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LABOUR CONFERENCE: NHS recruitment drive to be funded by mansion owners and tobacco firms under Labour

16:10 23 September 2014

(left to right) Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls, Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, Angela Eagle, Keith Vaz and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna at Manchester Central, during the Labour Party Annual Conference. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 22, 2014. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

(left to right) Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls, Labour Leader Ed Miliband, Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, Angela Eagle, Keith Vaz and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna at Manchester Central, during the Labour Party Annual Conference. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 22, 2014. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Tobacco firms, tax avoiders and “mansion” owners will be targeted to pay for a £2.5 billion NHS recruitment drive if Labour takes power, Ed Miliband said.

In his final party conference speech before the general election, the Opposition leader said creating a “world class” health and social care system was one of the six main goals in his 10-year plan to restore the UK’s fortunes.

A “Time to Care” fund would be created to tackle shortages that have left wards and surgeries dangerously understaffed, and transform a “creaking” home care system, he pledged.

Its first priority will be the recruitment of 20,000 nurses, 8,000 GPs, 3,000 midwives and 5,000 care workers, as part of a wider shift to a more integrated health and care system proposed by the party.

The cash will come from a new annual “mansion tax” on £2 million-plus homes, a US-style levy on cigarette manufacturers and a promise to find ways to close tax loopholes that the party says cost the Treasury £1.1 billion.

“We won’t borrow a penny to do it,” he told the gathering in Manchester where shadow chancellor Ed Balls yesterday warned activists that austerity would continue under Labour - including a fresh squeeze on child benefit.

“And we won’t do it by raising taxes on everyday working people.”

Instead those paying for the improvement would be tax-dodging hedge funds, tobacco giants “who make soaring profit on the back of ill health” and those wealthy enough to own large homes, he said.

“Doing it together means everyone playing their part to help fund our NHS.

“The stakes are incredibly high in this election. But nowhere more than on the NHS.

“The NHS is sliding backwards under this Government. They are privatising and fragmenting it. Just think what it would look like after five more years.

“It is not safe in their hands.

“We built the NHS. We saved the NHS. We will repeal their Health and Social Care Bill and we will transform the NHS for the future.”

Mr Miliband stressed the party’s commitment to fiscal discipline, insisting a “world class” country can be achieved without “big spending”.

Mr Balls received a muted reaction to his own speech as he set out plans to extend real-terms cuts to child benefit until at least 2017.

The Labour pair continue to trail David Cameron and George Osborne by some distance over the key election issue of who can be trusted to run the economy.

But Mr Miliband sought to paint a brighter longer-term picture - suggesting Britain was so damaged it will take Labour a decade to fix it and laid out a series of goals the party would aim to achieve by the end of a second term.

Doubling the number of first-time buyers to 400,000 a year, boosting apprenticeship take-up until it matches the number going to university, halving the number of low-paid workers and creating a million new “green” technology jobs also form part of his “national mission”.

In a direct riposte to the Government’s much-vaunted “long-term economic plan”, Mr Miliband said he wanted to “restore people’s faith in the future” with his own “plan for Britain’s future”.

“’Can anyone build a better future for the working people of Britain?’ That is the general election question,” he said.

“Our task is to restore people’s faith in the future.

“I’m not talking about changing a policy, or simply a different programme.

“But something that is bigger: transforming the idea, the ethic, of how our country is run.

“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.

“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.”

He hailed his conference-opening pledge to raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2020 as the best way of “rewarding the talents of all”.

Setting out the plans to double the numbers getting on the housing ladder - partly through a pledge to be building 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 - he said property ownership is “that most British of dreams” but that it had “faded” for too many young people priced out of the market.

He called for a “revolution in apprenticeships” to ensure as many school leavers go into one as now go on to study for a degree.

At present four times as many go to university, “leaving both young people and businesses without the skills they need to succeed for the future”, he will add.

There would be action to tackle the “modern injustice” of self-employed people lacking pensions and being refused mortgages, he said.

And ensuring the UK caught up with countries such as Germany, Japan, the United States, India and China in creating jobs in green technology was “the most important thing I can do in politics for the future of my kids and their generation,” he said.

8 comments

  • I can well understand why Ed Miliband is so concerned about the Nhs as he may need their help sooner rather than later as he is becoming so forgetful. As far Larson`s comment about the English Question. He should remember that the vote on tuition fees was only got through with the help of Scottish MPs because so many Labour MPs rebelled. The irony of course being that tuition fees do not apply in Scotland. The script writers for the conservative conference must think it is Christmas with so much material gifted to them in the last few days by Miliband.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • NHS funding under Labour is a pipedream as they only want to spend the equivalent of 3% of its annual budget more, without having the funds. Money they receive and spend, unchecked by ethical consideration, will be judged against need. Labour is making noises to support going to war against IS, a war Obama said could result in years of bombing campaigns, taxes spend on arms, not societies needs. Labour is disingenous and will loose many of its Scottish members, they will not get elected next year.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • What a joke the two Ed's are! How could anyone ever consider these two clowns suitable to run our country? Lets not forgot that we are all still paying for the mess Labour created last time around. The truth is whoever is in power and however long they have there is very little change for the better - FACT. The NHS is a money-pit and unsustainable in its current form due to an ever increasing and ageing population - yet the two Ed's think it can be solved by taxing the rich and throwing more nurses at it. The solutions they propose to national on-going issues are flimsy at best with nothing offered to substantiate their arguments and will undoubtedly fall at the first hurdle. A pathetic attempt at leading the electorate up the garden path by painting an image of a false utopia.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • ".......No wonder Ed doesn`t want to talk about the English question.......". Nor does Cameron , he has not said a word about it for the previous four and a half years . Out of nearly 5000 votes in the commons since 1997 only 21 would have gone differently if Scottish MP’s votes hadn’t been counted. So big deal then .

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

  • The mansion tax can be easily avoided. Split a sector off for separate staff accommodation or business use or just split a bit off as a separate flat. No need to actually let it.

    Report this comment

    BobE

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

  • Sharky you are right. The Nhs funding gap will widen even further in years to come so what little the Mansion Tax con and other proposed tax measures will produce will have to be used to plug the funding gap and not pay for all the extras promised by Ed. But at least Labour showed us today that it hasn`t changed. Its still the party of greed, envy, tax and spend.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

  • Still a multi billion shortage. Wheres the rest coming from?

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

  • In order to identify properties worth 2m or more the Mansion Tax will mean revaluation of everyone's home in England The consequence of which will mean many properties being moved to higher rateable bands. This is an English only tax but will be voted through (and can only be voted through) with the help of Scottish Labour MPs. No wonder Ed doesn`t want to talk about the English question.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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