Ed Balls Election pledges – All balls or no Substance?

Today Labour MP Ed Balls (always loved that name) made clear what his agenda would be as Chancellor of the Exchequer if Labour manage to win a majority and be in power after the next general election.



Lets have a look at his pledges and break them down.

  • Rise in minimum wage

This at first glance seems like a great thing to be doing to help those well less off in society but when you really look at it this means  nothing… why do i say this means nothing? well, all will become apparent later in this blast of consciousness (re:child benefits… last pledge).


  • Cut in business rates
In my current employment (which may become much shorter the more i talk about politics) i directly have to deal with Business rates and the recovery of said revenues, Business rates for small businesses in many area’s are already very low to such an extent that if you are trying to set up a small business in a lot of the UK you will probably not have to pay much “business rates” anyway as what rates they would pay are based on their companies ratable value and even then their are many (and i mean shitloads) of Exemptions available for small business all over the UK, This cut in business rates only serves to cut the bills of the big companies, which are massive amounts. (for a loose and data protection act safe example I on one day issues 2 bills 2 one large company which totaled over £35 million!).

  • Mansion tax on properties worth over £2m

A meaningless attempt to make the poor think the government are doing something against the rich when the fact is if you can afford to live in a house that’s worth over £2 million then this tax probably doesn’t worry you a bit.  The funny bit about this pledge is that is it another that takes me right back to situations i see at work every day within the Council Tax system.

Many people who own H/G listed properties (the highest Council Tax band … mansions essentially) also own second properties, in most cases the “mansion” will be listed as a second home whilst they have a C-D listed property elsewhere that they use as their main residence, hence the full amount of council tax, water and sewerage (Scottish, different in England) is paid for the Lower Listed property whilst the second  property receives a discount… Although this has recently came round to bite people in the bum as Scottish people who owned mansions in Scotland yet use small residences in England as their main residence for “work” (tax) were not allowed to vote as they very stupidly had been registered as staying in another country for more than the allotted time frame to loose voting rights!  (it made me laugh, serves them right for playing the system).

  •  20-month freeze in energy bills

Ed, Im sorry but this is an absolute steaming pile of horse crap! a 20 month freeze does NOTHING to take the totally unfair tariffs we are currently forced to pay and will do even less to help bring people out of the current fuel poverty we live in (winter is coming, i am actually 100% dreading it as Winter now means £700 more debt … the joys of living up north!).

  •  Jobs guarantee for young people

I would personally love for a politician to come out and just not say this as it is one of the most redundant comments any politician can make as it stands to reason we want to guarantee jobs for young people, the irony is that is is very easy to guarantee jobs for young people … all you need to do (well, one of the easier options) is to rather than constantly pushing up the retirement age to a point where they will expect us to work till we are being read our last rights simply just lower the age, the sooner people retire the sooner the proverbial torch is passed to the next generation.

  •  50p top rate of income tax

This i have no problem with as long as any money raised from it is actually put to good use by balancing the current wealth divides that exist within the UK, again though this is one of these pledges which aims to resonate with the working class voters which the Labour party have alienated in the last 6 and a bit years but wont be worth anything if they continue with the Tory/libdem / new labour mantra of making the rich richer.

  • Scrapping the “bedroom tax

In my opinion this should have been the first pledge Ed made in this speech as it is potentially the most important as at this very moment people who through no fault of their own (blame the Tories for that one, do your research on “right to buy”) are every week forced that little bit more into rent arrears thanks to this barbaric cost cutting measure!  Scrapping the bedroom Tax should not be a maybe, it should be a definite although the way Mr Balls speaks in this speech he is aiming to give with one hand by scrapping the bedroom tax but as we will see in the next pledge it could be a very pointless effort.

  •  Extending the 1% cap on child benefit rises to 2017

And finally, we get to the part of this speech where for me anyway it all falls apart and every pledge made is thrown in the fire as its shown to be a complete sham.  In enforcing this cap (which is a lower than inflation rise) on child benefit take every bit of good Mr Ball’s has made in the previous pledges he made today and turned every one of them into a half arsed promise to give the people who are currently forces into debt false hope with one hand before cruelly snatching it away with the other hand.

My final view…

Ed Ball’s pledges only reinforce my view on current politics and the Westminster system.  The current system we reside under have no intention of ever making things better for us who live in the countries which make up the UK or the simple fact is they would.  Why no mention of bringing back fairness to people with disabilities and their benefits, why no mention of the benefits cap, why no mention of people who earn £20-£40g a year being allowed to claim tax credits (a benefit) whilst other people are being forced to work for free as their are no jobs for them to take.
Written by Trash
Please check out my weekly videos on my youtube channel HERE
(I am just an average guy likes to vent my spleen on various topics but i am in no way a journalist so please feel free to give me feedback on anything you read on this blog so i can make it better each week.)
Thanks for reading!

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