Ed Balls
The Shadow Chancellor said the cut is a good move and will help those on middle and low incomesReuters

Labour supports George Osborne's stamp duty cut for 98% of home buyers in the UK, according to Ed Balls.

The new rules, which came into force last night, mean that home buyers pay no tax on the first £125,000 ($195,951, €159,321) of the property purchase price, 2% on the portion up to £250,000, 5% up to £925,000, 10% up to £1.5m and 12% on everything above that.

"I think the stamp duty move is a good move and we will support it because this is a way we can help people on middle and low incomes who are moving homes paid for at the top," the Shadow Chancellor told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

"We have called for action to have more tax from people from the highest valued properties over £2m for the NHS. George has done a lesser version of that, but we will support that."

But Balls also warned that Osborne could be planning another VAT hike after increasing the levy from 17.5% to 20% in 2010.

In his immediate response to the Autumn Statement in the House of Commons, the Labour front bencher blasted Osborne for "failing" to balance Britain's books.

"Back in 2010, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister pledged to balance the budget by the end of this Parliament and see the national debt falling. Today that promise lies in tatters," the Shadow Chancellor said.

Balls added: "The squeeze on living standards has not only hit family budgets, it has also led to a shortfall in tax revenues.

"The lesson of this Autumn Statement is that a plan to balance the books will only work if it puts good jobs, rising living standards and stronger growth at its heart."

He also said that the government has failed to make millions of people better off as working people, on average, are now £1,600 a year worse off than they were in 2010 and that someone in full-time work is £2,000 a year worse off.