Ed Miliband will today seek to portray the Tories as the party of the few, helping bankers, millionaires and Murdoch while doing nothing for everyone else.
Ed Miliband will today once again seek to portray the Tories as the party of the few, going out of their way to help bankers, millionaires and Rupert Murdoch but doing sweet FA for the un-rich; the government has “helped those who don’t need help”, he will say, “but it has not helped you”.
Miliband will be speaking at a South Bank community centre ahead of a last-minute tour of key local election battlegrounds. As well as reflecting on the state of the economy and the fallout from the latest Leveson revelations, he will outline Labour’s priorities for next week’s Queen’s Speech, including a finance bill, energy bill, transport bill, consumer bill and jobs bill.
The Labour leader will say:
“Last week we found out that Britain’s economy, which had been recovering strongly two years ago, has now sunk into a double dip recession. A recession made in Downing Street.
“David Cameron and George Osborne promised they would change things for the better. They boasted they had taken the economy out of the danger zone. They ignored the warning signs that their reckless plan would backfire.
“David Cameron and George Osborne have helped the bankers who wanted their big bonuses. They have helped the millionaires who wanted a tax cut worth tens of thousands of pounds in the Budget. They tried to help Rupert Murdoch secure his biggest ever deal.
“This Tory-led government, with its Liberal Democrat prop, has helped those who don’t need help. But it has not helped you.”
Describing the government as “too close to the rich and powerful, out of touch with everyone else”, he will add:
“Millions in the middle are being forced to pay more in tax. Pensioners are being forced to pay more in tax. There is even a new tax that will hurt charities.
“Families are losing their working tax credits making some of them better off on benefit. Cuts that go too far and too fast in services mean there are less police, our NHS is suffering and we now have more than one million young people out of work.
“In these tough times when there is less money around, only one party has an agenda for change which would improve living standards for families, ensure security for pensioners and get our young people back to work. That party is Labour.”
The five Labour priorities for the Queen’s Speech Miliband will announce are:
• A Fair Deal on tax. Alongside the five-point plan for jobs and growth, a finance bill would that reverse tax cuts for people earning more than £150,000 a year, using the money to help pensioners on fixed incomes hit by the “granny tax” and restoring cuts in tax credits.
• A Fair Deal on Energy. An energy bill to break up the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ power companies and require them by law to offer 4 million elderly people the lowest rate available.
• A Fair Deal on Transport. A transport bill to stop train operators raising fares by greater than inflation plus one per cent, stop them exploiting commuters with unadvertised rates, and give local authorities more control over bus firms.
• A Fair Deal for Consumers. A consumer bill giving new powers to the Financial Conduct Authority and Competition and Markets Authority to stop rip-off surcharges by banks, low-cost airlines and pension firms.
• A Fair Deal on Jobs. A jobs bill to ensure some of the money raised from a tax on bank bonuses is used to provide real jobs, with real wages and responsibilities, to more than 100,000 young people aged 18-24.
Yesterday, shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who will appear alongside Miliband this morning, warned a “lost decade” for the UK economy loomed unless Osborne saw sense and changed course.
He told the Observer Japanese-style stagflation could take hold in Britain without a plan for jobs and growth, that the economy could dip in and out of recession for a “very long time”, as happened in Japan from the early 1990s.