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Ed Balls urges VAT cut on home improvements

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called on the government to chop the VAT on home improvements to just 5 per cent for one year

Balls, who was speaking at the Labour party conference in Liverpool yesterday, unveiled a five-point plan to kick-start the economy.

However the opposition party fell short of pledging to make the much-demanded move themselves, should Labour return to power.

As the BBC’s political correspondent Ross Hawkins said: ‘If you thought you heard Ed Balls pledge to cut VAT on home improvements or bring forward investment projects in his conference speech, listen again. He did nothing of the sort.

Those were not Labour policies, they were - in his words - “immediate steps” the current government should take. He made the point in a newspaper interview and then from the conference platform: “No matter how much we dislike particular Tory spending cuts or tax rises, we cannot make promises now to reverse them.”

‘That is an important political message; a key part of trying to build the party’s economic credibility.’

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