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Monday, 22 September 2014

Miliband's plan for Britain's future

Ed Miliband will tomorrow present Labour’s Plan for Britain’s Future: six ambitious national goals our country must achieve over the coming 10 years if it is to succeed for everyday working people. In the Leader’s Speech to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, he will set out a plan for the next decade to restore faith in the future and ensure the next generation does better than the last. The 10-year plan will help overcome the greatest challenges of our age so that hard work is rewarded, our environment is protected, and everyone gets a decent shot at succeeding in our economy, as well as transforming our NHS so it provides the care our families need in this century as well as it did in the last.

Mr Miliband puts securing the future for young people at the heart of his goals saying the next Labour government will: raise the number of school leavers going on to high quality apprenticeships so it is equal to those who go on university; double the number of families getting on the housing ladder; preventing young entrepreneurs who start a business from being locked out of pensions and mortgages; and creating a million high-tech high-wage jobs in the green economy of the future. He will reiterate that Labour is committed to clearing the deficit in the next Parliament and therefore will not make any unfunded spending pledges.

But he will also show how, through big reform not big spending, Labour’s Plan will ensure the recovery works for working people not just a few at the top. His speech will seek to raise the British people’s sights for what can be achieved, by making our country work for them once again, with a national mission to change the fundamentals of our economy and turn decisively away from a Tory government run only for the privileged few. For each of these goals, One Nation Labour’s manifesto will set out policies for the first years of government which will establish a clear pathway to meeting them over the next decade

Labour's plan for 2015: 6 Goals for Britain's future

1. Giving all young people a shot in life: Ensure as many school-leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university
2. Tackling the cost-of-living crisis: Help working families share fairly in the wealth of our country so, when the economy grows, the wages of everyday working people grow at the same rate.
3. Restoring the dream of home ownership: Meet demand for new homes for the first time in half a century - doubling the number of first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder a year.
4. Tackling low wages: Halve the number of people on low pay in our country, changing the lives of over two million people.
5. Securing the future: Create one million more high-tech jobs by securing the UK’s position as is a world leader in green industries.
6. Saving our NHS: Build a world-class, 21st century health and care service.

Mr Miliband will say: “’Can anyone build a better future for the working people of Britain?’ That is the general election question. So many people have lost faith in the future. I’ve met young people who should have the brightest of futures who tell me their generation is falling into a black hole. People in England who think all politics is rubbish. People in Scotland who wanted to leave our country because they felt they had nothing left to lose. Our task is to restore people’s faith in the future. 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."

"Strip away all of the sound and fury and what people across England, Scotland and Wales, across every part of the UK, are saying is this country doesn't care about me. Politics doesn't listen. The economy doesn't work. And they are not wrong. They are right. But this Labour Party has a plan to put it right. For Labour, this election is about you. 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. We can build that better future for you and your family, wherever you live in the United Kingdom, and this speech is about Labour’s plan to do it: Labour’s plan for Britain’s future."

"I want to set out six national goals, not just for one year or one term of office, but a plan for the next ten years: Britain 2025.”

Goal 1: Apprenticeships in 2025: Ensure as many school-leavers go on to apprenticeships as go to university.

The challenge: There are not enough advanced, high quality apprenticeships available for school-leavers - with four times as many going to university instead. This is leaving both young people and businesses without the skills they need to succeed for the future.

Labour’s Plan for the first years of the next government:
  • Require every firm getting a major government contract to offer apprenticeships.
  • Insist that large employers hiring skilled workers from outside the EU offer apprenticeships to young people in the UK.
  • Give employers more control over how the government spends training funds in return for them providing more high quality apprenticeships in their sectors and supply chains.
  • Create thousands more apprenticeships in the public sector, including the Civil Service, creating a fast track scheme like that already existing for graduates from top universities.
  • Focusing apprenticeships on new entrants to the labour market, because under this Government more than 75 per cent of new apprenticeships have gone to over 25 year olds.
Mr Miliband will say: "A plan for our country, a plan for our families, must have at its heart a future for all our young people. So here we need the biggest national effort that we have seen for generations with young people showing the ambition to get on, schools and colleges offering gold standard technical qualifications, and business and government leading a revolution in apprenticeships."

Goal 2: Living standards in 2025: Help working families share fairly in the wealth of our country so, when the economy grows, the wages of everyday working people grow at the same rate.

The challenge: The link between the wealth of our nation and family finances has been broken resulting in a cost-of-living crisis for millions of everyday working people. Even after months of economic recovery, the average worker is more than £1,600 worse off than in 2010 while Britain’s growing army of self-employed – now standing at five million – have seen their living standards fall 14 per cent since 2009/10.

Labour’s Plan for the first years of the next government:
  • Ensuring Britain’s army of self-employed people see the benefits of going out to work by stopping them being locked out of mortgages or pensions.
  • Improving skills and productivity with new gold standard vocational qualifications and more high quality apprenticeships.
  • Supporting small firms with a cut in business rates and giving them access to the finance they need through a proper British Investment Bank and a more competitive banking system.
  • Building growth across all regions of the country by devolving £30 billion of funding and giving control over the full revenue from business rates to powerhouse economic regions.
  • Introducing an industrial strategy in sectors which create the high skill, high wage jobs of the future, including ten year certainty for science and innovation budgets.
Mr Miliband will say: "There is only one way to achieve this: to transform our economy so that it starts to create good jobs at decent wages. It means bigger reform of our banks, so they help create those good jobs; it means getting power out of Whitehall; it means businesses and trade unions engaged not in confrontation but in cooperation; and it means this great Party using our historic values to fight for the people in the frontline of the modern workforce - the growing army of our self-employed, five million working people, so often the most entrepreneurial, go-getting people in our country.

They don’t want special treatment. But they do deserve a fair shot: two thirds have no pension, one in five is stopped from getting a mortgage: it is time to end this modern injustice. The next Labour government will ensure the self-employed are not locked out of the benefits that come from going out to work.”

Goal 3: Housing in 2025: Meet demand for new homes for the first time in half a century - doubling the number of first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder a year.
The challenge: Housebuilding has reached its lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s and the dream of home ownership is slipping out of reach for millions of young families with the number of first-time buyers under this Government averaging less than 200,000 a year.

Labour’s Plan for the first years of the next government
  • Increase the number of new homes being built to at least 200,000 homes a year by the end of the next Parliament.
  • Create new Olympic-style delivery agencies called New Homes Corporations to drive through large scale housing development at pace.
  • Make building new homes, including in the public sector, a top priority in our capital investment programme over the next Parliament.
  • Give ‘use it or lose it’ powers for local communities to tackle developers who hoard land unnecessarily.
  • Deliver a new generation of Garden Cities and give landlocked councils a right to grow.
Mr Miliband will say: "The confidence and security that comes from having your own home is missing for so many people in Britain today; that most British of dreams, the dream of home ownership, has faded. 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."

Goal 4: Green Technology in 2025: Create one million more high-tech jobs by securing the UK’s position as is a world leader in green industries

The challenge: Climate change is real, man-made and happening. But the Tories have betrayed their promises on the environment, undermining Britain’s ability to compete for a global green industry market worth £3.4 trillion a year with investment in clean energy falling.

Labour’s Plan for the first years of the next government
  • A clear commitment to tackling climate change by supporting an ambitious, legally-binding international agreement on climate change at the Paris Conference in 2015
  • Boosting investment in low-carbon technologies by a setting a legal target to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030 and developing an active industrial strategy for the green economy.
  • Strengthening the Green Investment Bank so it can invest in the technologies and industries of the future.
  • Devolving power to ensure 5 million homes are insulated.
Mr Miliband will say: "Under this Government, Britain lags behind Germany, Japan, the United States and even India and China for low-carbon, green technologies and services. So many of our brilliant businesses are desperate to play their part in creating their jobs of the future but they just can’t do it unless government does its bit. With our plan, we will. It is incredibly important to our economy today. And it is the most important thing I can do in politics for the future of my kids and their generation.”

Goal 5: Low pay in 2025. Labour will halve the number of people on low pay in our country, changing the lives of over two million people.

The challenge: The number of workers on low pay now stands at over five million - a fifth of all employees - with half of all people in poverty now living in working households. The proportion of UK workers who are low paid is one of the worst in the developed world – 25th out of a league table of 30 OECD countries.

Labour’s plan for the first years of the next government· 
  • Raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour by the end of the next Parliament, double the increase under this government and bringing the lowest paid closer to average earnings.
  • Strengthen enforcement of the National Minimum Wage by increasing the penalty for non-payment to £50,000 and giving local authorities new powers to support the work of HMRC.
  • Offer ‘Make Work Pay’ contracts to those accrediting as Living Wage employers, with firms getting a tax rebate worth up to £1,000 per worker funded by the increased tax and National Insurance revenues the Treasury receives.
Mr Miliband will say: "Building a country together means not just using but rewarding the talents of all. The Tories are the party of wealth and privilege. Labour is once again the Party of hard work fairly-paid.”

Goal 6 - the NHS in 2025: Build a world-class, 21st century health and care service

The challenge: The Tories haven’t just de-stabilised the health service and wasted billions on a top-down reorganisation, they are holding the NHS back from meeting the challenges of the 21st Century: an ageing population, more people living with chronic conditions, the rise of mental health, and a higher premium on preventing illness. As a result, the NHS is going backwards with one in four patients waiting a week or more for a GP appointment, the number of older people ending up in hospital unnecessarily at an all-time high because of inadequate social care, and waiting lists at their highest for six years.

Labour’s Plan for the first years of the next government:
  • Guaranteeing 48 hour access to GPs to improve services and ease pressure on A&E at hospitals.
  • Repealing the Government’s Health & Social Care Act to put the right values back at the heart of the NHS and stop wasteful spending.
  • Integrating health and care services, ensuring joined-up, preventative care to help keep people healthy out of hospital.
  • Strengthening patient entitlements, including to mental health treatments.
Mr Miliband will say: "A hospital is only as good as the services in the community. If people can’t get to see their GP, if they can’t get the care they need at home, they end up in hospital when that could have been avoided. That’s bad for them, and it costs billions of pounds. We know there are huge future pressures facing the NHS: so we are going to have to transform the way it works in the years ahead."