George Osborne and Ed Balls trade pre-Budget blows

 
Ed Balls and George Osborne Ed Balls and George Osborne appeared on the Andrew Marr Show three days ahead of the Budget

Related Stories

Chancellor George Osborne and shadow chancellor Ed Balls have set out their competing messages ahead of the Budget on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show.

Mr Osborne said the coalition's welfare reforms were "one of the most progressive things that any government has ever done".

He also revealed that the Help to Buy scheme for newly built homes would be extended to 2020.

But Mr Balls accused him of failing to stem the UK's "cost of living crisis".

The chancellor said: "I'm a low tax Conservative. I want hard-working people on all incomes to keep more of their income tax free."

'Perverse incentives'

His priority had been to increase the personal allowance on which no income tax is paid, he said.

This had taken the lowest paid two million workers out of tax altogether - but also helped those on higher incomes, he added.

Start Quote

There was nothing that could have been done pre-crisis to raise taxes or to cut spending which would have made any difference”

End Quote Ed Balls Shadow chancellor

Mr Osborne also said he had frozen fuel duty "year after year" and had "helped to keep council tax frozen".

He continued: "We had a welfare system that not only we couldn't afford but also we had these very perverse incentives that made it better for some people to stay out of work than be in work.

"We're changing all of that, and the reforms that Iain Duncan Smith and myself have brought in are one of the most progressive things that any government has ever done."

The chancellor also said the government's Help to Buy scheme had "helped people into homes, and... helped build new homes".

"I want to extend the help to buy scheme for newly built houses - it was going to end in 2016; we are now going to extend it for the rest of the decade," he said.

"That will mean 120,000 new homes."

George Osborne said the government's initial plan was to build 15,000 new homes in Ebbsfleet

He also announced plans to build a new garden city in Ebbsfleet.

But Mr Balls said the government was not investing enough in affordable homes and had presided over the "lowest level of house-building since the 1920s".

"If you boost demand with Help to Buy and don't do enough on supply, the price goes up, it's harder to get into the housing market, the economy becomes more unbalanced and the cost of living crisis gets deeper," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics.

Bank levy

Earlier, on the Andrew Marr Show, he had said the chancellor was "only ever tough when he is having a go at the weak and the voiceless".

By contrast, he argued, Labour would "take away the winter allowance from the richest pensioners", "re-introduce the 50p tax rate on incomes over £150,000" and impose a "mansion tax" on properties worth more than £2m.

A future Labour government would also use a bank levy "to pay for more childcare for working parents", bring back the 10p income tax rate, and abolish the "unfair and perverse marriage tax break, which George Osborne has given only to a third of married couples".

"These things are all paid for. I am not making any spending commitments which we can't say how we'll pay for them," he said.

Labour's proposed spending is all "paid for and costed", says shadow chancellor Ed Balls, and highest earners will pay more tax

The shadow chancellor also defended the previous Labour government's record in office on public spending.

"There was a global financial crisis," he said.

"At that point, we had the lowest level of national debt of any big country and George Osborne, the Conservative shadow chancellor, had matched Labour's level of public spending.

"Am I going to apologise for the level of public spending that George Osborne, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown agreed on in 2007? Absolutely not.

"What we did on the NHS was hugely important, the national minimum wage, not joining the euro.

"The economics of this is that we had a very low deficit [and] low national debt before the crisis. What happened was a collapse in tax revenues because of the crisis.

More on Budget 2014

"There was nothing that could have been done pre-crisis to raise taxes or to cut spending which would have made any difference."

The two MPs also took to the Sunday tabloids to set out their policies.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday, Mr Osborne pledged to build what he called a "resilient economy".

But Mr Balls, in the Sunday Mirror, said millions of people were not feeling any benefit from economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander also hailed rises in the personal tax allowance.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: "I made it clear at our spring conference last week that further rises would be a top priority for our party in any negotiations that might be required should the British people deliver a hung parliament.

"We aspire to raise it substantially to £12,500."

He also said the Lib Dems were committed to sticking to the plan to eradicate the deficit and get the nation's finances on a firm footing by 2018-19.

"That means that there is a period of further deficit reduction required after the next General Election."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 693.

    @677. toorie
    but don't forget......there is a Indepedence Election first, in Scotand on Sept 18th
    What will Osborne and Balls do if Scotland says YES! ?
    This would certainly throw a spanner in the works for the House of Commons
    They'll have to think again.

    ----

    Another good reason for Scotland to say YES, and I'm an Englishman.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 692.

    DON'T VOTE

    Imagine if only 10% of British people voted in a general election.

    Then there would be change.

    You know full well that whoever you vote for, will just take your vote ... and laugh in your face.

    Time for a Crimean-sized change.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 691.

    @685
    Property did not devalue sufficiently during the crash of 2008 onwards due to the smoke and mirrors of zero interest rates , the real rebalancing will be done at the next crash when those rates are already low and nothing will be able to stop it, any rate rises between now and then will also crash it, you cant keep inflating a market whilst wages lag behind, something has to give in the end.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 690.

    Good to see "back to basics": as partners

    hostile@17 "let's not spend more than we earn" together with 'let's not spend less than we earn', excellent sentiments given allowance for "common-sense", maintenance of circulation, maximisation of value, coping with inevitable swings around 'balance' (in modest personal savings, & in sensible levels of carry-forward, credit & debt, at accounting points)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 689.

    "Most politicians are in it to get as much for themselves as they can."

    As if the rest of us are any better. Self preservation is in our nature.

  • Comment number 688.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 687.

    Ed Balls: "There was nothing that could have been done pre-crisis to raise taxes or to cut spending which would have made any difference."

    Well I've heard it all now.

    Some Labour poiticians have said they made "some mistakes" but Ed it seems is in complete denial.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 686.

    All I can say is God help us if Ed Balls is ever Chancellor! I think Osborne has got a lot of good ideas. He can only do what he can with what he has got. The only thing I would change is the billions we give away in aid. We can't afford it at the moment, we need that money at home.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 685.

    673. paul bad
    Ah Paul but it’s not a housing bubble is it, because it’s an investment bubble, we don’t live in houses anymore we live in investments, it’s such a good scheme that home ownership (the Tory dream) is going down, so lots of rents for landlords to collect many in the form of benefits.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 684.

    Why not put put all tax on goods and property and get rid of income tax, the more you earn the more you spend the more you are taxed.
    Also you have computers buying and selling shares in seconds using maths way above an average investor, if you buy shares you should have to keep them for at least one week.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 683.

    Why do Labour politicians insist on calling it the Mansion tax when they know that the majority of payers from London and the southeast live in flats and terraced houses? Rhetorical question..
    I purchased my house 35 years ago and will be forced to sell. I am not a fat cat I dedicated most of my working life to public service in a relatively low paid job.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 682.

    We need fewer MPs, 300 would do for England, who are in effect part time, people immersed in the real world, in real jobs. New parties, or old parties radically changed, would naturally emerge to serve real needs. Then a second elected chamber of around 100 or less 'senators', or equivalent. The phrase 'political elite' sums up the error of our times. We need politics of, for and by the people.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 681.

    @544. confusedtaxpayer

    the way they are going the starting rate and the 40% rate thresholds shoud meet soon, so you will either pay nothing or 40%, maybe that what they acually want.

    --

    Yes, they want the majority to be squeezed into a small band either side of the median income bracket as that is the only way the state will ever eliminate relative poverty as it is currently measured.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 680.

    I wouldn't trust Balls and Millipied to push an empty pram. It was these 2 who created your current mess.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 679.

    Two politically bald men fighting over an economic comb.

    At least the Labour wanna be had the guts to name himself after his policies.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 678.

    So, Osborne & Balls ... in their hands lie our economic future ... all I can say is God help us !!

    To add insult to injury, their biggest achievements include steaming ahead with a staggeringly expensive rail line most people don't want (and couldn't afford to use anyway) and outsourcing our energy generation to Asia.

    At least we're all in this together hey boys ... if only.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 677.

    669. johnboy99 "Roll on 2015 and the next election, you will be getting such a boot up you know where"
    but don't forget......there is a Indepedence Election first, in Scotand on Sept 18th
    What will Osborne and Balls do if Scotland says YES! ?
    This would certainly throw a spanner in the works for the House of Commons
    They'll have to think again.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 676.

    Good to see some thinking!

    Hamish Cameron @571,584
    Listen to David Davies on Tony Benn

    An honest politician telling no protection with even a Labour Cabinet

    Labour or Tory, we need our leaders to set the people free, as equal partners all enabled defend ourselves and each other, to have rational trust in each other, and so to advance 'in it together'

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 675.

    No666, jgm2'

    'only a fool'

    Only a fool thinks MPs 'run' a free market economy.

    The ruling class love idiots.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 674.

    The hectoring, 'ignore the facts', 'kick 'em' Tories are out in force on here today.

    The truth is that mainstream politicians argue over very little.

    The only real difference is that the Tories protect the rich & kick the poor, while Labour protects the poor from penury.

    Because they have to justify protecting the poor with taxes from the richer, Labour have to be the more professional.

 

Page 3 of 37

 

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    23:17: Fracking rebel

    Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt says it was "with regret" that she resigned as a parliamentary aide to Business Secretary Vince Cable - but she was unwilling to compromise her opposition to fracking and voted against the government yesterday. The MP, whose constituency is in Somerset, said she would "continue to campaign vocally against fracking".

     
  2.  
    @BBCNews 23:15: Tomorrow's papers BBC News UK

    tweets: Times: "Labour NHS strategy will bring 'poll catastrophe'" #BBCPapers #tomorrowspaperstoday (via @hendopolis)

    Tomorrow's Times front page
     
  3.  
    @BBCNews 22:59: Tomorrow's papers BBC News UK

    tweets: Daily Mail: "Net porn fuels horror crimes, says our top judge" #BBCPapers #tomorrowspaperstoday (via @hendopolis)

    Tomorrow's Mail front page
     
  4.  
    22:55: Today in Parliament, 23:30 BBC Radio 4
    Palace of Westminster

    Join the BBC's Today in Parliament team tonight at 23:30 on Radio 4 for the highlights from the Palace of Westminster today.

    On the programme: George Osborne and Ed Balls clash at Treasury questions; Ian Paisley Jr. asks for clarification on the On The Runs scheme; and the Scottish Affairs committee asks witnesses why City Link went into administration.

     
  5.  
    22:53: 'Alien ideology'
    Andy Burnham and Kirsty Wark on Newsnight

    Andy Burnham tells Kirsty Wark on BBC Newsnight: "The Health and Social Care Act 2012 - the coalition's reform that nobody gave them permission to bring forward - has put an alien ideology at the heart of the NHS."

     
  6.  
    @BBCNews 22:48: Tomorrow's papers BBC News UK

    tweets: Wednesday's Guardian: "Europe's great plane data grab" #BBCPapers #tomorrowspaperstoday via @hendopolis

    Tomorrow's Guardian
     
  7.  
    22:44: NHS out-sourcing
    Andy Burnham

    On BBC Newsnight, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham is being pressed to say how much out-sourcing of NHS care Labour would like to see. He says "there isn't a right percentage"; that there is a "supporting role" for the private and voluntary sectors, but the preferred provider is the NHS.

     
  8.  
    @BBCNews 22:25: Tomorrow's papers BBC News UK

    tweets: Wednesday's FT: "UK grows at fastest pace since crisis" #BBCPapers #tomorrowspaperstoday via @hendopolis

    Tomorrow's FT
     
  9.  
    @hendopolis 22:18: Tomorrow's papers Neil Henderson BBC News

    tweets: TELEGRAPH: Labour election chaos over NHS #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

    Tomorrow's Telegraph
     
  10.  
    22:07: 100 days
    Ballot box

    A quick recap - with 100 days to the election, Labour and the Conservative Party have set out their stalls. Ed Miliband gave a speech in Manchester on Labour's "10-year plan" for the NHS - which pledges new checks to identify people at risk of needing a hospital stay and the recruitment of 5,000 new home carers. Meanwhile, David Cameron outlined plans to cut the benefits cap - from £26,000 to £23,000 - to pay for more apprenticeships. In an online advert, the Liberal Democrats suggested without them, the two main parties would either take Britain down a path of "harsher cuts" or "reckless borrowing".

     
  11.  
    21:45: BBC Newsnight, BBC Two, 22:30
    Evan Davis and Newsnight background

    Tonight on @BBCNewsnight: Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, Holocaust Memorial Day, the fall-out from the Greek elections and continuing hostilities in Ukraine.

     
  12.  
    21:33: United Kingdom? The Daily Telegraph
    British flags

    Iain Martin at the Daily Telegraph writes that the Conservatives would "be crazy" not to campaign on a theme of Scotland potentially "stitching up" England in May - with the SNP propping up a new Labour government.

     
  13.  
    21:18: Green supporters
    Natalie Bennett

    The Green Party says membership in England and Wales passed the 50,000 mark this morning. The party leader Natalie Bennett says today is a day of opportunity: "It marks the start of a countdown to one of the most competitive and unpredictable elections in living memory."

     
  14.  
    21:08: Caught out BBC Sport
    Stuart Broad

    England fast bowler Stuart Broad has apologised after making comments about the UK minimum wage on Twitter. The 28-year-old tweeted: "I've heard if you earn minimum wage in England you're in the top 10% earners in the world. #stay #humble."

    Broad, who is in Australia on England duty, deleted the message after angry replies from some Twitter users. He then posted: "No offence meant and sorry if any taken. The hashtag was aimed at myself." Read the full story at BBC Sport.

     
  15.  
    21:02: Green economics The Guardian
    Natalie Bennett

    The Guardian reports that the leading advocate of the Green Party's flagship economic policy of a £72 a week "citizen's income" - the Citizen's Income Trust - has acknowledged introducing the scheme "would mean 35.15% of households would be losers, with many of the biggest losers among the poorest households".

     
  16.  
    20:52: Lib Dem MP

    Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt has quit as an aide to Business Secretary Vince Cable, after voting against the government on fracking.

     
  17.  
    20:43: Strike suspended
    Unison flags

    Unison has suspended a planned strike for its NHS members in England which was scheduled for 29 January.

     
  18.  
    20:29: Cable aide quits
    Tessa Munt

    The Press Association is reporting that a Liberal Democrat MP has quit as parliamentary aide to Business Secretary Vince Cable after voting against the government on fracking. Tessa Munt, the MP for Wells, at first said she planned to stay in her role, despite backing a rebel amendment calling for a suspension of fracking.

     
  19.  
    20:27: Economic inequality The Guardian
    Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

    The Guardian's political columnist Rafael Behr argues that Ed Miliband has not provided a successful plan to deal with economic inequality - "and neither global capitalism nor the general election are going to wait for him".

     
  20.  
    20:08: TV debates ITV News

    A ComRes poll for ITV News suggests 64% of voters think the TV debates should go ahead - even if the Prime Minister refuses to take part. David Cameron says more smaller parties should be involved. 2,000 people were interviewed for the poll over the weekend.

     
  21.  
    19:57: Fracking rebel

    A Liberal Democrat MP has kept her job as parliamentary aide to Business Secretary Vince Cable, despite defying the party whips and voting against the government in yesterday's Commons vote on fracking, reports Gavin Cordon of the Press Association.

    Tessa Munt, the MP for Wells, said she voted for a rebel amendment calling for a moratorium on the controversial extraction technique "on principle".

    Gavin Corden writes: "As a parliamentary private secretary, she could normally be expected to resign - or face the sack - for voting against the government in breach of ministerial collective responsibility."

     
  22.  
    @ftwestminster 19:42: University tuition fees

    tweets: Universities warn Labour on fee cut plan http://on.ft.com/1zUJJ3F

     
  23.  
    19:29: BBC analysis

    Get the expert analysis behind the election pledges. The BBC's Health Editor Hugh Pym blogs on Labour, the NHS and social care integration and the editor of the BBC's Political Research Unit David Cowling explains why this general election is impossible to call.

     
  24.  
    19:06: White Dee's voting intentions LBC
    'White Dee', Deirdre  Kelly

    A star of Channel 4's Benefits Street, White Dee (a.k.a. Deirdre Kelly), has told LBC's Iain Dale she will be voting Labour in the general election because of her support for a local Labour activist, Sharon Thompson.

    "She just seems so in touch with the issues of the real people and she's the only one that seems to be talking sense round here at the moment," said Ms Kelly.

     
  25.  
    @VickiYoung01 18:55: Vicki Young, BBC News chief political correspondent

    tweets: Excitement mounting in the office in anticipation of @BBCJLandale appearance on The One Show - he'll be doing impersonations...

     
  26.  
    @mehdirhasan 18:49: Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post UK political director

    tweets: According to ComRes, majority of public want Cameron to be PM but majority of then want Labour to get a majority. Gotta love the public (!)

     
  27.  
    18:40: Electioneering James Landale Deputy Political Editor, BBC News

    The BBC's deputy political editor James Landale says that with 100 days to go, the parties have been trying to establish the question that will be in the minds of voters when they finally go to the polls on 7 May. The Conservatives want the focus to be on the economy, while Labour want it to be on the NHS. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, want people to think neither of the two main parties can be trusted with a majority government.

     
  28.  
    18:25: ComRes poll ITV News
    10 Downing Street

    A new ComRes poll conducted for ITV News suggests that, in a direct head-to-head, 55% of voters would prefer David Cameron as prime minister after the election, with 45% opting for Ed Miliband.

    The poll also suggests that Labour is the party people trust most with the NHS, while UKIP is the party most trusted to control immigration.

    A full breakdown of the results can be found here.

     
  29.  
    18:02: Coalition or minority government? Channel 4

    Gary Gibbon, political editor of Channel 4 News, advises against automatically assuming that a party which wins the most seats in May - but is without a majority - would prefer a coalition to a confidence-and-supply arrangement.

     
  30.  
    17:52: Remembering the Holocaust
    Philip Hammond

    Honouring Holocaust Memorial Day today, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tells BBC News that there "clearly has been a rise in anti-Semitic activity across Europe and beyond, and we are absolutely determined to stamp that out".

    He said that education was the key to preventing anti-Semitism, but that if the government reads "the danger signs", it "should act quickly, swiftly and decisively" to make sure such opinions don't take root.

     
  31.  
    17:48: Packing rebellion? - update The Daily Telegraph

    Christopher Hope, the Daily Telegraph's senior political correspondent, reveals that the number of Conservative MPs likely to rebel in a vote over the government's plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes is close to 100. He claims the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has attempted to justify the measure to fellow Conservatives by saying "we were under pressure from Labour to do it".

     
  32.  
    17:39: TV debate row
    Sinn Fein leadership

    Sinn Fein says it is consulting lawyers over the plans for general election TV debates that do not include the party, the BBC's Chris Buckler reports. The Democratic Unionist Party has already said it will consider legal action if the broadcasters do not change their proposals to include the DUP.

    Sinn Fein currently has five Members of Parliament, who in accordance with party's abstentionist policy do not take their seats in the House of Commons.

     
  33.  
    17:30: Afghanistan Jonathan Beale Defence correspondent, BBC News
    British military vehicles

    David Cameron is expected to announce plans to hold a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan and to recognise the contribution of all those who served there. The prime minister is expected to give details of the memorial and thanksgiving service tomorrow. The BBC understands the service will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in March.

     
  34.  
    17:24: Post-election scenarios Carole Walker Political correspondent, BBC News
    David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg

    Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has denied civil servants are gaming post-election scenarios, but he told the Public Administration Committee they were preparing for several possible outcomes of the general election.

    He said he had called in his predecessor Gus O'Donnell to talk to permanent secretaries about the last election and civil servants were preparing for possible scenarios by making sure they understood the parties' manifestos and priorities.

    He said the civil service role in coalition negotiations would be very small. It would stay out of any coalition discussions but would be on hand to answer questions or provide logistical support.

     
  35.  
    17:08: Health strike

    Within the past few minutes, the biggest health union, Unison, has suspended plans for a twelve-hour strike in England on Thursday. The Royal College of Midwives has also confirmed it will suspend a walkout over pay.

     
  36.  
    17:08: Fracking fallout
    Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas voted - in vain - for a moratorium on fracking

    Yesterday the House of Commons overwhelmingly rejected a moratorium on fracking, by 308 votes to 52, with most Labour MPs abstaining. You can find a list of those MPs who voted in favour of a moratorium here.

     
  37.  
    @VickiYoung01 17:04: Vicki Young, BBC chief political correspondent

    tweets: The NHS is "at a crossroads" says @andyburnhammp. Coming up on @BBCNews #GE2015

     
  38.  
    16:56: Chilcot delays Carole Walker Political correspondent, BBC News
    Jeremy Heywood

    Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has denied he was responsible for delays in the publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war and said the enquiry has received every government document it asked for. Earlier this month, Sir John Chilcot said the report would not be published until after the election.

    Sir Jeremy told the Public Administration Committee there had been disagreements between government departments and the enquiry on whether certain very sensitive documents - the publication of which would never previously have been contemplated - should be published.

     
  39.  
    16:47: Pensioners' benefits Robert Peston Economics editor

    Asked about David Cameron's comments on pensioners' benefits earlier today, Chancellor George Osborne would not be drawn in to making a firm pledge. But he said: "We will make commitments closer to the election - the Prime Minister said that on the radio this morning.

    "Some of the big savings that people claim you could find are not there, but if people are asking the bigger question 'do we stand behind people who save?' Absolutely."

     
  40.  
    16:36: 'On the Runs' House of Lords Parliament
    Gerry Adams and Tony Blair

    Meanwhile, in Parliament, Ulster Unionist peer Lord Empey has asked for confirmation that no "blank" On the Run letters were given to Sinn Fein, to allow them to decide who should receive them.

    Baroness Randerson says she can only tell the House that once this government identified the scheme, they brought it to an end.

    Earlier in the Commons the DUP MP Ian Paisley repeated calls for the government to publish a list of the names of people who received On the Run letters. Have a look at the BBC's guide to the issue here.

     
  41.  
    16:24: Packaging rebellion? The Spectator
    Cigarette packets

    The Spectator's assistant editor Isabel Hardman writes that around 80 Conservatives are considering voting against the government's proposal to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes.

     
  42.  
    @ChrisMasonBBC 16:12: Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Sir John Chilcot to give evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on February 4 about his delayed report into the Iraq war

     
  43.  
    16:09: 1974 once more
    Ted Heath

    Over at the main page on BBC Politics Online, Julia Langdon explores some of the "uncanny parallels" between the 1974 and 2015 elections.

     
  44.  
    15:58: Look east Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England
    Kings College, Cambridge and Clare College, Cambridge

    Deborah McGurran, the BBC's political editor for the East of England, looks at how that region can expect to shape the national result in May - and how the parties will campaign for 14 key marginal seats in the area.

     
  45.  
    @rosschawkins 15:40: Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Burnham says ambulance service should work "from a default presumption of treatment at home, not hospital" if that's safe.

     
  46.  
    15:35: 'Pandering to UKIP agenda' Buzzfeed

    Labour MP David Lammy tells BuzzFeed that people in his constituency of Tottenham have contacted him to complain about a new Labour leaflet on immigration they received. The leaflet says Labour will stop people claiming benefits until they've lived in the UK for two years, and mentions frontline staff in public services who can't speak English. Mr Lammy said: "It feels like pandering to me to an agenda set by UKIP. You can't close the door on the world."

     
  47.  
    @ChrisMasonBBC 15:31: Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Embargoed until 0001 Wed 28th January: 99 days to go #ge2015

     
  48.  
    15:20: UKIP after Farage The Huffington Post
    Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage

    Asa Bennett at The Huffington Post talks to UKIP insiders about how the party might fare if Nigel Farage steps down as leader - and hears a rather unsympathetic view of Douglas Carswell from UKIP founder Alan Sked.

     
  49.  
    15:11: Live from Westminster
    Palace of Westminster

    The BBC's Democracy Live team continue to bring you live updates of all the debate and discussion in Parliament today. Earlier this afternoon MPs questioned Treasury ministers, while the Lords are focusing on pension schemes.

     
  50.  
    @bbcnickrobinson 15:03: Nick Robinson, Political Editor, BBC News

    tweets: So is Cameron agreeing to or killing TV debates. My blog

     
  51.  
    15:00: The final 100 days - previous trends
    Harold Wilson, Robin Day and Richard Dimbleby

    May2015.com looks at the final 100 days before each of the last eight elections, to see if any trends emerge that will buoy - or worry - the current party leaders. Two to whet your appetite: support for Labour tends to decrease over the period, while support for "a third party" tends to grow.

     
  52.  
    14:53: 'Snoopers' Charter'? House of Lords Parliament
    Lord Paddick

    The Communications Data Bill - known at the Snoopers' Charter to its critics - was effectively blocked by Nick Clegg in 2013. On Monday, four Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem peers tried to revive it in the House of Lords, claiming its powers were crucial to help security services keep the UK safe from terrorism.

    A former Conservative defence secretary, former Metropolitan Police commissioner, former Labour defence minister and a Liberal Democrat peer were behind the amendment to the Counter Terrorism Bill. You can watch the arguments here.

     
  53.  
    14:47: Clegg: 'The right balance'

    Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg says his party is going to do "much, much better" than pollsters and critics have predicted.

    In a TV interview, Mr Clegg criticised both the Conservatives and Labour, saying: "You've got the Conservatives haring off to the right now, saying they are going to cut, cut, cut, way beyond what's necessary. You've got Labour saying they are going to borrow more money than is necessary. We, the Liberal Democrats, will cut less than the Conservatives, borrow less than Labour, because that's the way you get the right balance - you create a stronger economy and a fairer society."

    Two polls published overnight gave the Liberal Democrats 7% or 8% of the vote.

     
  54.  
    14:45: Housing benefit Daily Politics
    Dr Sarah Wollaston

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston says she does not support her party's policy on withdrawing housing benefit for young people. Challenged by Lord Ashdown, she says: "That is a policy that I don't actually support", adding that MPs of all parties had policies they did not agree with. You can watch the full exchange here.

     
  55.  
    14:40: 'Sense of powerlessness' The Independent

    The Independent's chief political commentator Steve Richards thinks the forthcoming UK election will be very different from the recent Greek vote, with one exception - "the voters' sense of powerlessness in the face of distant forces".

     
  56.  
    14:29: Voting priorities The Daily Telegraph

    James Kirkup writes that if the parties continue to hammer one another on just the economy and the NHS, they risk alienating some voters for whom there are more important issues.

     
  57.  
    14:25: 100 things you should know about the general election The Guardian
    Andy Burnham

    Guardian writers share 100 things you should think about before polling day, from the marginal constituencies worth watching to whether shadow health secretary Andy Burnham's eyelashes can set voters' "hearts aflutter".

     
  58.  
    14:16: TV debates

    The latest TV election debate format proposed by the broadcasters would see two debates hosted by BBC and ITV featuring the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. David Cameron said on Breakfast a "deal could be done" if the Northern Ireland parties were included in the broadcasters' line-ups. Imagine having to chair that?

    L-R: Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru), Nigel Farage (Ukip), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), David Cameron (Conservative), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat), Ed Miliband (Labour).
     
  59.  
    14:10: 'Nasty party?' The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Conservative peer Baroness Wheatcroft tells The World at One the Conservatives need to be careful about what message the party sends out. "There is only one nasty party and it's a very nasty party and it's called UKIP," she says. The Conservative Party must get its tone right and "needs to appear kind and caring and not at all nasty", she adds.

     
  60.  
    14:10: Sheffield Hallam The World at One BBC Radio 4

    It's worth keeping an eye on Sheffield Hallam (Nick Clegg's seat), which has a three in five chance in retaining the Lib Dem seat at the moment, Mr Hanretty adds. Labour is in second place, and has a chance of "decapitating" the Lib Dems.

     
  61.  
    13:52: 'Hung territory' The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Mr Hanretty goes on to say that if the country had an election today, he would expect Labour to get 300 seats - "which is short of 326 magic number and would leave us in hung parliament territory". There are 650 seats up for grabs, which means 326 seats are needed to win an overall majority.

     
  62.  
    13:52: 'Slender' lead The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Chris Hanretty, a reader in politics at the University of East Anglia and co-founder of the website election.forecast.co.uk, says a poll of polls suggests Labour has a "slender" - 1% or 2% - lead in the polls now, but that is well within the margin of error. Mr Hanretty says that means Labour is "comfortably" ahead on seats, because the Labour vote is more efficiently distributed between constituencies.

     
  63.  
    13:44: Archive treat No 99: The swingometer's debut Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online
    Bob McKenzie introduces the swingometer

    On a day when we've just launched our whizziest-ever poll tracker - here's a reminder of how things have changed since 1959. Richard Dimbleby introduces Bob McKenzie who explains the "vast scoreboard" (which looks suspiciously like it's a cricket scoreboard borrowed from Lords) and then demonstrates the newest visual aid at his disposal - the swingometer, which was making its national television debut.

    Each day from now until 7 May we'll be bringing you a classic election clip from the BBC archives. We've already selected a fair few but do feel free to suggest some via email at alex.hunt@bbc.co.uk or via Twitter @ialexhunt

     
  64.  
    13:34: 'NHS anxiety' The World at One BBC Radio 4 Presented by Martha Kearney

    Ipsos Mori's Ben Page tells the programme there is no sign that any rise of anxiety over the NHS is leading to rise in votes - it doesn't seem to be cutting through to the wider public.

     
  65.  
    13:30: 'Real reform' The World at One BBC Radio 4

    Shadow care minister Liz Kendall tells the World at One that Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has been very clear that the NHS needs reforms. She says it would take a "series of complex things" and "real reform" to make the changes to social care that Labour is proposing.

     
  66.  
    13:16: Can NHS and social care be combined? Nick Triggle Health correspondent

    The problem facing the NHS is clear for all to see. Over the last 60 years the focus has shifted from curing illness, such as infectious diseases, to managing long-term illnesses, like dementia, for which there are no cures. That requires much more joined-up working in the community to keep people well, particularly supporting them in their own homes. To achieve that Labour is talking about "resetting" the NHS and creating joint budgets with England's councils, which are in charge of care services. It has echoes of what has already been done in Northern Ireland and is being rolled out in Scotland. But the challenge is that people pay for their care - many the whole bill. How that system can be combined with the free-at-the-point-of-need NHS is a major challenge.

     
  67.  
    13:03: Breaking News The World at One BBC Radio 4

    From BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith: The former Labour health secretary Alan Milburn has criticised Labour's focus on the NHS as a "comfort zone campaign" and warned the party was ill-prepared to carry out the necessary reforms to the NHS if elected. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World at One he also warned that the party risked the same fate as in the 1992 election which Labour lost. You can listen to the programme by clicking on the Live Coverage tab on this page.

     
  68.  
    12:59: Pensioner benefits Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News, in Sale

    Pensioners have escaped much of the austerity measures under the coalition and David Cameron is hinting that will continue if he wins the election. Both the Liberal Democrats and Labour have said they will cut free bus passes or some winter fuel payments as the spending squeeze continues. Ed Miliband has also outlined plans for an NHS 10 year plan and thousands of new care workers to visit people in their homes. Highlighting what he said was a "creeping privatisation" of the NHS he attacked the large scale privatisation of the utility firms in the 1980s.

     
  69.  
    12:54: Cider workers
    David Cameron and George Osborne

    It's been a busy week of campaigning so far - here's David Cameron and George Osborne at a cider farm in Somerset on Monday.

     
  70.  
    12:38: Ashdown the voiceover Daily Politics
    Daily Politics

    Paddy Ashdown, who is offering his services as a voiceover artist, gets some tips from an expert, Alan Dedicoat, the voice of the National Lottery. It turns out Lord Ashdown did some voiceover work late last year after recording the audio version of his book. But he says he's not planning to do ads - "I'm not about to try and sell soap powder with my voice," he says. He then goes up against Alan - we're not experts but it was pretty clear who the professional was...

     
  71.  
    12:31: Pic: Today's Daily Politics line-up
    Daily Politics

    The guest of the day is Lord Ashdown, After the discussion about the NHS reforms, he is now talking about the "snooper's charter" with Lord West, who was a security minister in the last Labour government. You can watch it live on this page until 1pm, and then catch up with at your leisure - just click the Live Coverage tab.

     
  72.  
    12:25: Coalition NHS reforms "moved too fast" Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown says the coalition NHS reforms "moved too fast". "We tried to be too radical," Lord Ashdown said, adding that reforms were made faster than was "sensible". His made his comments to presenter Jo Coburn during a discussion on the NHS with Labour's Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne and Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston.

     
  73.  
    12:22: Cameron wants early TV debates BBC Radio 2
    The 2010 election

    On election debates, Mr Cameron talks up his desire for them to take place before the campaign starts in early April. While they were "excellent" in 2010, he says they "took the life" out of the campaign and, this time around, he wants them "out of the way" before the campaign starts in earnest. The current plans are for three debates during the official campaign....

     
  74.  
    12:20: 'Intensely reasonable' on immigration BBC Radio 2

    The British public are "intensely reasonable" about the issue of immigration, Mr Cameron says. He does not regret setting a target before the last election of cutting net migration to less than 100,000 a year, as he believes this would make Britain "better and stronger". When presenter Jeremy Vine suggests that immigration and the NHS are not among the Conservatives' six main election themes, Mr Cameron says this is not the case and the broadcaster has been "badly briefed".

     
  75.  
    12:14: Cameron welcomes GDP figures BBC Radio 2

    Reacting to the GDP figures, Mr Cameron says the economy is "moving ahead". While the "job is not done", the prime minister says the recovery is "on the right track".

     
  76.  
    12:12: Miliband attacks privatisation Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News, in Sale

    The Conservative health secretary is "disgusting" and Labour's years in power were "glorious" said one questioner; this was not a tough crowd. Ed Miliband spoke about "creeping privatisation" in the NHS as he outlined Labour's ten year plan to rescue, as he put it, a "precious" health service. Then he went further. He appeared to attack privatisation overall. He said legislation under the coalition made the model for NHS reform the privatisation of utilities in the 1980s; saying "we kind of know where that got us don't we?" He may have meant the electricity providers, firms that he has repeatedly attacked, but he wasn't specific. So he appeared to be condemning what's happened at British Airways, BT and a host of others firms. And for the record he told me he doesn't use private healthcare and has never used private healthcare.

     
  77.  
    12:08: GDP figures over the years
    Chart showing UK GDP since 1990

    The BBC's economy tracker looks at GDP figures since the 1990s.

     
  78.  
    12:07: Cameron on tax BBC Radio 2

    "You can't tax your way to wealth and success," the prime minister tells Jeremy Vine - claiming that this is something Labour "doesn't understand". He also repeats his pledge to make a reduction in the benefits cap "one of the first things" he would do if he wins the next election.

     
  79.  
    12:05: Cameron Vine BBC Radio 2

    David Cameron has been clocking up the media appearances today. He is about to appear on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2.

     
  80.  
    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay 11:57: Get involved

    @notayesmansecon tweets: As the UK's housing boom fades so does its economic growth #GDP #GBP #ukhousing

     
  81.  
    11:45: Rich versus poor Robert Peston Business editor, BBC News

    tweets: And who has paid for the recovery, rich or poor, asks Robert Peston?

     
  82.  
    @leicesterliz 11:37: Liz Kendall, Labour MP

    Labour MP Liz Kendall tweets: Social care workforce neglected and exploited for too long. Zero hours contracts, 15 min visits will never provide quality care #labnhsplan

     
  83.  
    11:37: Osborne on economy BBC News Channel
    Chancellor George Osborne

    Chancellor George Osborne says the latest GDP figures show the recovery of the UK economy is "on track".

     
  84.  
    11:31: Poll tracker

    While we are looking at trackers, how are the parties faring? Compare current ratings from a range of pollsters, and see how parties have performed since 2010 with our interactive poll tracker.

    Poll tracker
     
  85.  
    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk Get involved

    Christine St Claire in UK, emails: A fifteen minute visit is just ludicrous. Of course visits need to be longer. How can anyone get the help they need in such a short time. Well done Ed Miliband, you will get my vote.

     
  86.  
    11:24: Significant slowdown? Robert Peston Business editor, BBC News

    The BBC's economics editor Robert Peston asks: How significant is the slowdown in the British economy, given that the dominant service sector is still booming, but construction is shrinking and manufacturing almost back to flatlining?

     
  87.  
    11:24: GDP figures
    Rolled up sterline notes

    Mr Balls was speaking after ONS figures showed the UK's economy grew by 2.6% last year, the fastest pace since 2007 and up from 1.7% in 2013 - although there was a slowdown in the final three months of 2014.

     
  88.  
    Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk Get involved

    Christine Anderson in UK, emails: Unless carers are paid a decent wage and travel money the proposals won't make any difference

     
  89.  
    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay Get involved

    @carowilb tweets: 100 days until the general election. I'm intrigued to see what Cameron is going to come up with #NHS

     
  90.  
    11:09: Ed Balls on living standards BBC News Channel
    Ed Balls

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls also told the BBC News Channel living standards had been stagnant for too long. "When Conservatives say they have fixed the economy, most people say who for, not for me... if that's Tory success, just think of what failure would look like."

     
  91.  
    11:00: Election pledges
    Ed Miliband David Cameron

    A quick recap - with 100 days to the election, Labour and the Conservative Party are setting out their stalls. Ed Miliband has given a speech on Labour's "10-year plan" for the NHS - which pledges new safety checks to identify people at risk of hospitalisation and recruiting 5,000 new home care - in Manchester. Meanwhile, David Cameron has been outlining plans to cut the benefits cap - from £26,000 to £23,000 - to pay for more apprenticeships.

     
  92.  
    10:50: GDP figures
    Graph showing components of UK GDP

    This is from the BBC's Business Live team: It's worth noting a couple of things from today's GDP figures. The first is that the official estimate is below the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility at the time of the Autumn Statement that economic growth would be 3% in 2014. The second is that while, as the ONS says, there has been widespread growth across all major components of GDP since the start of 2013, the service industries remain the largest and steadiest contributor to economic growth. In fairness to the OBR, it did originally forecast GDP growth for 2014 of 2.7% back in March last year.

     
  93.  
    10:49: Mental health

    Mr Miliband says there is still a stigma with mental health, and the nation has got to find a way to talk about it.

     
  94.  
    @ChrisMasonBBC Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Ed Miliband: "Because of his broken promises, what tuition fees are for Nick Clegg, the NHS has become for David Cameron."

     
  95.  
    10:40: Dementia care

    Ed Miliband is now taking questions from the audience in Trafford, including on his plans for dementia care and the role of pharmacies in the NHS.

     
  96.  
    10:39: Key principle

    A bit more on that speech by Ed Miliband - he said the "key principle" to making the NHS sustainable and successful is investment, so the NHS has "time to care".

     
  97.  
    10:33: Trust

    David Cameron can't be trusted with our NHS, Mr Miliband suggests.

     
  98.  
    10:32: 'Wrong values'

    The Labour leader says David Cameron puts the wrong values at the heart of the NHS and the future of the health service is at stake in the general election. "Let's go out and fight for it." he says.

     
  99.  
    10:30: 'No time to care'

    Mr Miliband says people in their 70s and even 80s are currently waiting hours for ambulances to arrive, getting stuck outside hospital in ambulances because A&E is full, and lying on trolleys in corridors. It is an NHS "without enough time to care", he says.

     
  100.  
    10:29: Two futures of NHS
    Ed Miliband Ed Miliband setting out his plans for the NHS

    The Labour leader says the country faces a choice of two futures - continuing with a Conservative plan, which has led to an "NHS in crisis" and "threatens the service as we know it". Or a Labour plan to "rescue" the NHS, invest in its future and join up services from home to hospital.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ElvisSecret cinema

    Get off the beaten track and explore cinematic history in the Santa Monica Mountains

Programmes

  • A computer generated model of a lift shaftClick Watch

    The future of elevator technology - lifts that can climb up to 1km in the air and even travel sideways

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.