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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 'will not match' opponents' £8bn NHS pledge'

Labour appears unlikely to match the additional funding NHS bosses say is needed. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Labour will not match a pledge made by opponents for £8 billion a year in additional NHS spending, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has hinted.

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats committed to the extra cash after the boss of NHS England said the figure was required by 2020.

However, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme ahead of Labour's manifesto launch, Balls said George Osborne had treated the British people with contempt by not outlining exactly how the spending vow will be funded.

And when asked if he would make a similar commitment, Balls said: "What we've done is we've said we can do £2.5 billion a year starting straight away for 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs."

The funding increase will be paid for by a combination of a "mansion tax", a levy on tobacco companies and closing a hedge fund tax avoidance loop hole, the party says.

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