Miliband spells out prosperity plan

Published: Monday 16th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Ed Miliband is to set out a rival to the Tories’ “long-term economic plan”, promising to create a system that benefits more than just the rich and powerful.

The Labour leader will use a speech at Jaguar Land Rover in Birmingham to describe how he wants to deliver “inclusive prosperity”.

The launch comes after a week of intense scrapping with the Tories over “dodgy donors” and the handling of revelations about abuses at HSBC’s Swiss arm.

Mr Miliband will argue there is a choice between “two plans at this election”, saying: “A failing plan under which we would carry on as we are with a government claiming the economy is a success when it only works for a handful of people at the top. Or a new plan, a better plan, that says this economy must succeed for working families if Britain as a whole is going to succeed.

“Nothing more symbolises their failing plan than seeing the tax gap – between what should be paid and the revenue received – widening while the number of apprenticeships available for young people is falling.

“We need a better plan to replace an economy where tens of billions are lost in tax avoidance with an economy where tens of thousands more of our young people are doing apprenticeships and we help more businesses grow, succeed and create wealth.”

Speaking alongside shadow chancellor Ed Balls and other key frontbenchers, Mr Miliand will criticise the Tories for believing it is “only from the top down that wealth flows”.

“Here is our better plan: a modern industrial strategy for Britain’s businesses and Britain’s working families to succeed together; a plan for every sector, every firm, everybody to raise productivity, make bigger profits and create the inclusive prosperity for a new era; a route-map for turning the fortunes of working people and of our country around,” he will add.

Unveiling a 79-page document, Mr Miliband will outline proposals to generate investment and cut taxes for small business and entrepreneurs. The plan includes boosting training and apprenticeships, promoting competition in energy and banking to lower bills, and devolving power to regions.

Corporation tax would be guaranteed to be the “most competitive in the G7”, and workers would be protected with a ban on “exploitative” zero-hours contracts and moves to prevent firms using migrant labour to undercut wages. In a bid to woo back business figures after recent tensions, the Labour leader will also stress the party’s commitment to staying in a reformed EU and “not taking risks with our membership”.

The plan has been endorsed by Labour’s former business secretary Lord Mandelson, who remains a key figure for Blairites and popular with industry.

In an article for the Guardian, the peer insisted: “The Plan for Britain’s Prosperity that Labour is publishing shows that these two elements are part of a bigger whole, the aim of which is not only to ensure a fairer distribution of wealth, but significantly to expand the productive potential of the British economy.”

Published: Monday 16th February 2015 by The News Editor

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