Jones attacks Miliband over economy


Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Ed Miliband and his team have been attacked by Gordon Brown’s former trade minister for having repeatedly “called it wrong” on the economy.

Lord Jones, a former CBI director general who was a non-party appointee in the last Labour government, said the current leadership had overstated the country’s economic difficulties.

He accused Mr Miliband of failing to speak up for UK businesses which were the “backbone of the economy”.

Lord Jones is the latest senior business figure to voice concern about the prospects of a Labour government returning at the general election in May.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, he said: “They issued dire, nightmare predictions of rocketing unemployment. Wrong. They drew a gloomy picture of an economy by this stage of the cycle, becalmed at best, in freefall at worst. Wrong.”

However he said that his “biggest reservation” over Mr Miliband was his unwillingness to back businesses who drove wealth creation.

“I’m still waiting to hear Ed Miliband pay tribute to business, salute the massed ranks of small firms up and down the country that are the backbone of the economy,” he wrote.

“I live in hope that Miliband will make a speech praising profit and congratulating people who create wealth.

“Without a thriving UK plc, we can’t have a wonderful NHS or any other viable public service for that matter. The fact that that is a Tory election mantra, unfortunately for Labour, doesn’t make it any less true.”

He said that business leaders he spoke to were also worried about Mr Miliband’s “avowed admiration” for French president Francois Hollande’s economic policies.

“UK businesses don’t want Britain turning into France, with a French-style equivalent of a straitjacket for business,” he wrote.

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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