The proceeds of selling off 4G mobile phone licences should be used to "kick-start the economy" by building 100,000 affordable homes and funding a tax break for first-time buyers, shadow chancellor Ed Balls will say today.
Balls (right) will use his Labour party conference speech to reinforce his message that Labour cannot pledge to reverse coalition spending cuts if it wins power in 2015 or "promise to put everything right straight away".
The 4G revenue would be sufficient to fund a £500 million two-year stamp duty holiday on homes sold for up to £250,000 and the provision of shared ownership, affordable rent and social rent homes, he will say.
He will say: "In the good times, Labour used every penny of the £22 billion from the sale of the 3G licences to pay off national debt. But in difficult times, we urgently need to put something back into the economy.
"Let's commit that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years: 100,000 new homes — affordable homes to rent and to buy — creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting the construction industry moving again
"Add to that a stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers, and we can deliver real help for people aspiring to get on the property ladder."
The 4G network will provide much faster mobile internet speeds.
Balls, who is under fire from trade unions over his backing of the coalition's public sector pay freeze, will insist a Labour administration would tackle the deficit in a "fairer and more balanced way".
But he will warn delegates: "The longer this government staggers on with a failing economic plan, the worse it will get and the harder the job will be."
Campbell Robb, chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, says: "Successive governments have failed to build the homes that this country needs, leaving behind a generation of people unable to see how they can find a stable, affordable place to live.
"Any proposal to build significant numbers of genuinely affordable new homes will be welcomed by the thousands of people priced out of a home of their own, and by the families struggling each month to keep a roof over their head."