Monday, 18 March 2013

From top bankers, to millionaires, the Tories stand up for the wrong people

Ed Miliband has today laid the battlelines for a “living standards general election”.

With the Tories: more of the same - trickle-down from the top, squeezing the middle and a race to the bottom.

With One Nation Labour: a recovery made by the many, not just a few at the top.

A fair tax system is a central part of building a successful, One Nation, economy. That is why we want to introduce a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m, and use the money raised to reintroduce a 10p rate of tax.

That would back low and middle earners and put right the mistake Gordon Brown made by scrapping it, putting Labour where it should always have been, on the side of working people.

The problem today: squeezed living standards and a flatlining economy

Families are working harder, for longer, for less. And at the same time, prices go up and up.

The talents of millions of our young people are going to waste and small businesses that will drive our economy on are being held back by the banks, and a government that isn’t on their side.

And as a result the economy isn’t growing – it has now flatlined for over two year, and the deficit is going up.

The Tories: trickle down economics, squeezing the middle and a race to the bottom

The Conservative economic vision is of a race to the bottom in wages and skills, rewarding those at the very top but leaving everyone else squeezed as never before.

· This April they are cutting taxes by an average of £100,000 for 13,000 people earning over one million pounds, while asking millions of working families to pay more by cutting tax credits.

· And they are refusing to stand up to the energy companies and the train companies that are squeezing family budgets.

The last two years have shown that this approach doesn’t work.

One Nation Labour: a recovery made by the many, not just a few at the top

And One Nation Labour knows that this approach can’t work. Because we will only build prosperity, when everyone plays their part in building our economy.

That is the lesson of history. In the industrial revolution it was the people who went down the mines, spun the cotton, built the ships, and constructed the bridges who drove our economy forward.

On Nation Labour: fairer tax

The One Nation Labour government led by Ed Miliband will put a fairer tax system at the heart of its new priorities.

As well as cancelling the millionaire’s tax cut and the tax credit cuts this April, a One Nation Labour Budget next month would tax houses worth over £2 million and use the money to cut taxes for working people.

We would put right a mistake made by Gordon Brown and the last Labour government. We would use the money raised by a mansion tax to reintroduce a 10 pence starting rate of tax benefiting 25 million basic rate taxpayers.

Moving Labour on from the past and putting Labour where it should always have been, on the side of working people.

Sending a message about how Britain is going to succeed in the years ahead: when you play your part, when you make your contribution to the economy, you will be rewarded.

On Nation Labour: Tackling vested interests

We need to act where working people are paying more than they should. We would:

· break the stranglehold of the big six energy suppliers
· stop the train company price rip-offs on the most popular routes
· cap interest on payday loans

On Nation Labour: Productivity and skills

Our country has to change. We must end the culture which says University is always best and vocational education is second-class. It simply isn’t true. We will:

· create a new technical baccaluarate, to complement A-levels
· give employers the control of the money for training for the first time
· demand that Britain’s employers step up and offer real apprenticeships and training

On Nation Labour: Better jobs

Today, we are increasingly two nations: with high skill, high paying jobs for those at the very top but low-skill, low paid, long hour jobs for too many people. So a One Nation economy needs to support businesses that create sustainable, middle-income jobs by:

· introducing a modern industrial policy that supports those jobs of the future.
· tackling short-termism of takeovers being waved through on speculators votes
· working with companies to encourage a living wage across our country.

On Nation Labour: Enterprise and Small Business

Future job creation will come from a large number of small businesses and not a small number of large businesses. We would:

· legislate to split up the banks if the system does not change its culture and properly serve the small businesses of the country.
· change the way regional growth funds work because all too often they prioritise the interests only of big business.