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

Name check

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.

« Miliband section on Cameron and the Tories a reminder that this is going to be one of the most bitter and divisive campaigns in UK history« 

Picture of the day

George at the seaside

We have all seen Ed Balls dancing Gangnam Style (photo here & video here) so we instead go with George’s latest visit to the seaside.

Pic of the Day

Fringe Focus

Energy

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.