Not only will Labour be unable to reverse the coalition's cuts, it will have to make its own.
Balls's announcement is an attempt to exploit the divide between the Tories and Lib Dems on this issue and to demonstrate his commitment to fiscal discipline.
David Cameron has failed to bring forward the changes which are needed to bring transparency. Labour would develop a robust and effective corporation tax system.
"There is no doubt this policy is driving people to the edge of despair," says the shadow chancellor in response to the case of Stephanie Bottrill.
We just can't leave that infamous tweet alone.
A source tells the NS that the party has not decided whether to match Osborne's post-2015 spending limits and says it would be "irresponsible" to do otherwise.
The centre has not shifted to the left, says Tony Blair. Labour must resist the easy option of tying itself to those forces whose anti-Tory shouts are loudest.
New figures from the party show that 643 bankers earning more than £1m a year will receive an average of £54,000 from the cut in the 50p tax rate.
Balls and Miliband will come under ever greater pressure to say whether Labour will match the coalition's post-election spending plans.
A source suggests that Ed Balls's call for a temporary cut in the basic rate was designed to pre-empt Osborne's Budget rabbit.