Ed Miliband has seized the initiative in the pre-election debate, with his promise of a massive boost to the NHS. The pledge was at the core of his speech to the Labour conference in Manchester. And it has been welcomed by Labour’s candidate in Bridgwater and West Somerset, Mick Lerry. He said:
“Ed’s comments on the NHS really excited the conference. . A mansion tax and levies on the tobacco companies will fund the necessary investment to recruit 36 thousand health professionals, including more nurses, GPs, care-workers and midwives. Labour will also repeal the Health and Social Care Act which is damaging the health service and threatening the closure of medical centres in local communities.
Many of the papers today will comment on what Ed Miliband left out of his speech. However what the public need to know is that Ed Balls outlined Labours views on the economy to Conference. Labour will tackle the deficit, by creating greater growth. At the moment the Tories have not stuck to their promise to reduce the deficit in the life time of the Con-Dem government.
Labour would give job opportunities to the unemployed and there would be an introduction of a new minimum wage closer to that of a living wage, eventually moving to £8 an hour over the next parliament. For many young unemployed people, the creation of apprenticeships and the linkage of training and apprenticeships with public service contracts will create real opportunities.
Ed Miliband also made a clear statement that the future of Britain was within Europe, not outside. Britain cannot tackle climate change alone, it has to be tackled by world partners. Ed referred to the flooding this year as a national disaster and said flood prevention would be a core responsibility for the Environment Agency. There would be the introduction of a national infrastructure to protect communities from flooding. Maria Eagle MP also confirmed this in her speech to Conference.
Ed Miliband made it quite clear that under the Tories you were on your own, whereas with Labour you are not, services would be there to support communities.
There would be a new house building programme to provide much needed housing and homes for people. First time buyers will be given opportunity to get into the housing market.
Breaking up the Big Banks
Ed was also bold enough to take on the Banks and announced that there would be the breaking up of the Big banks for further completion. This would help new homeowners and small businesses who were unable to secure the necessary finance needed.
The repealing of the bedroom tax and a freeze on energy prices of the big six are already well known Labour polices; but Ed announced that there would also be a huge energy efficacy programme to tackle cold houses and energy poverty. This programme would be devolved to Local government . The whole aim of this policy would be to reduce demand on energy which is a necessary step to reducing costs.
Ed Miliband has made it clear that Labour is for the many and not the few. Over the next months leading up to the May election voters will need to consider who will represent them best. The answer is now clear-Labour!