Health and homes central to Miliband’s 2025 vision

23 Sep 14
Labour leader Ed Miliband has set out a 10-year plan for Britain’s future that includes a £2.5bn boost for health and social care, a large expansion of housebuilding and halving the number of low-paid people in the country by 2025.

By Richard Johnstone in Manchester | 23 September 2014

Labour leader Ed Miliband has set out a 10-year plan for Britain’s future that includes a £2.5bn boost for health and social care, a large expansion of housebuilding and halving the number of low-paid people in the country by 2025.

Ed Miliband at Labour 2014

Setting out his six-point proposal for the future, Miliband said there was a need to take action across two parliaments to restore faith in the UK.

As well as announcing new £2.5bn fund to improve care in a combined NHS and social care service, paid for by a Mansion Tax, Miliband also set targets to create one million hi-tech jobs, increase the number of apprenticeships, and ensure wages can grow in line with the economy.

He said that the lesson of the independence referendum in Scotland was that those who voted yes felt they had nothing left to lose.

‘Our task is to restore people’s faith in the future,’ he told the conference.

‘But the way to do it is not to break up our country. It is to break with the old way of doing things, break with the past.

‘I’m not talking about changing a policy, or simply a different programme. But something that is bigger: transforming the idea, the ethic, of how our country is run.’

People feel that the economy doesn’t work for them, and they’re right, he told delegates.

‘You have made the sacrifices, you have taken home lower wages year after year, you have paid higher taxes, you have seen your energy bills rise, you have seen your NHS decline, you know this country doesn’t work for you.’

The plan for Britain 2025 showed how the party could make big reforms to the UK without spending more money, he said, noting that Labour was committed to eliminate the current budget deficit in the next Parliament. 

As part of moves to integrate health and social care into a 21st century service, Miliband also announced that a Labour government would increase levies on tobacco companies. The total funding would help pay for 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 homecare workers and 3,000 additional midwives.

And under plans to increase the number of apprenticeships by 2025 so they match the number of people going to university, Labour would require every firm receiving major government contracts to offer apprenticeships, as well as insisting that large employers hiring from outside the EU also do so.

The pledge to boost living standards was intended to boost growth by devolving £30bn to local areas for funding and infrastructure as well as developing new industrial strategies for high-growth sectors.

This will include what Labour called an active industrial strategy for the green economy to meet the aim of creating one million jobs in green energy industries.

Proposals to raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament would form part of the aim to halve the number of low paid people by 2025, while increasing housebuilding formed the final area of the plan.

Miliband backed the proposals set out by the Lyons Commission earlier this week, which included the creation of New Home Corporations.

‘We will stop the large developers sitting on land and we will back the thousands of small developers and construction companies with access to new loans, there will be new towns, garden cities and suburbs with a half a million new homes, and housing will be a top priority in our capital investment programme – because we need to start Britain building again.’

The speech received a warm welcome from union leaders. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said he had wanted to hear what Miliband would do to change people’s lives for the better. 

‘We got that today. No-one can say that they don’t know what the next Labour government will do in power.

‘He answered the questions: what are you going to do to help the young and unemployed; what are you going to do about housing; what are you going to do about the economy; what are you going to do about our NHS; what are you going to do about low pay?’

However, Conservative Party chair Grant Shapps said Miliband did not mention how he would reduce the deficit.

‘Labour simply don’t have a long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain. Our country, our children and our grandchildren would be worse off under Ed Miliband’s weak leadership.’


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