Ed Miliband’s six point plan for Britain – and what it means

In his speech today Miliband will set out his 'six national goals' for the country to achieve in the next 10 years.

Ed Miliband ncrj

In his speech today Miliband will set out his ‘six national goals’ for the country to achieve in the next 10 years

Ed Miliband will need to deliver the speech of his life today. According to the latest YouGov polling, just 15 per cent of people think the Labour leader has ‘provided an effective opposition to government’ – 68 per cent believe he has not.

Just eight months out from a General Election it would be a massive understatement to say that this is worrisome for Labour.

To base any conclusions about this dire state of affairs purely on Miliband’s personality would be to miss the point however. According to the same YouGov polling, just 20 per cent think Ed Miliband has made it clear what he stands for.

Certainly there may be issues around Ed’s ‘charisma’, or apparent lack of it; but the bigger problem appears to be Labour’s lack of a convincing story – the party has plenty of policy offerings, but lacks the glue which binds them together. There isn’t enough of a sense of national renewal in Labour’s offering – unlike 1997, for example.

So in his speech today Miliband will set out his ‘six national goals’ for the country to achieve in the next 10 years.

Giving all young people a shot in life

‘Ensure as many school-leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university.’

This is a hugely ambitious goal, but one which is long overdue. Under the coalition, apprenticeship starts for young people have fallen by more than 11,000. Securing an apprenticeship is now twice as hard as getting a place at university. Labour’s plan not only signals a break from the failing coalition, though – it’s a contrast from more recent Labour governments. Under Labour, university will no longer be seen as the be all and end all, and increased emphasis will be put on things like apprenticeships.

Skilling up the workforce is not only morally just, but will help to ensure that Britain has the skillset to compete in the so-called ‘global race’.

Tackling the cost of living crisis

‘Help working families share fairly in the wealth of our country so, when the economy grows, the wages of everyday working people grow at the same rate.’

Miliband will need to get a bit more specific here. Labour’s critique of the coalition is certainly valid – inflation continues to outstrip wages – the real question is what Labour plans to do about it. Ensuring that the majority of people benefit from growth is also easier said than done. The proposed increase in the minimum wage to £8 an hour is welcome, but is rather conservative – by 2020, when Labour plans to implement the policy, the minimum wage will likely already be close to £8 – even under George Osborne’s plans.

The benefits of growth do need to be shared by all – but Labour must set out in more detail how in government it plans to do that. Policies such as the annual rent increase cap are welcome in this respect.

Restoring the dream of home ownership

‘Meet demand for new homes for the first time in half a century – doubling the number of first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder a year.’

This will, for obvious reasons, require a large house building programme. Plans announced by Ed Balls earlier in the parliament were certainly promising – he pledged that a Labour government would build 200,000 homes a year by 2020.

It is disappointing, then, that only yesterday Ed Balls said that a Labour government would not lift the cap on council borrowing for house building. As the head of the Lyons review Michael Lyons told the Guardian back in June: “In England there is a specific cap on the council Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The overwhelming weight of the evidence that has come to us from public and private bodies, says ‘for goodness sake lift the HRA cap'”.

Tackling low wages

‘Halve the number of people on low pay in our country, changing the lives of over two million people.’

Similar to point two, albeit slightly less challenging. The minimum wage pledge will help, as will Labour’s pledge to outlaw exploitative zero hours contracts by getting rid of the exclusivity clause.

Labour ought also to emphasise the importance of the trade unions, who have a vital role to play in improving pay and condition. The Tories will no doubt attempt to smear Labour if it so much as mentions trade unionism, but Labour must not be bullied – there is plenty of evidence suggesting a link between low wages and the decline in collective bargaining in the West.

Securing the future

‘Create one million more high-tech jobs by securing the UK’s position as is a world leader in green industries.’

If Britain is to keep up with emerging economies such as China and India, Britain needs to invest in the low carbon, green technology of the future. This really is one of the innovative and rapidly emerging growth sectors – Left Foot Forward will look at this in more detail later on today.

Saving out NHS

Build a world-class, 21st century health and care service.’

Classic Labour territory, but hugely important nonetheless. People are starting to notice cracks in the health service – six million people a year are showing up at Accident and Emergency departments because they can’t get a GP appointment, according to a recent study by Imperial College London. According to an investigation by the Sunday Post, 23,000 overnight beds have disappeared from NHS wards over the last four years, leaving patients increasingly vulnerable to local bed shortages.

The Tories are not trusted on the NHS. Labour is. The party needs to capitalise on this by making clear to the public that the NHS may not survive another Tory government. Hopefully Ed Miliband will do that today.

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49 Responses to “Ed Miliband’s six point plan for Britain – and what it means”

  1. treborc1

    It was full of pointless little jokes, he drones he does not speak and he showed no real fire.

    OK he said ten or twelve times hard working people, he hardly spoke about welfare pensioners and sadly I cannot vote for a bloke who does not see injured soldiers or injured workers worth speaking about.

    He told us about two women coming to him in the park it reminded me about his knocking on a disabled person answering the door simply pointless.

    If this speech is to get people going then he failed if it’s to get people to vote for him well the hard working might the pensioners the sick the disabled the unemployed will not.

    Sorry but this was one of the worse speeches from a bloke who has no real aptitude …

  2. wildejamey

    I agree with the general synopsis and about Ed Miliband’s role. Right to point to the failure of Balls to lift the council cap to tackle the housing crisis. This is typical failure to seize an obvious popular move and put it in a real housing narrative. It’s just not realistic to go on about the old,old story of getting on the housing ladder – that is so far beyond the horizon for most young people as to be meaningless – where are the alternatives? a basic missing step. Ditto the low wages – the £8 is pathetic, probably more likely to convince people they are no better than the Tories. Ditto the half measures on restoring employment rights – batting for ordinary people instead of pampered businesses. All this would be a narrative. You really want this man to succeed – the alternative is so dire. But things don’t look good, especially as the Tories have seized on the English home rule con to divert attention and con their core voters back into the fold. Oh, and when oh when is someone going to tell him to drop the jokey asides and “friends” tag – it sounds like an American TV evangelist. Ugh!

  3. Cole

    Nonsense. It was a pretty good speech with lots of excellent content.

  4. Joe Bloggs

    Ed Miliband’s Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, has announced that the floodgates will be open once more to anyone in Europe who wants to live here.
    God save us from these people getting anywhere near the levers of power again.
    Ukip is the only answer to that.

  5. Cole

    Yawn. Not that Ukip rubbish again. Still, they won’t win many (or any) seats in 2015.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    We need University places, AND apprenticeships.
    We need a living wage or basic income, not low rises in the minimum wage.
    We need council housing, not more small scale subsidised house building for richer people.
    We need minimum hour clauses and real protections, not just banning “exclusivity” when they’ll just stop giving you work you if you don’t show up twice because, say, you’re at a second job.
    We need to focus on a rounded economy, not minimum-wage factory jobs
    We need to see real plans for the NHS, not just slogans.

  7. Guest

    Right right, only the UKIP will errect the barriers to trade and movement with Europe, as you call to Satan to rain fire down on the 99%.

  8. Gary Scott

    People just don’t have the respect for Labour that they once did. Shifting beliefs and policies have left voters unsure of what the party stands for. Poor leadership at national level and in Scotland could see the party losing ‘safe’ seats. There is a need for left-wing policies that the party is not satisfying.

  9. Gary Scott

    UKIP are a gift to Labour. They’ll split the Tory vote and in the Labour heartlands they’ll make Labour look left wing, by comparison.

  10. Gary Scott

    Trade and movement within Europe – that reminds me, what is Labour’s position on TTIP? Anyone know?

  11. David Lindsay

    Ed Miliband is not a great speaker. Nor is his brother. But he did all right.

    It was a pity that he did not mention the deficit. He should have pointed out that George Osborne had increased it by more than all Labour Chancellors put together, including Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

    It was a pity that he did not mention immigration. He should have pointed out that that it had increased by a record 38 per cent this year.

    It is not “a core vote strategy” to appeal to support for the NHS. Oh, for a core vote encompassing everyone of that mind. Whatever the BBC might think, those comprise a great deal more than 35 per cent.

    His commitment to carbon-free electricity did not negate his prior commitments to the coal industry and to the NUM, because of how coal is now burned, especially in countries that now do it better than we do, which is rather a lot of them.

    And like Ed Balls, he talked about “devolution to the cities and counties of England”. We are pretty much looking at both the boundaries and the powers of English local government as they existed in 1978.

  12. JoeDM

    He forgot his lines on immigration ! Just shows where that comes in Labour’s priority.

  13. sarntcrip

    UKIP HAS NO ANSWERS FOR ANY OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS THEY WANT TO FLOG OFF THE NHS TO FARAGE’S WEALTHY CITY PALS

  14. sarntcrip

    UKIP BNP ARE EVEN MORE SMALL MINDED AND REGRESSIVE THAN CAMERON’S MOB
    THEY WANT US TURNED INTO THE 51ST STATE OF AMERICA EVEN faster than the tories with all that means for increased poverty and unaffordable healthcare with a big dose of racism thrown in. the labour candidate opposingconukip’s clacton tory spoke extremely well at the labour party conference

  15. sarntcrip

    quite right 2.5 bn is a good start rather than tory privatisation and credit card care

  16. sarntcrip

    on breakfast the presenter interrupted every answer it was clear disruption rather than seeking explanation for the many very sound points made in his speech granted it was never going to please the bullingdon bullies but then they only ever please themselves and their wealthy buddies screw everyone else city spiv farage may have a natty line in billy bull but has zero policies on anything other than blaming everyone else for problems not created by immigrants who contribute far more than they withdraw from our nation the hypocrisy of he and his wealthy friends who routinely use immigrant labour to keep wages down is breathtaking fortunately more people re waking up to the fact that he is just the same as the spivs like schapps in the tory party
    man of the people
    wake up britain he’ll never be that

  17. sarntcrip

    I do agree Gary bt given the alternatives which always favour such a narrow proportion of our society backed upby media either owned by wealthy non dom tories like murdoch on the barcy brothers of a national broadcaster terrified of losing it’s charter and licence income while run and presented by people with 6 figure incomes far above those of 99.9%of it’s viewers this innate bias gives tories an unfair advantage at every election bankrolled as they are by big business and the failed bankers who caused the financial crisis and who’s bonuses for failure have been protected by Os bourne failing to use the veto on bonuses which he holds on behalf of us all as we own the majority of the banks our money bailed outI DO THINK KILLIBAND SHOULD HAVE VBACKED THE ROBINHOOD TAX RATHERTHAN THE MANSION TAX AS A VICTIMLESS WAY OF FUNDING MUCH OF WHAT HE SEEKS TO ACHIEVE
    OPPS CAPS LOCK ERROR SORRY

  18. treborc1

    yes but with out Immigration or the deficit or the economy he said he forgot those, so your comment is because your another of those people who see labour as some heroic party, I see it after ATOS and Blair.

  19. treborc1

    Neither will labour if we have another 2010 you seems to forget what the people did to labour at the last election and what UKIP did to labour at the EU elections

  20. treborc1

    So did labour and labour have said very little about the NHS except give us a mansion tax for England

  21. treborc1

    Totally agree with you, can you point to a party which agrees with us.

  22. treborc1

    2.5 billion for whom do not forget the NHS is devolved and Wales does not get money from central government, it gets it through the Barnet agreement which can also be cut

  23. treborc1

    That is true after New labour what do they expect, after all it was labour that brought us workfare and atos.

  24. Leon Wolfeson

    Yea, that’s kind of the problem.

    One, FPTP kills off any chance of that, which is why voting reform is so critical.

    Two, parties of the left are either determined (like Left Unity) to represent only a narrow slice of the left, or they are local. We basically can’t get past the legacy of the SWP (grr).

    Under PR…radically different rules apply.

  25. Leon Wolfeson

    Current analysis model I’ve seen said 8. That’s up 2 in 3 months.

  26. Guest

    Right. Closing the borders, smashing trade and causing massive poverty is your one and only policy, ever.

  27. Guest

    He should of joined the UKIP on causing hate over immigration, I see.
    And of course you don’t think people care about the NHS.

    Keep talking UKIP policy.

  28. Leon Wolfeson

    Agreed.

    There are millions of left wing voters who basically have nobody to vote for. But Labour would rather shadow-box with the Tories over small numbers of marginal voters between the parties.

    Sigh.

  29. Leon Wolfeson

    So…little to nothing then? The polling tabs show where UKIP is getting it’s support, and very little indeed comes from Labour.

    That isn’t their problem. The problem is they’re losing votes to “not voting”, as they move right.

  30. Leon Wolfeson

    They certainly haven’t opposed it at the UK level. There may be a vote against at the EU level.

  31. The_Average_Joe_UK

    So how does the anticapitalist Labour party loathed and mistrusted by business, who always bankrupt the country drive growth? I didn’t hear it in either Miliband or Balls speech.

    Sounded like a load of guff for the blinkered, who wake up thinking Labour are great.

  32. The_Average_Joe_UK

    With that level of intelligence you should vote Labour.

  33. The_Average_Joe_UK

    Only trouble is everytime Labour goes left in power the country is poorer. The people have long memories.

  34. The_Average_Joe_UK

    From nothing to near 20% in the polls in no time at all. That is real growth. Your so busy believing in the morally bankrupt Labour party that reality is passing you by. The people know Labour have no answers.

  35. The_Average_Joe_UK

    Ask the people of Middleton and Heywood.

  36. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, trying to generate hate using “examples”, where the real cause is extremism, the very sort of thing you so strongly support and encourage.

    I stated plain facts, from polling tabs.

  37. Leon Wolfeson

    Shuffling arround the vote of the right, no more, and nowhere near 20%. But hey, facts!

    You are not “people”, you are one person no matter how many personalities you have, as you say multi-party democracy is “morally bankrupt” and does not reflect the reality you’re after – you oppose even the moderate right in your extremism.

  38. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah yes, the spew that disagreement with your extremist views magically means people have “low intelligence”, a direct call back to eugenics, of course.

  39. Leon Wolfeson

    You, one person, are in outright denial of the facts as ever. You refuse to admit your right’s economics are the problem, probably because it’s factual.

  40. Leon Wolfeson

    “anticapitalist”

    So you make random nonsense up and expect people to believe it, as it’s your right whose economic policies have failed.

    Of course you focus so strongly on Labour, who are only moderately right, and ignore the fact that policy polling shows that there is a strong consensus to the left on many issues such as house building.

    No, it’s your guff which is for your narrow-minded anti-British extremism.

  41. sarntcrip

    treborc1 WAS CLEARLY WATCHING THE WRONG CHANNEL

  42. sarntcrip

    THE BANKERS WHO’S BONUSES FOR FAILURE ARE PROTECTED BY THE TORIES FOR WHOM THOSE SAME GREEDY BANKERS VOTE TOGETHER WITH CITY SPIVS LIKE FARAGE WHO WIN ON THE CITY ROULETTE WHEEL WHILE PRODUCING NOTHING AND THEN TELLS EM ALL DOWN THE PUB WHAT A ORDINARY SUPER WEALTHY CHAP HE IS AND TWITS FALL FOR IT

  43. sarntcrip

    ON MINISCULE TURNOUT

  44. sarntcrip

    CAMERON DIDN’T GET A MAJORITY AND CONNED HIS WAY TO POWER WITH THE ILIBERAL UNDEMOCRATSWITH 2 MILLION TROUSERED FROM THE EU FARAGE IS AS CORRUPT AS THE REST OF THE TORIES

  45. sarntcrip

    IF I HSD YOUR LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE I’D FALL FOR THE GUFF OF A CITY SPIV WHO FOOLS PEOPLE INTO THINKING HE’SA SENSIBLE BLOKE WHO THINKS BIGOTRY AND REGRESSION IS THE WAY OF THE PEOPLE GOOD LUCK YOU’LL NEED IT

  46. sarntcrip

    VERY TIME THE TORIES GET IN THE POOR GET POORER EXCEPTING THIS TIME WHEN WE HAD THE EMERGENCE OF FOODBANKS NEVER SEEN UNDER A LABOUR GOVERNMENTBUT THEN AGAIN THE WEALTHY ARE TO BUSY COUNTING IN THEIR COUNTING HOUSESWHICH IS WHY THE TORY MEMBERSHIP IS CRASHING AND A IDIOT FEW HAVE VEERED OFF TO BNPUKIPEDL TO BLAME EVERYONE ELSE FOR THE NATIONS ILLS AND PROMOTE BIGOTRY LIKE THE THE RABBLE ROUSING RIGHT ALWAYS DO THEY ARE A DISGRACE TO OUR NATNATIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM ARE NOT THE SAME

  47. sarntcrip

    AND WHAT THE TORIES HAVE DONE SINCE BUGGERED IT UP FOR ALL BUT THEMSELVESWITH EXACTLY THE POLICIES FARAGE WOULDEMPLOY

  48. sarntcrip

    IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT LABOUR WOULD NOT ENSURE THAT WALES BENEFITTED FROM THE2.5 MILLION IF THEY NEED TO AMEND BARNETT THEY WILL

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