Ed Miliband calls for emergency budget

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Indy Politics

Ed Miliband today called for the Government to hold an "emergency budget" to help tackle the "economic emergency".

The Labour leader said the coalition needed to show a "greater sense of urgency" to "get our economy moving".

Mr Miliband was speaking alongside shadow chancellor Ed Balls on a visit to the Futures Community College in Southend, Essex.

"We want to guarantee a sound economic future for the young people here," he said.

"That's why we're saying to the Government we're worried about the economic situation and they should change course.

"That's why we're saying they should have an emergency budget to get our economy moving.

"There needs to be a greater sense of urgency from the Government because this is an economic emergency and they need to get on with it."

When asked why he wanted an emergency budget, Mr Miliband told the Press Association: "We see unemployment at its highest level for 17 years, we see youth unemployment hitting nearly a million people.

"Why is the Government just going to wait until the end of November to have its pre-budget report, its autumn statement?

"Get on with it now and make a difference, get our economy moving and get unemployment down."

Mr Miliband said Labour's five-point economic plan should be the inspiration for new measures.

The plan was announced by Mr Balls at last month's party conference and includes cutting VAT and a new tax on bankers' bonuses.

The bonus tax would pay for 25,000 homes and jobs for 100,000 young people, according to Mr Balls.

In the plan, January's VAT cut would be reversed, small firms would receive a one-year national insurance holiday and long-term investment projects such as schools and roads would be brought forward.

Mr Balls also proposed a one-year cut in VAT for home improvements and maintenance to 5%.

The shadow chancellor told the Press Association: "The worst thing to do is to stick doggedly and recklessly to a plan when it's not working.

"We were told a year ago we were out of the danger zone, that we'd have a private sector recovery, that Britain would be a safe haven.

"The eurozone is in trouble, but Britain is doing worse than other European economies - a stagnant economy, no growth, unemployment rising.

"George Osborne cannot be allowed just to sit on his hands. Why wait 45 days?

"If he brings forward emergency budget measures next week, we will back him in the House of Commons.

"The only way to bring the deficit down is to act now on jobs and growth and the sooner he does it the better."