Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls unveils spending cuts and borrowing billions (Photo: Reuters)
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls unveils spending cuts and borrowing billions (Photo: Reuters)

The Labour Party has pledged to borrow billions of pounds and adopt the same day-to-day spending limits that Britain's Chancellor George Osborne has implemented should it come into power in 2015.

Despite years of accusing the Conservative-led coalition with choking Britain's economic recovery with its austerity drive, Labour plans to emulate most of the incumbent government's plans.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls revealed that spending would be cut, but said later in the interview that the door would be open to borrow more, while also implementing same austerity measures.

"We're going to inherit a very difficult situation, a huge deficit, because, as you said, the Chancellor's plan has just not worked to get the deficit down; living standards are falling," said Balls.

"Far from healing, the economy's been flat-lining for three years. And I've said to my shadow cabinet colleagues, there's no point coming along and saying we want to spend more. There's going to be cuts, lower spending, and we will have to find different ways to make different choices to deliver the strong economy in the fair society which Labour stands for in very difficult times."

Labour, which leads the Conservative Party by around 10 points in the polls with the next election due to be held in two years' time, has heavily criticised the government's strict austerity drive to get the economy back on track.

Labour officials claim that Osborne pledged to only borrow £18bn (€21bn, $28bn), but has in fact borrowed £96bn "because the economy has flat lined, living standards are falling". They added that under the current government, the UK has lost £270bn in tax revenues.

However, Balls says that he would adopt Osborne's day-to-day spending limits for 2015-16 if his party wins the election - while also spending £10bn more on capital projects.

"On capital spending, we're saying right now that this year and next year the Chancellor should do a £10bn boost for houses and road building. The International Monetary Fund said borrow £10bn now, in the next two years, to get the economy growing. That might be the right thing to do in two years," said the Morley and Outwood MP.

"Those kind of things [are going] to get the economy growing because if you get more growth, [there will be] more tax revenues coming in, then we'll actually get the deficit down; then we could ease the pressure on spending cuts."

He added in the interview that Labour is 'leaving the door open' to possibly borrow more money in order to spend it on big projects.

"There may well be [more spending] for our long-term infrastructure, but on day to day spending we're going to be very tough," he said.

Over the weekend, Osborne thrashed out how the government will axe £11.5bn in order to reduce the country's budget deficit.

The spending cuts are planned for 2015-16 and are in time for when voters go to the polls for national elections.