Labour leader outlines vision for government including aim to boost green economy and housebuilding
Ed Miliband has outlined a 10-year plan for Britain that will include a pledge to put green industries at the heart of economic growth, with a million high-tech green jobs created.
In his speech to the Labour Party conference in Manchester today, the Labour leader outlined a 10-year vision for the country, including the introduction of a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m, should Labour be elected to government at the election next year.
He outlined six broad goals for a Labour government, including “creating one million more high-tech jobs by securing the UK’s position as is a world leader in green industries”.
This, he said, will include boosting investment in low-carbon technologies by setting a legal target to remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030 and developing an active industrial strategy for the green economy.
He said a Labour government would tackle climate change by supporting an ambitious, legally-binding international agreement on climate change at the Paris Conference in 2015 He confirmed Labour would strengthen the Green Investment Bank so it can invest in the technologies and industries of the future and will work to ensure five million homes are insulated over the next decade.
Miliband said: “Under this government, Britain lags behind Germany, Japan, the United States and even India and China for low-carbon, green technologies and services.
“So many of our brilliant businesses are desperate to play their part in creating their jobs of the future but they just can’t do it unless government does its bit. With our plan, we will.
“It is incredibly important to our economy today. And it is the most important thing I can do in politics for the future of my kids and their generation.”
Miliband said a Labour government would raise the number of school leavers going on to high quality apprenticeships so it is equal to those who go on university; double the number of first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder; and preventing young entrepreneurs who start a business from being locked out of pensions and mortgages.
Miliband said for each of the goals Labour’s manifesto will set out policies for the first years of government which will “establish a clear pathway to meeting them over the next decade”.
On housing, Miliband restated Labour’s commitment to ensure 200,000 homes per year by 2020, with the aim of doubling the number of first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder a year. Miliband said the funds from a mansion tax will be partly used to fund a boost in spending on the NHS.
However, publication of Labour’s review of housing policy by Sir Michael Lyons, which was expected at the conference, has been delayed, although it is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
But Miliband said the plans will include New Homes Corporations to help drive development in local areas and give “use it or lose it” powers to local communities to tackle developers who hoard land unnecessarily. He also claimed Labour will deliver a new generation of garden cities; and give urban councils a “right to grow” in to neighbouring authorities’ land where necessary.
He said the plan will also include making building new homes, including in the public sector, “a top priority in our capital investment programme over the next parliament”.
Miliband said: “The confidence and security that comes from having your own home is missing for so many people in Britain today; that most British of dreams, the dream of home ownership, has faded.
“We will stop the large developers sitting on land and we will back the thousands of small developers and construction companies with access to new loans, there will be new towns, garden cities and suburbs with a half a million new homes, and housing will be a top priority in our capital investment programme - because we need to start Britain building again.”