Policy of the day
Together, not alone, to support the NHS
In his final speech to Conference before the 2015 General Election in May, Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, used his 80 minute speech to set out a 10 year plan for a Labour Government.
Contrasting the need for togetherness against the Conservative’s “on your own” approach, Miliband announced a number of policy steps to form part of a 10 year plan for Government. The headline announcement was the promise of an additional £2.5bn to “save and transform” the NHS, paid for by a windfall on tobacco companies, a crackdown on tax avoidance and a mansion tax.
Other notable commitments included the right to vote for 16-17 year olds, a pledge to halve the number of low-paid workers, create a million new green technology jobs and ensure more young people took up apprenticeships.
With the election campaign underway, Miliband took aim at the Prime Minister who had no answer to the challenges of failing living standards and could not be trusted on the NHS. The Coalition Government was not just “mediocre” but one of the “worst ever”. Delegates in the room applauded Miliband and his new policies, but it is the rest of country that now needs to be persuaded by May 2015.
Quote of the day
Comedian Gareth Gwynn was one of the few people Ed Miliband didn’t name-check in his speech it seems…
“I bumped into Ed Miliband on his way to do his speech. Doubt he remembered me, mind”
Tweet of the day
The knives are out
@JGForsyth looks forward to the coming campaign.
Picture of the day
George at the seaside
The development of Labour’s energy policy continued to attract good levels of interest. The energy team had an early start with ResPublica’s 8am fringe event titled “Keeping the Lights On: Energy Security and the low carbon challenge”. Chaired by UtilityWeek’s Matthew Beech, panellists debated how to avoid a ‘capacity crunch’ whilst honouring low carbon committments and further examined Labour plans for an ‘Energy Security Board’. In line with yesterday’s focus on domestic efficiency policy pledges, Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex MP emphasised the prime importance of energy efficiency and expressed enthusiasm about the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s work on demand-side response.
Tor Inge Akselsen from Statnett, Norway’s version of National Grid, was an excellent addition to the panel and provided a fascinating perspective, highlighting options for UK-Norway interconnection. Both Alan Whitehead MP and Tom Greatrex MP singalled their support for greater efforts to make EU wide interconnection a reality. Finally, in an effort to further burnish Labour’s low carbon credentials the Shadow Energy Minister stressed that Labour would be “relentless in driving the case” for low carbon technology if successful in May’s General Election.