Miliband: young generation have been betrayed by spending cuts

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Indy Politics

For the first time in more than a century, younger people may have worse life chances than their parents, Ed Miliband will claim today, accusing the Coalition Government of targeting its spending cuts on them.

The Labour leader will claim that the "British promise" that every generation will do better than the last is being destroyed. He will argue that there is a risk that young people will find it harder to continue in education, have a decent job and own a home than their mother or father.

In a speech in Gateshead, Mr Miliband will say: "We may not have given it a name in the way that Americans talk about the 'American Dream' but it is there nevertheless. It is defined by the promise that each generation will pass on to the next a life of greater opportunity, prosperity and happiness."

He will warn that "inter-generational discrimination" will harm Britain's economic prospects as well as life chances.

He believes the Government would not have raised tuition fees and cut the school building programme if children had votes or young people turned out at elections in greater numbers.

Mr Miliband has decided to make social mobility one of the three main planks of his battle plan – alongside the economy and creating a "new politics". Labour's private polling shows that 71 per cent of people believe that life will be harder for the next generation.

The Labour leader will say today: "For the first time in generations there is now a real and legitimate fear that the British promise will be broken and the next generation will have fewer opportunities and find it harder to get on that the last.

"We have always been about a society where the promise of Britain can go beyond the most affluent – that lower and middle income families can guarantee a better future for the kids. So I am determined that this is the challenge which will be at the heart of the Labour Party. A Britain which passes on better chances rather than worse ones to our children."

However, the Conservatives will hit back at Mr Miliband by highlighting figures showing that social mobility went backwards during Labour's 13 years in power.