Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is Ed Balls Up To?

Oh dear. Alistair Darling and Ed Balls seem to be at loggerheads, after Ed Balls pushed for a £2.6 billion increase in his department's funding. Joe Murphy has the story HERE. Balls really does seem to be all over the place on spending. It wasn't that long ago he reckoned he'd be cutting his department's spending by £2 billion, rather than increasing it. You don't think he could now be playing political games, do you? Perish the thought...

In June, Balls said he could see spending rises for schools and hospitals…

In an interview on Radio 5 Live, Ed Balls came close to committing Labour to increasing spending on health and education from April 2011: ‘If we can get the economy right - as I believe we are doing - I think we can see spending rising on health and schools in real terms after 2011’ (BBC 5 Live, 15 June 2009).
Before backing down from his comments.

But after a dressing down from the Treasury, Balls changed his line: ‘We want to see schools and NHS spending rising [after 2011] but we can’t make those commitments now’ (WATO, 15 June 2009).

In September, he confirmed there would be £2 billion of cuts for schools…

Then, Ed Balls confirmed there would be cuts: ‘in an interview with The Sunday Times, Balls detailed more than £2 billion of cost savings worth 5 per cent of the total schools budget’ (The Sunday Times, 20 September 2009). He then even began to outline where the axe will fall. In a BBC interview, Ed Balls said that, ‘under the head there’s deputies, there’s assistant head teachers and what we can do is we can pool leadership together and that can free up resource as well’, while Mr Balls’s aides said that up to 3,000 posts could be eliminated (The Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2009) equating to 1 in 12 deputy and assistant heads (DCSF, School Workforce in England, January 2009, May 2009).

Just days before Brown promised to raise spending on schools.

In his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Brown said ‘in the next five years we cannot and will not cut support to our schools. We will not invest less, but more.’ (Gordon Brown, Speech to the Labour Party Conference, 29 September 2009).

And now, in November, Balls is asking the Treasury for an increase in cash for his Department.

In the Financial Times today, Balls is reported to have requested a 1.3 per cent annual increase in the budget for the Department for Children, Schools and Families. However, according to the Evening Standard, this has been rebuffed by the Treasury (Evening Standard, 17 November 2009).

And they have the cheek to talk about 'joined up government'! Balls to that...

16 comments:

Jimmy said...

A spending department is at odds with the treasury? Say it ain't so!

Frugal Dougal said...

The cuts are already starting - for example, in the field of services for homeless people. Stuff that doesn't make the MSM news.

Peter said...

Ed Balls all over the place and not having a clue what he's talking about? Who'd have thought?

swampedbycars said...

SwampedbyCars
Earlier in the summer Balls announced there would be an extra 100,000 teaching assistants. So when the saving of £2billion was announced I was with my teacher friend and we burst out laughing. It is 100,000 x £20,000= £2billion

My guess is that the cost of a teaching Asst. is about £20k including overheads. See, it all adds up. Would you expect anything less from Balls. He thought ahead, announced the TA's so that in a couple of months he could announce a cut in the education budget so he could say to his fellow ministers, "now follow my lead". What a game politics is. Oh how we laugh!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

He is on manoeuvres, Iain.

Scrobs... said...

Well he is Bruin's closest adviser - was - er not...

Think how many berks in Whitehall piddled around on a an Excel spreadsheet the size of Yorkshire for several weeks, just to get it wrong again, and again, and again, and again....

The "Lounge Lizard from 'Accounts'" is at it again!

Man in a Shed said...

Balls and up - two words that somehow belong together .....

The said...

Ed Balls will lose his seat. If you hate him as much as everyone I knbow hates him donate to Antony Calvert's excellent campaign at www.myconservatives.com

cherami said...

So Balls has skidded into the ditch; a touch of ice to help Harman join him?

To quote Terry Thomas, 'what an absolute shaaaarr.'

Goodwin said...

I suspect being a complete winker has got a lot to do with it ...

James Higham said...

Balls really does seem to be all over the place on spending.

And Darling's not?

Valleys Mam said...

Ask his wife she probably sorts him out

Cynic said...

Its all monopoly money now anyway. None of them will be in office long enough to spend it so it's all about laying and posturing before the electorate have done with them.

Wont it be great to see Ed and Yvette move back oop North to the constituencies where their hearts really lie among the hard working people of the North East. Not for them cushy jobs in London post losing their seats. Oh no. they will be back up North like a shot .....won't they?

Johnny Norfolk said...

He must need the extra funds to tackle illiteracy. He will be starting with his friend. Guess Who.

heckmonwyke said...

His waist

titus-aduxas said...

I wish this Govt had joined up - most of 'em would be in Afghanistan, getting shot at, with a bit of luck.