Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Miliband to talk tough on economy

Labour leader Ed Miliband is to unveil an alternative Queen's Speech

Ed Miliband will accuse the coalition of economic failure as he unveils an alternative Queen's Speech.

On the local election campaign trail in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Labour leader will say Britain is "going backwards" and ministers have run out of ideas.

Mr Miliband is to say that if he was in power next week the monarch would be announcing legislation to guarantee jobs for long-term unemployed, introduce a 10p tax rate and crack down on train fares and energy costs. There would also be a Bill designed to prevent employers illegally exploiting migrants to undercut British workers' wages.

Mr Miliband will condemn the Government's record, saying real wages are down £1,700 since the general election, and a million young people are unemployed.

"This Government's had its chance. It has failed," he will say. "Three years of failure: low growth, falling living standards and more borrowing. All this Government offers is more of the same: years more of falling wages and living standards, bigger welfare bills and national decline. This is a Government which has run out of ideas. This is a Government dividing, not uniting, our country."

Mr Miliband is to promise an economic recovery "made by the many, not just a few at the top". "A One Nation Labour government would introduce an economic programme next week in the Queen's Speech which would show how we can tackle this crisis together," he will say. "That would mean a Bill to start putting people back to work through our Compulsory Jobs Guarantee paid for with a tax on bankers' bonuses. Real jobs, with real opportunities and real responsibility. Most unemployed people are desperate for work but if anyone turned down this chance, they would lose benefits.

"A Labour government would have a Finance Bill that would kickstart our economy, help make work pay by introducing a new 10p rate paid for by taxing property worth more than £2 million.

"We would also reverse the millionaires tax cut and protect tax credits that help working families... We would pass new laws to stop the big rip-off electricity and gas bills, with proper reform of our energy market to break the stranglehold of the big six energy companies. And we would cap train fares on every route to stop the price of the daily commute getting further and further out of reach.

"A Labour government would take action to ensure our banking system works for business - lending to those firms that invest, invent, train, make and sell - rather than allow the banks just to work for themselves.

"We would pass legislation to tackle the rogue landlords and letting agencies who pack people in sub-standard, over-crowded accommodation or charge extortionate fees in the private rented sector. And a One Nation government would strengthen laws to stop workers having their wages undercut illegally by employers exploiting migrant labour. These are different choices we would make now to begin turning Britain around."

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