The Staggers 14 January 2012 Ed Balls makes concessions on austerity and pay restraint The shadow chancellor has endorsed Osborne's public sector pay freeze and said that Labour would not Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Ed Balls has made a round of media appearances today, giving interviews to both the Guardian and Today programme to talk about the economy. In a calculated push to burnish Labour's economic credibility, he made two key concessions: admitting that Labour will not fight public sector pay freezes in this parliament, and that a future Labour government would not reverse coalition cuts it inherited. Here are the killer quotes. On pay: It is now inevitable that public sector pay restraint will have to continue through this parliament. Labour cannot duck that reality and won't. There is no way we should be arguing for higher pay when the choice is between higher pay and bringing unemployment down.I know there will be some people in the trade union movement and the Labour party who will think of course Labour has got to oppose that pay restraint in 2014 and 2015. That is something we cannot do, should not do and will not do. And on the cuts: My starting point is, I am afraid, we are going to have keep all these cuts. There is a big squeeze happening on budgets across the piece. The squeeze on defence spending, for instance, is £15bn by 2015. We are going to have to start from that being the baseline. At this stage, we can make no commitments to reverse any of that, on spending or on tax. So I am being absolutely clear about that. Balls also backed his party leader, saying: "The more the Conservative party becomes worried about the state of the economy, the more intense their focus on Ed Miliband will become." › Morning Call: pick of the papers Helen Lewis is a former deputy editor of the New Statesman, who is now a staff writer on the Atlantic. Her history of feminism, Difficult Women, will be published in February 2020. Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!