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Labour U-turns on budget surplus plans

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Labour is set to perform a dramatic economic policy U-turn by voting against Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to force future governments to operate a budget surplus, according to reports.

According to the BBC, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has told MPs the party will oppose the measure in a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday. He previously suggested Labour would support the Government’s proposals.

McDonnell said by doing this Labour would “underline our position as an anti-austerity party”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, former Labour shadow chancellor Chris Leslie said: “To go from one extreme to the other is wrong in economic terms but also it sends the wrong message to the general public as well.

“I think to be fair to John McDonnell this is a very difficult balancing act, it’s a very difficult topic, but it’s incredibly important that he is clear and consistent and explains fully not just what Labour’s position is but also why he backed George Osborne’s surplus a couple of weeks ago and is now against it apparently.”

Wednesday’s debate will see MPs vote on Osborne’s ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’, a measure that would legally block future governments spending more than they receive in tax revenues when the economy is growing.

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Comments

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  1. I’m no devotee of any political party, but Labour under Corbyn is past being a joke. It is more than catastrophe. We need a decent opposition. But in this case can you imagine Corbyn being briefed on sensitive national issues? It doesn’t bear thinking about. You may as well just publish in the Sun.

    If those with a brain in the Labour party wish to save their party there is one ‘nuclear’ option. Vote with the other parties. If they are then deselected, then stand as independents (or a new party). If they are really in Parliament for public service (and not for selfish reasons) then they really need to do something – NOW.

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