Ed Miliband has his work cut-out on economy
Labour’s started firing off policies in Brighton: promising access to childcare for all parents of primary school age children and rises in the minimum wage for some.
The only costed announcement today is the decision to abolish what Labour likes to call the “bedroom tax.” Labour says its childcare policy is to require schools to offer childcare where parents want it – the fees paid by parents would cover the costs incurred is the suggestion.
On welfare, Labour’s said it would knock out some of the coalition’s policies – tax concessions to hedge funds and rights for shares swaps included – to pay for reversing the spare room policy but, privately, Labour doesn’t think it’ll come to that.
The party’s convinced the spare room subsidy policy actually saves the government nothing so when the official figures come through it’ll be able to score a free policy hit.
Miliband wants to start to convince voters at this conference that things can get better for them and an Ipsos MORI poll for Channel 4 News shows how much work he has to do.
There’s a huge sense of pessimism about living standards improving out there – only 22 per cent think the Tories would make them better off, 23 per cent think Labour would and a thwacking 52 per cent think neither will help them.
Miliband’s other big task is to win back some credibility for economic management. The Ipsos MORI poll show Labour’s ratings are lower now than their lowest point after the banking crash.
The Tory ratings are improving: 38 per cent of voters saying the Tories have the best policies for managing the economy and 20 per cent say Labour does (the Lib Dems are on 5 per cent).