Balls: Housing strategy is rather small beer

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls comments on the government's housing policy announced today on the Today programme:

"I think it is a good start. It at last shows recognition from the government that we need action now to get the economy moving and to start building houses, get people into jobs.

"I am afraid it is rather small beer in its scale, it is a £400 million boost, but George Osborne last year announced a £4 billion cut in housing spending, and we have proposed building 25,000 homes this year and next using the bank bonus tax which would be a considerably bigger boost to jobs in the construction sector.

"But at least it starts to show that David Cameron and George Osborne have realised that unless you act to get growth and jobs in our economy you can't get the deficit down and so I think it probably does show that at last the government is starting to shift."