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 Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Is Conservative benefit freeze fair?

David Cameron defends a benefits freeze which will affect more than twice as many working families as workless families.

Read full article

More on This Story

More from Nick

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • 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
    +6

    Comment number 28.

    Hollande came into power on a similar philosophy of jobs and growth in France and he has failed spectacularly.

    It is very easy to say what you want to do Mr Miliband, achieving it is another thing entirely if you haven't got a clue on how to go about doing it.

  • 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
    +4

    Comment number 7.

    I am happy to hear Ed Miliband re-state Labour's traditional mantra that those who work should. ALL of us should look to provide for ourselves as far as we possibly can and only claim what we genuinely need. I can't think of too many worse people to dish out lectures on personal restraint to others though than Jacqui Smith (as happened on today's Daily Politics).

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 29.

    Ed Millipede has to find money "elsewhere other than borrowing"?

    Perhaps the unions could chip in

    Where's the irony that Labours change of policy should create in BBC reporting .No where, that's reserved for coalition policy announcements.
    Can we have a fair election with constant BBC bias?

 

Comments 5 of 147

 

Features

  • An undated file photo posted on 27 August 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, showing IS fighters waving the group's flag from a damaged government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria.Adapt or die?

    IS militants seem to be changing tactics after air strikes


  • signClean and tidy

    Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest


  • Child eating ice creamTooth top tips

    Experts on ways to encourage children to look after their teeth


  • Almaz cleaning floorAlmaz's prison

    Beaten and raped - the story of an African servant in Saudi Arabia


  • Train drawn by Jonathan Backhouse, 1825Original 'geeks'

    What hobby did this drawing start in 1825?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.