POLITICS

Ed Balls Reveals Plan For Global Prosperity In New Report

15/01/2015 10:30 GMT | Updated 15/01/2015 10:59 GMT
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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) and shadow chancellor Ed Balls attend the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveils the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Ed Balls will unveil his plan for greater prosperity around the world in a new report that reportedly has the backing of the Obama administration.

The shadow chancellor will be in Washington on Thursday to launch the findings of the "inclusive prosperity" commission he has been chairing with Larry Summers, the former US Treasury Secretary and Obama adviser. He will also meet Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and the National Economic Council at the White House.

At the same time, prime minister David Cameron is also travelling to the United States for talks with Obama, where they are expected make a joint statement of solidarity against terrorism.

In a blog for the Huffington Post UK, Balls wrote: "Delivering stronger economic growth and sustained rises in living standards for all working people is the economic policy challenge for our generation.

"A new progressive policy agenda is needed to achieve this. And it won't come by either turning our backs on the world economy, or hoping that traditional right-of-centre economics - laissez-faire, trickle-down, deregulation - is going to turn the tide of stagnating wages and rising inequality.

"Our report sets out how we can reverse the toxic combination of too little growth and rising in‎equality which has hit many developed economies in recent years."

Balls' report comes as George Osborne pledged on Wednesday night to make Britain the richest major economy in the world by the 2030s if voters stick with his plan.

The chancellor also warned that there were still "huge challenges", and proposed tough new measures to ensure UK plc stayed on track - including a rule that the government's books should be in surplus in most "normal" years.

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However, Balls wrote: "The fact is the delayed return to growth in the UK - after the recovery was choked off in 2010 - has not been accompanied by the sustained rise in living standards for most people which the Conservatives promised. Far from it. ‎Stagnating wages explain both why people are £1,600 a year worse off since 2010 and why the Chancellor's deficit reduction targets have been so badly missed as lower tax receipts have led to billions more borrowing than planned.

"We argue that a race to the top requires policies to support more good jobs and higher wages, boost skills for everyone, support innovation, encourage long-termism in private and public sectors and so raise productivity.

"In the UK, the policy solutions include greater support for young people facing long-term unemployment, more and better quality apprenticeships, expanding free childcare for working parents, raising the minimum wage faster than earnings, reforming corporate governance to encourage long-term investment, an independent National Infrastructure Commission, giving city and county regions the powers and budgets to drive growth and support clusters, a proper British Investment Bank and reform of the banking sector."

"But we also argue that we need more international cooperation not less to deliver inclusive prosperity at home and abroad. We need internationally agreed progressive policies to support global growth, open up markets through greater cooperation on trade, progress on stronger international financial regulation and international cooperation to tackle tax avoidance."

"Without a strong and progressive response, the danger is that our politics will tend toward populism and insularity. But a better future is possible, one that combines openness with solidarity, dynamism with security and innovation with equity. That is what we mean by a new Inclusive Prosperity for the 21st Century.‎"