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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ed Miliband offering a shared mission to succeed

Labour leader Ed Miliband will later today herald a series of 'One Nation' reforms to help create a new era of success for Britain and business in which everyone has the chance to make – and share in – future prosperity. In a speech to the Inclusive Prosperity conference organised by Policy Network in London, he will say Labour’s reforms will tackle deep-rooted problems which began before the recession and will not be solved simply by a belated return to growth. He will declare that big reforms, not big spending, will help rebuild trust in both state and markets - so that Labour and dynamic businesses can succeed together in a shared mission to create wealth, jobs and profits for the future.

Ed Miliband will say: “Unless we change the way we do things, we simply won’t create the high paying, high skilled jobs needed to improve the condition of our country and the rewards of growth will be unfairly shared. Labour will build a prosperity in which all can share fairly, right across Britain. And, in so doing, we can rebuild faith in business and in politics in Britain for the future. That is the central mission for the government I want to lead in ten months’ time. We cannot succeed by carrying on as we are or with big spending by government." 

"But with reform – reform of the way governments work and reform of the way markets work. It is the way people will succeed. It is the way business will succeed. It is the way Britain succeeds. And the only way we can realise this mission is through your success. The great, dynamic businesses of our country being enabled to build the wealth, create the jobs and make the profits that will help them succeed. A clear mission for the country, a mission we can share, a One Nation mission which can tackle the big problems we face.”

Mr Miliband will announce that the next Labour government will establish an independent National Infrastructure Commission as part a plan to tackle the chronic short-termism which holds Britain and business back. Sir John Armitt, who has led an independent review commissioned by Labour into the subject, is publishing draft legislation tomorrow for establishing the National Infrastructure Commission. Mr Miliband will call for national consensus on long term infrastructure planning and decision-making so Britain can be equipped for future success and businesses plan for the future. This announcement builds on Ed Balls’s commitments, which include balancing Britain’s books in the next parliament and maintaining the most competitive corporate tax rate in the G7.

Mr Miliband will say: “Nowhere is the failure of the ability to plan for the long-term clearer than in our infrastructure where Britain lags far behind other countries. As Sir John Armitt says, the UK needs affordable clean energy, modern communication systems, flood defences that can cope with the effects of climate change and a transport system that can cope with ever growing demand and which links business with markets and people with families, leisure and job opportunities. If we fail to meet these challenges, we will fail to grow our economy and fail to provide the quality of life that we would want for our children and our grandchildren.

“Today I am accepting Sir John’s recommendation that we establish an independent National Infrastructure Commission to identify the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs and hold governments to account. And I am calling on the other political parties to join us in accepting his recommendation because agreement is vital to delivering the long-term infrastructure business needs to succeed.”

The other major reforms of both government and markets being set out by Mr Miliband are:
  • Creating a skilled workforce with gold standard vocational education, a welfare state that encourages young people to sign up for training not sign on for benefits, and a leading role for business in deciding how funding for skills is spent

Mr Miliband will say: “So many businesses that I have met over the last four years have told me that their central problem is that they can’t get the people they need. We need reform of the institutions of our country so that we give proper qualifications and careers to the 50% of young people who don’t go on to academic degrees at University. The educational priority of my government will be clear: every young person deserves a route to good qualifications and a career - not just some.”
  • An industrial policy which creates the conditions for good, private-sector jobs in every region of the country with a secure innovation and science budgets and local businesses at the heart of key decisions on economic development.

"Labour will adopt Lord Adonis’s plan to devolve £30 billion worth of funding, with business at the heart of decisions that are made so that key decisions about the things that matter can be made in partnership with you at local level. You know and I know that we cannot simply solve problems by pulling levers in Whitehall. And, as Prime Minister, I will champion the idea of devolution of power so that local people can solve local problems.”
  • Reforming markets like finance and energy so that they work for business and for Britain.

He will say: “Entrepreneurship is key to our future success. That requires dynamic, competitive markets in every area that can serve our aim of the race to the top our country needs. So the next Labour government will be pro-competition: reforming markets that don’t work, not defending them. A healthy, competitive financial services industry is vital to the health of all of our businesses. That’s why we are determined to reform the banks with more competition so that businesses can get access to the finance they need to succeed in the future. And we will also reform other markets when we need to - including energy so it works better for the customer and better for businesses.”
  • Reforming Europe to ensure Britain remains an outward-looking and open economy

He will say: “I have no truck with those who say we should cut ourselves off from the rest of the world. Our focus must not be on drifting toward exit but on acting now to reform the European Union so it works for Britain. That means working with our allies to reform the things that aren’t right: the budget, rules on immigration and benefits, and giving more powers to national parliaments. The government I want to lead will champion openness to the world because it is in our history and it is the way we have always succeeded. I will be a Prime Minister who seeks to build alliances for our vision of a reformed Europe.”