Labour won't make cuts pledge

Ed Miliband has promised to be "ruthless" about pursuing Labour's public spending priorities despite accepting the need for further cuts beyond the 2015 general election.

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'Labour refuse to admit they borrowed too much'

The Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps has criticised Ed Miliband for 'forgetting' the economic problems they created in government.

The Labour Leader has set out his vision for economic policy in the party at a major speech.

Ed Miliband's refusal to admit that Labour spent and borrowed too much in government, and his call for more spending and borrowing now, shows that he's too weak to stick to his promise not to spend and borrow more.

Ed Miliband only offers more spending, more borrowing and more debt - the same old Labour approach that got us into this mess in the first place. Hard working people would pay the price with higher interest rates and higher bills

– Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman

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Ed Miliband would be 'ruthless' on spending

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would be "ruthless" about his party's public spending priorities despite accepting the need for further cuts beyond the 2015 general election.

Labour party leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Mr Miliband said he would not make any promises on changes to the spending plans set out by Chancellor George Osborne unless he can be "absolutely crystal clear" where the money would come from as he set out the "hard reality" facing the party.

The Labour leader stressed the need for discipline in bringing down the deficit and ruled out more borrowing to fund day-to-day spending.

That means any changes to the Chancellor's announcements in his 2015/16 spending review would require cuts from elsewhere or tax increases.

Mr Miliband said he and shadow chancellor Ed Balls were clear about the approach, and insisted the rest of the Labour Party should get behind it.

Economic commitments made by Miliband and Balls

Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls have made a series of announcements in recent weeks aiming to show Labour's credibility on getting the nation's finances under control.

  • Mr Balls has said the party would stick to the coalition's 2015/16 departmental budgets if it wins the next general election.
  • He also announced that wealthier pensioners would be stripped of winter fuel payments.
  • Mr Miliband has effectively ruled out reversing the coalition's child benefit cuts for high earners, saying other priorities would come first.
  • He also promised a cap on welfare spending.
  • The Labour leader will use his speech in Birmingham to again attack the Government's decision to cut the top rate of income tax.
  • Mr Miliband will also warn profit-seeking developers that they could be stripped of land if they fail to build homes on it.

Miliband to urge for 'credible' response to 'hard reality'

Labour leader Ed Miliband will say later today that he needs to be "absolutely crystal clear" where the money would come from before promising to change the spending plans set out by George Osborne.

It's a hard reality. But I am clear about it, Ed Balls is clear about it, and everyone in the Labour Party should be clear about it too.

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.

– Ed Miliband

But Mr Miliband will attack the Chancellor's reputation ahead of Thursday's spending review and accuse him of broken promises, saying:

Two years ago, George Osborne said: 'We have already asked the British people for what is needed, and we do not need to ask for more.'

Next week he will break that promise because this Government has failed on growth and living standards. For all the cuts, all the pain, all the tax rises, they are saying the deficit will be £78 billion higher at the next general election than they planned.

Labour won't pledge to reverse Osborne spending cuts

Ed Miliband will address his party's National Policy Forum in Birmingham later today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour will not be able to commit to reversing any of the cuts in day-to-day public spending George Osborne will set out next week, leader Ed Miliband will tell the party today.

Speaking in Birmingham later, Mr Miliband will rule out more borrowing as he tells the policy forum the party must accept the "hard reality" of governing in tough economic times.

It means any changes Labour wishes to make to the Chancellor's announcements in Wednesday's 2015/16 spending review will require cuts from elsewhere or tax increases.

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