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Matthew Hancock MP: Ed Balls was the architect of Britain's economic problems

Matthew Hancock MP was Chief of Staff to George Osborne during his time as Shadow Chancellor.

Hancock Matthew MP Ed Ball’s first pronouncement as Shadow Chancellor was to deny the deficit, and extraordinarily say that you don’t get the deficit down by getting to grips on spending.

It removes any vestiges of credibility from Labour’s economic position.

Alan Johnson at least admitted that Britain needs to deal with the deficit so we don’t leave our children burdened in debt.

But this is just the latest bad judgement from a man with a long history.

First, Ed Balls wrote the fiscal rules that brought Britain to the brink of bankruptcy. He was at the Treasury when they loaded PFI off balance sheet, and took a strong position of falling debt in 1997, built up the biggest deficit in the G7 before the crisis, and left Britain with the worst deficit in our peacetime history.

Second, he wrote the banking regulations that so spectacularly failed. He took away from the Bank of England the power to regulate the banks. Then at the height of the boom he was the City Minister who encouraged the banks to keep on borrowing.

Third, and much more recently, in August he said that the Coalition was wrong even to start getting to grips with the nation’s finances.

Now his argument is that we should spend our way out of debt. It has no credibility.

Until today, Ed Miliband had his first choice Shadow Chancellor, who was trying to pull him into the zone of economic credibility.

His second choice Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls by contrast is in denial about the deficit. He denies his part in causing it, and he is in denial about the sort of action needed to deal with it.

The British people know that our economy is in difficulty. They know Labour maxed out the nation’s credit card, and that unless we deal with it our children will be left in with our debts. With Dougie Alexander and Yvette Cooper in tow, Labour are led by Gordon Brown’s B team. They have lost credibility on the economy. We need to make sure they pay the political price.


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