Miliband and Balls unveil alternative Queens’ Speech

30th April, 2012 9:59 am

At a Q&A event this morning at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre (the venue Ed Miliband used for his major responsibility speech last year), Miliband and Balls will seek to put further pressure on the government over their mishandling of the economy – attacking “a recession made in Downing Street”.

In addition, they will unveil a set of five priorities for the Queens’ Speech, all based around the idea of “a fair deal”, consolidating several recent policy pledges and effectively producing an “Alternative Queens’ Speech” (as the pressure group Progress have been pushing for in recent weeks). The five proposed bills are:

• A Fair Deal on tax. Alongside implementing Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth, Labour’s Finance Bill would reverse tax cuts for people earning over £150,000 a year. We would use that money to help pensioners on fixed incomes hit by the “granny tax” and we would restore cuts in tax credits which have hit families.

• A Fair Deal on Energy. Labour’s Energy Bill would break up the dominance of the Big Six power companies and require them by law to offer 4 million elderly people the lowest rate available.

• A Fair Deal on Transport. Labour’s Transport Bill would stop train operators raising fares by more than one per cent above inflation, stop them exploiting commuters with unadvertised rates and give local authorities more control over bus firms.

• A Fair Deal for Consumers. Labour’s Consumer Bill would give new powers to the Financial Conduct Authority and Competition and Markets Authority to stop rip-off surcharges by banks, low-cost airlines and pension firms.

• A Fair Deal on Jobs. Labour’s Jobs Bill would ensure some of the money raised from a tax on bank bonuses is used to provide real jobs, with real wages and responsibilities, to more than 100,000 young people aged 18 – 24.

  • David Talbot

    A victory for Progress, then, and 5 points well made from Messrs Balls and Miliband.

    • Redshift

      I really don’t think Progress can claim credit for the above. Many of these ideas have been championed by other parts of the party whilst Progress was opposed/uninterested. Glad they are more behind them now, but that isn’t the same as them having a victory…

  • JC

    I’m not convinced. What about: 
    • A Fair Deal on tax. Simplifying the tax system to reduce the possibility of avoidance, unifying income tax and NI, removing people on the minimum wage from income tax and developing a tax system based on maximising revenue, not punishing behavior that is not approved of.• A Fair Deal on Energy. Removing the “Green Taxes” on energy bills. Reduce the VAT on energy, push for better insulated houses and require all new-builds and renovations to at least have high standards of insulation and solar panels.• A Fair Deal on Transport. Look at ways to stop using the poor to subsidise the better off on rail fares and public transport. Possibly use business rates for those areas well served to subsidise these.• A Fair Deal for Consumers. Remove tax from pension fund growth, revitalise town centres by removing parking charges, change the way shop rents are determined.• A Fair Deal on Jobs. Remove employers NI, support the introduction of job contracts and make it easier for small firms to lay off staff.

    • Charlie

      Nothing on housing?

      • JC

        Change the planning laws so house building companies don’t spend more on legal costs than they do on bricks!

  • Colm

    Definitely remove employers NI. Do not understand that tax on jobs. Replace with land tax and energy consumption tax.

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  • Lindaevanspell

    I agree with some of what the Tory rebels say.  And some from Labour, but what Labour says needs clarifying more as it is not that simple about fair deal on tax etc.  I am not going into details and tell you what I think as I do not like anyone take the credit for what I say.  It is all about balancing the economy and giving stability and merging ideas together.

    • Mutafe

       Agreed, we need an economy not based on spending money that we don’t have, or borrowing money that will create no return. We can’t pretend to argue that companies that export and manufacture are equal to borrowing money to spend on diversity projects.

  • Rayallen153

    Housing, the number one cause of poverty in the uk ignored by labour just like it was for 13 years. Shame.

  • Mutafe

    “Reverse tax cuts”? What that you put in place in the dying days of your government just so you could make a stinker when they were brought down? Pathetic Balls, get some real policies.
    Why only for the 4 million elderly? If you’re going to force that (which is fraught with caveats and difficulties) then why not for everyone?
    And Balls, you’ve already pledged to spend the banker’s tax 6 times over what it would raise.
    Grow a pair and maybe you would be worthy of your name.

    • Linda E

      It was Conservatives who gave Tax cuts to anyone earning £150.000 a year not Labour in there so called dying day’s .

  • treborc1

      A Fair Deal on Energy. Labour’s Energy Bill would break up the
    dominance of the Big Six power companies and require them by law to
    offer 4 million elderly people the lowest rate available.

    Why not a fair deal for all.

    Again it’s all sound bites and meaningless, we have heard it all before.

  • denise clendinning

    This is the way forward and progress in the making. and as for some one saying no house building read it again it is in there i have never ever heard anything so ridiculous as putting plastic bags in the queens speech i bet she must have felt embarassed having to read that out. Still a zombie government. Roll on 2015 .

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