Britain only succeeds when working people succeed - that's Labour's message for the General Election. And it's a good one.
I spent a lot of time knocking on doors in Plymouth listening to people and their concerns. What has struck me the most is that there is a real need for hope in our politics. That means not accepting the cost of living crisis or the rich getting richer while we all pay more in taxes as inevitable. It shouldn't be right that opportunities for young people, the disabled and women are cut back as the rich get huge tax cuts. I think it is time for change and a better plan.
Ed Miliband will today launch Labour’s general election pledge card. The British people have a clear choice between two visions for the future at this election - a Labour one and a Tory one. I'm not a big fan of negative politics and I'm pleased we're laying out a campaign that puts hope over fear.
Five Election Pledges
Speaking at a pre-election rally of more than 1,500 party members and supporters in Birmingham, Ed Miliband will describe how the Tories’ plan is failing Britain. Ed Miliband will show how Labour’s better plan for a better future is based on a simple idea: that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. This idea has been at the root of British prosperity in the past, can bind our country together again, is the argument that Labour will take to the British people over the next 54 days, and runs through each of Labour’s election pledges:
1. A STRONG ECONOMIC FOUNDATION: Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. None of our manifesto commitments require additional borrowing.
2. HIGHER LIVING STANDARDS FOR WORKING FAMILIES: Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours free childcare a week.
3. AN NHS WITH THE TIME TO CARE: 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We will join up services from home to hospital, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
4. CONTROLS ON IMMIGRATION: People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
5. A COUNTRY WHERE THE NEXT GENERATION CAN DO BETTER THAN THE LAST: Tuition fees reduced to £6,000, an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and smaller class sizes for 5, 6 & 7 year-olds.
What do you think?
These are national pledges and in the coming weeks I'll be launching my local pledges for the General Election. I'm proud to be from Plymouth and I think we need to ensure that our city gets a better deal. The five pledges launched by Ed today set out a clear vision about what type of society Labour wants to create - a fairer, more equal, just and tolerant society. I know a lot of people will agree with this. If you've got a view please let me know. Send me an email, give me a call or add your thoughts in the comments below.