Miliband to set out year on year cuts

Labour leader Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband
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LABOUR will commit to year on year departmental budget cuts until the books are balanced, the shadow cabinet has been told.

Ed Miliband will today set out how Labour will tackle the deficit, with a commitment to multi-billion pound spending cuts.

The party leader’s commitment to deficit reduction comes as his shadow chancellor Ed Balls writes to the shadow cabinet to say almost every department will have to start looking for cuts.

In his speech today Mr Miliband will say: “We have said previously we will raise extra resources for our NHS and protect our commitments to international development. And our manifesto will spell out other limited areas which will have spending protected.

“Outside those areas and departments, we’ve already said that for the first year of the next government most budgets will fall.

“But it won’t just be for the first year. Outside protected areas, for other departments, there will be cuts in departmental spending.

“And we should plan on it being for every year until the current budget is in balance. Today, as our Zero-Based Review of every pound spent by government continues, Ed Balls is writing to our shadow cabinet colleagues spelling this out.”

Mr Miliband, who forgot to mention the deficit in his conference speech this year, will add: “Some people think the deficit simply doesn’t matter to our mission and should not be our concern. They are wrong. It matters.

“Because unless there is a strategy for dealing with the deficit, it is working people who will end up paying the price of the economic instability that is created.”