Parties trade blows over jobs threat

LABOUR and the Tories have traded blows over whose economic plans would cost the most jobs as the election countdown continued.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls led the charge for Labour as he tore into Tory proposals to cut back next year's National Insurance increase, telling the Yorkshire Post it was not "sensible" and would lead to job losses.

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He hit out at Tory plans unveiled on Monday to cut 6 billion in Government waste to limit the 1p National Insurance increase to save middle income earners 150 per year.

"Simply saying cut 6billion immediately – that's not going to happen through reconfiguration and renegotiation or new contracts," said Mr Balls.

But the Tories seized on an apparent admission by Chancellor Alistair Darling to MPs. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: "Alistair Darling admitted to the Treasury select Committee that his National Insurance tax rise would cost jobs. How many?"