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    David Cameron mocked Labour after shadow chancellor Ed Balls failed to remember the full name of a businessman who backed the party. More »

  • Gaffe adds to Labour's woes as it fights 'anti-business' claim
    Gaffe adds to Labour's woes as it fights 'anti-business' claim Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    The man who will be Britain's Chancellor if the opposition Labour Party win an election on May 7 found himself the butt of jokes on Wednesday after forgetting during a live TV interview the name of an important backer from the ranks of business. Ed Balls had been trying to defend Labour against accusations by the ruling Conservatives and by some business figures that it is anti-business when his efforts backfired. Asked by a BBC interviewer to name business figures who supported Labour, Balls gave the name "Bill", then appeared at a loss for words for a few seconds. He was in fact referring to Bill Thomas, a former senior executive at Hewlett-Packard unit EDS, who led a review of policy on small business for Labour. More »

  • Miliband criticism 'party politics'
    Miliband criticism 'party politics' Tue, Feb 3, 2015

    Labour insisted it was trying to forge a consensus with industry about the future direction of the country as Ed Miliband came under fresh attack from senior business leaders. More »

  • Labour reject anti-business tag, turn fire on PM Cameron over Europe
    Labour reject anti-business tag, turn fire on PM Cameron over Europe Tue, Feb 3, 2015

    The Labour Party on Monday said businesses' biggest worry about an upcoming election was that it could lead to an exit from the European Union, rejecting criticism from a chief executive who said a Labour win would be a "catastrophe". On Sunday Stefano Pessina, the head of international pharmacy chain Wallgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said the left-leaning party's policies were unhelpful to businesses and that a Labour government after the May election would be a "catastrophe" for the country. Pessina also said that it would be a "big mistake" for Britain to leave the EU. Labour's economic spokesman Ed Balls, the man who would become Chancellor if they win the election, seized upon that comment, turning the fire on Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives by saying the real danger for businesses came from Cameron's plan to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership. More »