Election 2015: Britain only succeeds when all its working people succeed

As part of i's election special, Ed Miliband gives you his final pitch

Ed Miliband
Wednesday 06 May 2015 10:00
If Miliband is PM, it is expected that Cameron will stand down as party leader quickly
If Miliband is PM, it is expected that Cameron will stand down as party leader quickly

One day to go. One day until an election that presents voters with a stark choice between a country run for the privileged few and a country run for working people.

We know what David Cameron’s record has been – a record of failure and broken promises.

And nowhere is this truer than in the NHS. In the past five years, more than 4.5 million people have been forced to wait more than four hours in A&E, almost 300,000 operations have been cancelled and over 800,000 patients have been kept waiting on trolleys. We have even seen a treatment tent put up in a hospital car park.

Now a financial bombshell beneath the NHS has been revealed: two-thirds of hospital trusts are projected to run a deficit in this financial year because of a cash crisis made in Downing Street.

The NHS can’t afford another five years of the Tories. It is essential we implement Labour’s immediate rescue plan for the NHS, a plan based on care, compassion and co-operation, not privatisation, fragmentation and competition. A real plan for real action in the NHS with real money right now – not the flimsy IOU offered by the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

Our Time to Care Fund will recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more care workers and 3,000 more midwives.

And the past five years have proven the redundancy of the Tories’ theory that if a privileged few are looked after, everyone else will get dragged along behind.

Average wages are down £1,600 since David Cameron entered Downing Street; low-paid, insecure jobs or zero-hours contracts have become an inescapable reality for millions; home ownership is at its lowest level for 30 years.

We have a better plan for a better future. Our approach is based on the simple idea that Britain only succeeds when all its working people succeed. Only Labour will reward hard work by raising the Minimum Wage to more than £8 by October 2019. Only Labour will freeze energy bills, so they can fall but not rise, until 2017, and extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three- and four-year-olds.

Only Labour has a proper plan to restore the dream of home ownership by building at least 200,000 new homes a year and take action for Generation Rent. And only Labour will eliminate the archaic non-dom rule to ensure fairness in the tax system.

Unlike the Tories, our manifesto isn’t full of unfunded and unbelievable claims. We will build a strong economic foundation with balanced books and reduce the deficit every year. We will protect child benefit and tax credits that working people rely on, while the Tories will cut them.

I’m not asking you to vote simply for Labour tomorrow. I’m asking you to vote to reward hard work again for everyone in our country, to build a future for all our young people, to rescue our NHS and, above all, to vote for a country where we put working families first. That’s what’s on the ballot paper.

And I’m not simply asking you to reject the Conservatives but to reject their plan to put the rich and powerful first. We will ask those with the broadest shoulders – particularly the super-rich avoiding their taxes – to carry more of the burden. We all know that this election will be very close. It could be decided by a few hundred votes in a few dozen constituencies. I’m asking you all to put your family, your NHS and your country first. Vote Labour.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in