Ed Miliband's 2015 pledge card: Policies to be promised from health care to tuition fees

Miliband will commit to balance the nation’s books, freeze energy bills, recruit more nurses, tighten immigration controls and cut university tuition fees

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Ed Miliband has been careful to distance himself from Tony Blair, but he will today borrow from the New Labour playbook as he launches the party’s general election pledge card.

Mr Blair boiled down his pitch for power ahead of his 1997 landslide victory into five promises on the education, health, unemployment, crime and tax.

The current Labour leader will unveil his 2015 version of the pledge card in which he promises Labour would balance the nation’s books, freeze energy bills, recruit more nurses and doctors, tighten immigration controls and cut university tuition fees.

Speaking at a rally in Birmingham, Mr Miliband will insist that voters face a choice between hope and fear at the election.

The Labour leader will argue that Britain can only prosper when people of all backgrounds are succeeding, telling 1,500 activists: “Any civilised country is built on the idea of the common good.”

With 54 days to the election, he is attempting to rally party morale in the face of polls pointing to a gradual strengthening of Tory support as well as massive SNP gains from Labour in Scotland.

The five pledges

* Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

* Raise living standards by freezing energy bills until 2017, banning zero-hours contracts and lifting the minimum wage to £8 an hour.

* Boost the NHS by hiring 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more family doctors, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.

* Control immigration by stopping new arrivals from claiming benefits for at least two years and banning exploitative pay rates.

* Cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year, offer an apprenticeship to every schoolleaver with basic grades, and reduce class sizes in infants schools.