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

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  • rate this

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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?


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