Ed Miliband will today set out an ambitious plan for a two-term government as he attempts to seize back a political agenda which has been dominated by the fallout from the Scottish referendum
In his speech to the Labour conference in Manchester, the Leader of the Opposition will set six goals for ten years in Government.
They include creating a million high-wage jobs in technology, dramatically increasing he number of young apprentices, doubling the number of first-time homebuyers and halving the number of working people in low pay.
Mr Miliband will argue that Labour has a plan ready to put into action if it wins the next election.
He speaks today as debate rages about plans to devolve power to Scotland, with Conservative leader David Cameron insisting this must be matched by the introduction of “English votes for English laws”. Mr Cameron’s plan appears to mean Scottish MPs would be barred from House of Commons debates and votes on matters which only affected England.
But the Labour leader will argue that the lesson from the Scottish referendum is that many people have “lost faith” in politics - and the solution is measures to create jobs and improve living standards.
He will say: “I’ve met people who should have the brightest of futures who tell me their generation is falling into a black hole.
“People in England who think all politics is rubbish. People in Scotland who wanted to leave our country because they felt they had nothing to lose.
“Our task is to restore people’s faith in the future. But the way to do it is not to break up our country.”
He will add: “Strip away all of the sound and fury and what people across England, Scotland and Wales, across every part of the UK, are saying is this country doesn’t care about me. Politics doesn’t listen. The economy doesn’t work. And they are not wrong. They are right. But this Labour Party has a plan to put it right.”
Mr Miliband will set out six “national goals” to be achieved over the next ten years.
They include getting as many school-leavers into apprenticeships as go to university. At the moment, 300,000 people start university each year but about a quarter that number begin apprenticeships.
Mr Miliband will also pledge to help the economy grow, for example by cutting business rates for small firms and by giving local combined authorities control of £30 billion currently spent by Whitehall.
He will promise to double the number of first time buyers getting on to the housing ladder, including by increasing the number of new homes built by 200,000 each year.
A Labour government will also create a million high-tech jobs through measures such as a “green investment bank” to back industry.
The fifth goal is to halve the number of people on low pay, including by increasing the mimimum wage to £8 an hour.
And a Labour government would protect the NHS, Mr Miliband will say.
Mr Miliband is set to tell the party conference: “For Labour, this election is about you. You have made the sacrifices, you have taken home lower wages year after year, you have paid higher taxes, you have seen your energy bills rise, you have seen your NHS decline, you know this country doesn’t work for you.
“We can build that better future for you and your family, wherever you live in the United Kingdom, and this speech is about Labour’s plan to do it: Labour’s plan for Britain’s future.”