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UK Politics

Labour sets out plans to lower the tax burden on business and industry


Labour will today make a fresh attempt to switch attention from Ed Miliband’s leadership as it sets out plans to lower the tax burden on business and industry.

Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, will also detail moves to tackle the “cost-of-living crisis” in a fresh attempt to move the spotlight from the party’s internal conflicts. His appearance will be one in a series of announcements fleshing out Labour’s economic plans.

Mr Miliband faced fresh pressure after Jon Cruddas, the party’s policy chief, hit out at the leadership for delaying bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy" designed to appeal to the press and focus groups.

A recording of a speech he recently delivered at a private meeting revealed he warned the top of the party wields a “profound dead hand at the centre” which blocks reforming initiatives.

It also captured Mr Cruddas attacking recently-announced Labour plans to cut Jobseeker's Allowance for 18 to 21-year-olds as "punitive".

Mr Balls said: “Jon Cruddas, with me and Ed [Miliband] and others, has been working for months, years, on big reforms. They are going to come out in the next few months, people will see the policy review he has led has been a big deal.””

But the Tory chairman Grant Shapps said: “These comments prove that Ed Miliband is a weak leader of a divided party. He’s just not up to it. Labour are not serious about fixing the welfare system."

“Even Ed Miliband's own policy chief attacks Labour as having 'no interesting ideas'. It shows Ed Miliband has no plan to secure our country's future.”