Labour wants to force a vote on the Charter for Budget Responsibility

James Nickerson
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The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 2
McDonnell said Britain is being put on hold by the Tories (Source: Getty)

The Labour Party is hoping to push the government to throw out the Charter for Budget Responsibility.

During an opposition day debate in the House of Commons later today, Labour will call on the government to drop their "now discredited" fiscal charter, requiring the government to reach a budget surplus by 2019/20.

The motion is: "That this House calls on the government to repeal the Charter for Budget Responsibility: autumn 2015 update which was laid before this House on 12 October, and to bring forward an alternative to lay before the House at the earliest opportunity which provides the basis for stabilising our economy and provide long term investment for growth."

Read more: Parliament votes to pass the fiscal charter as Labour MPs abstain and defy shadow chancellor

Speaking ahead of the debate, which will take place after Prime Minister's Questions, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said:

“The Tories want to pretend to the British people that just because they had a change of chancellor that they have had a change of policy, but the truth is that George Osborne’s failed economic plan is carrying on under Philip Hammond.

If this is not the case then he can join with Labour in voting against the planned cuts to investment spending and in-work benefits that his predecessor announced in the Budget built on failure back in March.

Philip Hammond cannot keep saying he is waiting till the end of the year because the government he was part of didn’t plan for the fallout of Brexit from a referendum that they called.

“Britain is being placed on hold by the Tories, as there are families and businesses around our country who are planning ahead now, who cannot wait for the chancellor to finally make up his mind up.”

Read more: McDonnell outlines Labour's economic response to Brexit

The charter for budget responsibility, which was first introduced in parliament over the summer, will require the government to balance its books by 2019. From then on, all governments will have to run an overall budget surplus unless the country veers from “normal” conditions.

But Conservative MP Chris Philp, who sits on the Treasury Select Committee, told City A.M. the government should get the deficit down. "Fiscal responsibility is the bedrock of a sustainable recovery," he said.

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