Labour and the Budget
This is important so worth quoting in full:
"In a joint press conference this morning Ed Miliband and Ed Balls said the Conservative-led government must think again on the speed and scale of cuts which go too deep and too fast, are choking off growth, increasing unemployment and making it harder to reduce the deficit in the long term.
They called on David Cameron and George Osborne to repeat last year’s bank bonus tax to support the jobs and growth Britain badly needs in 2011.
With the £2 billion that could be raised this year from repeating the bank bonus tax, Labour says the government should:
• Provide £1.2bn to fund the construction of more than 25,000 homes across the country. This would generate more than 20,000 jobs and several times more in the supply chain, and as many as 1,500 construction apprenticeships at a time when demand for construction apprentices has fallen by 31%;
• Establish a £600m fund for youth jobs. This would help more than 90,000 young people into work at a time when youth unemployment has reached almost one million;
• Boost the Regional Growth Fund by £200m. With the first wave of the fund over-subscribed several times over, this would be a quick way to drive new investment. The Regional Growth Fund represents a two-thirds cut from the funding for Regional Development Agencies, which were abolished last year.
Labour will also force a House of Commons vote on Wednesday on reversing George Osborne’s VAT rise on petrol, which is helping to push up petrol prices to their current record levels and adding to the growing cost of living for families on low and middle incomes. Labour’s Opposition Day Debate motion will call for the VAT rise – which has added £1.35 to the cost of filling up a 50 litre tank – to be reversed immediately on road fuels, using the extra £800m from the bank levy."