Ed Balls takes to the stage with plan to kickstart economy

Shadow Chancellor wants 100,000 new homes using 4G windfall

Economic growth should be kick-started by building 100,000 homes using £2.5bn from the auction of the 4G mobile phone spectrum, Labour will propose today.

Ed Balls, the shadow Treasurer, will say the Government must stop dithering and use much of the £4bn 4G windfall to stimulate growth rather than reducing the deficit.

His approach marks a shift from a year ago, when he said any Treasury windfalls should be used to cut the national debt. In 2000, the then Chancellor Gordon Brown devoted the £22.5bn receipts from the 3G auction to reducing the debt. George Osborne has not disclosed how the 4G money, which will come from telecoms companies bidding for rights to sell access to superfast mobile internet, will be used.

Mr Balls will tell the Labour conference in Manchester: "In difficult times, we urgently need to put something back into the economy. So with this one-off windfall from the sale of the 4G spectrum, let's cut through the dither and rhetoric and actually do something. Not more talk, but action right now."

The shadow Chancellor will argue that building 100,000 affordable homes to rent or buy would create more than 150,000 jobs in the construction industry and up to 600,000 jobs in the supply chain. He will also propose a two-year stamp duty holiday for all first-time buyers of properties up to £250,000, at a cost of £500m.

Mr Balls will argue: "If more people are on the dole, not paying taxes, you can't get the deficit down. If businesses are going bust, not hiring new workers, you can't get the deficit down. If the economy's not growing, you can't get the deficit down. And that is why we must act now to kick-start the recovery, tackle the causes of rising borrowing and start to make our economy stronger for the future."

Admitting that an incoming Labour government would face tough choices, he will refuse to promise to reverse any of the Coalition's spending cuts or tax rises.

He will tell Labour delegates: "Unlike Nick Clegg, we will not make promises we cannot keep. And because we all know there can be no post-election spending spree, in our first year in government we will hold a zero-based spending review that will look at every pound spent by government."

Yesterday the Labour leader Ed Miliband outlined plans for legislation to enforce the break-up of Britain's biggest banks unless they separate their investment and High Street operations. It fears the Coalition Government is watering down the "hard ring-fence" proposal from the Vickers inquiry into the banks.

Labour's approach has provoked some behind-the-scenes tensions between Mr Miliband and Mr Balls in the past three months.

The Labour leader had wanted to announce the party's support for legislation to enforce a break-up of banks when the Libor interest-rate fixing scandal erupted but Mr Balls urged caution. One insider said: "There was no great row but Ed Balls wanted to make sure our policy was properly road-tested."

On the opening day of the Labour conference, Mr Balls came under fire from the trade unions, who are furious about his support for continuing restraint on public sector pay.

Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB union, said: "Ed Balls, he would give an aspirin a headache, wouldn't he? Being truthful about it, he comes here and he's not really in touch with the argument. He really needs to get closer to what's happening on the ground."

Mr Kenny warned that Labour was "losing ground with core supporters by continuing to ignore the fact that millions of people are suffering". He added: "Labour has to give them hope, and telling them there's nothing down for them isn't hope."

But Lord Prescott, Labour's former deputy leader, told the unions to "grow up" after Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, pledged to "kick the New Labour cuckoos out of our nest" and win back the party for the union movement.

Lord Prescott told Sky News: "I can't understand people saying 'the Blair era was bad'. He fought and won three elections. Tell me another Labour leader who did that. Tell me another one who gave us minimum wage. Tell me another one that got as many people back to work."

Ed vs Ed: Labour's backstage tensions

Labour's prospects could be undermined if the relationship between Ed Miliband and his shadow Chancellor were to hit problems. They both work hard to avoid a repeat of the destabilising rivalry between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, but they do not always succeed:

Ed Miliband

Did not appoint Ed Balls as shadow Chancellor when he became Labour leader two years ago, only doing so three months later when Alan Johnson resigned.

Keen to show voters he has the steel to be prime minister and is in charge of his party. Sometimes frustrated by Ed Balls keeping his cards close to his chest.

Ed Balls

Accused of working to rule when he was appointed shadow Home Secretary two years ago and of building up a rival powerbase with his wife Yvette Cooper.

Keen to keep an iron grip on all new policies and spending cuts. Critics claim he calls the shots at shadow Cabinet meetings and keeps colleagues in the dark about his own announcements.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments