Ed Miliband declares 'I am ready' to be PM at manifesto launch

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he is ready to be Prime Minister as the party unveiled its election manifesto which included a pledge to cut the deficit every year.

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Labour face tough fight against SNP in Glasgow East

The people of Glasgow used to look to Labour for help but today's manifesto pledges were not welcomed by many in the Scottish city today.

At the last General Election, Labour won almost two-thirds of the vote in Glasgow East. The latest polls suggest that support has gone.

The party is now trailing the SNP in the constituency by 14%.

ITV News correspondent Martin Geissler reports:


Nicola Sturgeon: Labour is offering more cuts

Nicola Sturgeon seized on Labour's economic vows in its manifesto today as evidence the party was just "offering more cuts".

The SNP leader said shadow chancellor Ed Balls had contradicted his colleague Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, by admitting Scotland would experience more spending cuts.

Ms Sturgeon said more cuts was the "wrong choice", saying: "Yes we need to get the deficit down but we need to do it in a way and at a pace that also allows us to invest in infrastructure, skills and innovation."

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. Credit: ITV News

Key voters unconvinced by Miliband's economy vows

Key voters in the key marginal seat of Wirral in north-west England were left unconvinced by Labour's economic pledges.

Announcing his party's election manifesto in Manchester today, Ed Miliband said Labour would be a government of "responsibility" as he vowed to balance the books.

But as ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports, Mr Miliband's "pledges of prudence were obscured by the perception that last time Labour spent all the money".

Miliband: Labour can be trusted with Britain's economy

Ed Miliband insisted Labour could be trusted with Britain's economy today as he launched his party's election manifesto.

Mr Miliband promised to cut the deficit "as soon as possible", without setting an "arbitrary date", and not to borrow any money to fund policy pledges.

As ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports, Mr Miliband "hopes this will be the moment that changes the election - when Labour becomes the party of fiscal responsibility":


Labour spending plans 'a big unknown', think-tank says

Labour's spending plans remain a "big unknown" due to the lack of any clear timeframe on the pledge to erase the deficit, according to an influential think-tank.

Ed Miliband has promised to erase the deficit 'as soon as possible' by the end of the next parliament. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that the lack of clarity on when the books would be balanced meant the party could introduce "significant spending cuts or tax rises" early on, or none at all.

IFS Director Paul Johnson said: "They are committed to getting a current budget balance - a current budget surplus - by the end of the parliament. That's an entirely credible fiscal policy. But they continue to not to give us any sense as to how quickly they want to achieve that.

"That could involve significant spending cuts or tax rises over the next three years if they want to get there within the next three years, or it could actually involve no spending cuts in order to just achieve that by the end of the parliament."

Johnson added that all the major parties were "just making up numbers" on the amount they could raise by tackling tax avoidance - with the Conservatives claiming £5 billion and Labour claiming £7.5 billion.

Farage questions where Labour spending cuts will fall

Nigel Farage during a visit to a factory in Clacton in Essex.

Nigel Farage has questioned where Labour's spending cuts will fall following today's manifesto launch.

Speaking during a visit to a factory in Clacton, Essex, the Ukip leader said: "They have apologised for getting it wrong in the past, which they did, but I don't see anything in their plans which suggest to me that they actually are going to get the deficit down.

"Where are the specific areas they are going to cut spending?" he asked.

  1. Carl Dinnen

Labour leaves 'gaping hole' in fiscal responsibility drive

Some of the Labour pledges are pretty clear; freezing rail fares, raising the minimum wage, childcare and tax credits and a few tax commitments on what they will and won't raise.

Ed Miliband with the Labour party manifesto. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

But the big thing at the heart of this is that they want to put fiscal responsibility front and centre in the manifesto - but the one thing it doesn't say is how quickly they will cut the deficit.

They are only saying as soon as possible and until we know how quickly they want to cut the deficit we don't know how much they are either going to raise taxes or cut spending over the next Parliament.

And that leaves a gaping hole at the centre of their economic credibility that the other parties will be tying to exploit.

Lib Dems challenge Labour to 'come clean' on borrowing

The Liberal Democrats claim the Labour manifesto offers no timetable for clearing the deficit, saying only that it will get national debt falling and a surplus on the current budget "as soon as possible in the next parliament".

The Lib Dems challenged Labour to "name the day" when they would finally balance the books.

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