Labour’s manifesto commits to a new industrial strategy

Miliband has promised a future Labour government will improve productivity through a new industrial strategy


Ed Miliband launched Labour’s manifesto with a clear statement – when working people succeed Britain succeeds. Under the banner of Britain can be Better he laid out how this would come about.

At its core was the Labour value of social justice and at its heart was his belief that working people build the wealth of our country and they should be rewarded.

There has been one rule for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. The richer you are the less taxes you have to pay.  Well as Ed said, “enough is enough”. So Labour will reverse David Cameron’s tax cut for millionaires to help pay down the deficit.

There is a simple principle – if you live in this country and you work in this country you have to pay your taxes in this country and that means the tax status of the non-doms will be abolished.

The accusation laid at the door of Labour is that it is anti-business. It’s not it is anti-business as usual. There has been a Tory experiment that wealth would trickle down. It is an experiment that has failed.

This belief that when workers succeed we all succeed is in direct contrast not only with today’s Tories, who have led to a race to the bottom with low wages and an insecure jobs’ market, but it is also a repudiation of the past. It’s a repudiation of a Tory chancellor, Norman Lamont, who infamously said that unemployment was a price worth paying. Remember him? His special adviser was David Cameron.

Ed Miliband has pledged that a future Labour government would improve productivity through a new industrial strategy.

It is often argued that all politicians are the same. Never has this been less true. Come 7 May, voters will be faced with a stark choice. A stark choice on the economy and a stark choice between Labour’s long-term industrial strategy and the Tories’ short-termism where all that matters is the next profit on shares.

A future Labour government will improve and build a long-term investment culture in the private and public sector and will support the backbone of the British economy – small businesses. A future Labour government will have a National Infrastructure Commission to asses Britain’s long-term infrastructure needs. Labour’s approach on manufacturing will once again reinforce Britain’s status as one of the world’s greatest centres of science and engineering.

It’s not a race to the bottom that is required for a prosperous country; it’s high skills and decent jobs that will generate prosperity.

Tony Burke is assistant general secretary at Unite

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