Miliband: Politics, philosophy and a slug of new policy

 

Watch Nick Robinson's report as Labour "walks a tightrope" with the public

A bit of politics, a lot of philosophy and a slug of new policy. That's what we got from the Labour leader Ed Miliband today.

His backing for the idea of a cap on social security spending - or at least that bit of it which doesn't go up simply because of rising unemployment - is designed to reassure those voters who tell the pollsters they don't trust Labour to control spending or welfare.

It is impossible to judge the impact of a cap first suggested by George Osborne until he or Ed Miliband spells out what it includes and excludes and what level it will be set at.

What was clear today, however, is the Labour leader's philosophy.

He believes that cutting benefits is not the way to cut the benefit bill. He argues instead for cutting what he calls "the cost of failure" by creating jobs for the young long-term unemployed, building houses and driving down rents and incentivising businesses to pay their staff more.

The newest and most eye-catching policy was the suggestion that those who'd worked for longer but then lost their jobs might get a higher level of benefits.

What all this might mean will, though, be shaped by the most important thing Labour have announced this week: their acceptance that they will have to live with all the coalition's spending cuts unless they can find money from elsewhere - and not from borrowing - to pay for them to be reversed.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 27.

    Why do the BBC continue to be the mouth piece of the Labour Party? All we've heard from both for 3 years is about savage cuts and the nasty Tories. Now labour admit that the bubble has burst and cuts have to be made, yet there's no negativity surrounding the suggestion of cuts. Totally biased and so transparent. It's shameful

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 26.

    Beware having a go at pensioners - we've already had years of trivial savings rates eroding our capital while lucky mortgage payers benefit by tiddly interest rates, and the state pension is a measly 20% of average earnings and one of the lowest in Europe - dont anyone fall for the anti-pensioner propaganda. Be prepared to fight any attack on pensioners.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 25.

    Veronica - we're marching on London.....it may us some time, but we're coming....now where did I leave my glasses.

    Go on ya' good thing !!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    Very angry that's me.I am fed up with the sustained attack by both parties on the elderly.This is softening up the fact that they are going to put old people bottom of the pile as they did in victorian times. TIME FOR THE ELDERLY TO PROTEST, STRIKE, MARCH striking would be noticed as it is underestimated how much this country depends on the over 60's Not them using A&E due to drugs and booze.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 23.

    15. You
    34 MINUTES AGO
    Trying to work out if that is a picture of Ed looking philosophical or looking lost?
    --
    Oh beeb you have changed the picture, why?
    On the question of Why?, Why do we need a political correspondent to tell us what he/she thinks Ed or any other politician actually meant to say?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 22.

    Poor old Red Ed, Too thick to come up with a coherent policy, too thick to out manoeuvre the too cleverer but nasty Balls... Labour have to find a credible leader and get rid of Balls ...both of them!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 21.

    @ 5 .. Let's hope the Labour party goes down the plughole before the rest of us, though they will try to take us with them.

    @ 11 ... It's all to do with being re-elected .. not the good of the country!

    @ 18. Hypocrisy - almost as bad as telling Google to pay 'proper' amounts of tax, then accepting a tax-avoiding donation. What were the words? "I say it is wrong!" Deceit, dishonesty!!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 20.

    I agree with Ed.

    Can't wait for 2015 (or sooner lol).

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 19.

    Nick,
    One more thought on your attempt in the 6pm News to blame the oldies for the rising Benefits bill: are there not people in work than ever before in the UK?

    If so, again that must mean the cost of provision for the elderly is shrinking even as they increase in number because the increasing workforce cover pension provision with their new contributions.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    Having opposed every single cut for the last three years, and got nowhere in the polls, Labour have now adopted Conservative spending plans and welfare policies. It is hypocrisy of the highest order.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 17.

    #8

    That was always the traditional Labour view. You can blame the last Labour government for not managing the benefits system better and many will agree that there may well be something in that, but the "grab what you can" mentality exists in all income brackets - and that includes on benefits payable to middle class people. Margaret Thatcher was instrumental in creating that.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 16.

    Its all smoke and mirrors with no substance. We will need to wait for the manifesto I suppose but if history tells us one thing, win or lose whatever is in it doesn't count for much anyway.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 15.

    Trying to work out if that is a picture of Ed looking philosophical or looking lost?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 14.

    he didnt say he would stop the right to buy subsidy by the state did he? why not? Its the shortage of social housing that underlies the present welfare budget problems.. Only the real needy should be in such housing - not those who can afford 50" widescreen tv and nice new cars and who have multiple holidays a year?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    "creating jobs for the young long-term unemployed, building houses and driving down rents and incentivising businesses to pay their staff more"

    Don't you mean "increasing incentives for more immigrants to move to the UK"? Britain is bankrupt because it freely offers a goodie bag of benefits to a large chunk of the world's population. There is no logic to benefit levels here and easy immigration.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 12.

    Nick,
    You suggest Benefits Bill is increasing due to ageing popn & accounts for just over 50% of spend.

    But surely that is falling as proportion of Benefits, is it not?

    Unemployt was lower at start of Welfare State but pensions were paid from outset. Basic S/Pension may need topping up w/Benefits but I would have thought that was by no means universal, mostly due to cost of living.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 11.

    I do wish that politicians would cease speaking in sound bites. Who knows what they really think, this is all about pandering to the public for votes. Probably bears no relationship to what they will do once they are in power. All political parties are exactly the same.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 10.

    Is it me or is Nick a bit "gentle" and favourable to Miliband?
    He usually seems to tear a shred out of Cameron/Osbourne policies...

    No mention of the 'hypocrisy' of Miliband with this new announcement, having scorned Coalition for last 2 years on benefit cuts.?
    Balanced?
    BBC bias?
    Impartiality?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 9.

    So the Labour Party edges further to the right… soon in this country there won’t be anyone representing the normal working person.

    There’s nothing now to choose between all three major parties.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 8.

    "only claim what we genuinely need" - you've got to be kidding. Labour's mantra is to shaft people who work their behinds off through taxation so the great unwashed can scrabble for benefits, and subsequently vote Labour. Look at the benefits explosion under the last Labour govenment.

 

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