Ed Miliband admits: We won’t reverse cuts if we win in 2015

Labour leader seeks voters’ trust on economy, as Osborne is told deficit has risen year-on-year

Ed Miliband will tell the Labour Party today that it would not be able to reverse the £11.5bn of spending cuts to be unveiled by George Osborne next week if it forms the next government.

In a speech to his party’s national policy forum about the “hard reality” a Labour government would face, Mr Miliband will say: “We won’t be able to promise now to reverse them because we can only do so when we can be absolutely crystal clear about where the money is coming from.”

The Labour leader will tell the Birmingham conference: “If we win the election, we will come to power in tougher economic circumstances than we have seen in generations and that will have to shape the way we govern.  Our starting point for 2015-16 will be that we cannot reverse any cut in day-to-day, current spending unless it is fully funded from cuts elsewhere or extra revenue – not from more borrowing.”

In an unpalatable message for some Labour MPs, trade unionists and party members in his audience, Mr Miliband will say: “People will only put their hope in us if we show how we will make a difference. But people will only put their trust in us if we show we are credible. Only if we have the discipline to face the challenge of our times, can we change the direction of our country.”

But he will answer Labour critics who fear the party would become a pale imitation of the Conservatives by suggesting that Labour would spend more than Mr Osborne by borrowing to fund infrastructure projects to “invest in the long term”. Labour’s 2015 manifesto may pledge to build a million new homes in five years.

Mr Osborne will present his government-wide spending review for 2015-16 on Wednesday. He suffered a setback yesterday when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said government borrowing rose slightly in 2012-13 compared with the previous year, meaning the Chancellor can no longer claim it is falling year on year. Underlying public sector borrowing was £118.8bn, up from £118.5bn in 2011-12, after the ONS revised down its 2011-12 total by £2.4bn. The figures could change again.

There was better news for Mr Osborne when the latest monthly figures showed that borrowing fell to £12.7bn in May, down from £15.6bn a year earlier.

Income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) in May showed strong growth of 6.9 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively on a year ago. As The Independent reported on Thursday, many bankers appear to have delayed their bonuses until April to benefit from the cut in the top rate of tax on earnings of more than £150,000 a year. Rowena Crawford, a senior research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “Unfortunately, rather than reflecting strong growth in underlying incomes, this growth is more likely to reflect some high-income individuals pushing part of their income –such as bonuses and special dividends – from the last tax year into the current tax year so as to benefit from the reduction in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p.”

Monthly borrowing fell to £8.8bn on a different measure which takes into account a £3.2bn one-off windfall from Swiss banks in retrospective tax payments under a deal covering Britons with undeclared bank accounts, and a £3.9bn contribution from the Bank of England’s quantitative easing fund. But public sector net debt – the total amount the country owes – rose to £1.19 trillion, up from £1.1tn a year ago.

Chris Leslie, a Labour Treasury spokesman, said: “With borrowing now confirmed as rising last year, these figures are another damaging blow to George Osborne’s economic credibility.”

The Treasury argued that its policies were working. “The Government is taking tough decisions to deal with the deficit: today’s data shows that borrowing is lower than was previously predicted,” said a spokesman.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee