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Fri October 30 2020

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Balls calls for £6bn to be spent building 100,000 homes

31 Aug 10 Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has said an extra 100,000 affordable homes should be constructed at a cost of £6bn to help Britain's housing crisis and create construction jobs.

Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has said an extra 100,000 affordable homes should be constructed at a cost of £6bn to help Britain's housing crisis and create construction jobs.

The shadow schools secretary argued that the Government could find the money after borrowing considerably less than forecast during the 2000-10 financial year.

In an article for the LabourList website, he said: "The public finances are around £12bn healthier than forecast at the time of the budget. The coalition government wants to use the extra money to pay down the deficit faster.

"I think that at a time when the economy is still so fragile and other countries are already tipping back into recession, we should instead use that money to boost construction jobs and build new homes.

“By using half of that £12bn, a £6bn investment this year and next, we could build 100,000 extra affordable homes which it's been estimated would create up to 750,000 new jobs, directly in the construction industry and indirectly in the supply chain including thousands of apprenticeships for young people."

Balls is not expected to win the Labour leadership contest, but is hotly tipped for the role of shadow chancellor.

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