Today Ed Miliband has given a much reported speech. You’ve probably already seen reports of it in the press. And most of them will have been more or less misleading, since most of them are designed to stir up trouble for the Labour Party.
The speech was about work – and about what Labour plans to do to make sure people have well paid jobs with a living wage.
Yes, it was also about welfare – and about the need to get welfare spending down. But it was about how Labour will achieve this by ensuring that employers not the state pay decent wages, by getting people into jobs, and by reversing the ludicrous situation where the state is subsidising a high-rent economy instead of building houses.
Here’s Ed’s own résumé of what he said
‘We all know Labour in 2015 will have less money to spend, because the Tories have failed on the economy. So we are going to take action on the big problems our country faces to control spending:
Cut costs by helping the long-term unemployed back to work
Make sure jobs are well-paid to reward work, so the state does not face rising subsidies for low pay
Get the cost of renting down by ensuring more homes are built – thereby reducing the welfare bill
Cap social security spending by focusing on the deep-rooted reasons benefit spending goes up.’
And here’s what deserves to be the quote of the week – if not of the year
“Thirty years ago for every £100 pounds we spent on housing, £80 was invested in bricks and mortar and £20 was spent on housing benefit. Today, for every £100 we spend on housing, just £5 is invested in bricks and mortar and £95 goes on housing benefit.”
That just can’t go on.