29 Sep 2012

Ed Miliband accuses government of neglecting young people

Ed Miliband has accused the government of having “something against” the next generation in a speech aimed at young people on the even of the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

In an attack with particular emphasis against the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, whose apology over breaking a pledge on student fees was an internet sensation after being “auto-tuned” last week, Mr Miliband suggested his party would go further than its existing commitments to cut student fees by a third.

Speaking at the East Manchester Academy this afternoon, the Labour Party leader said: “We have said that if we were in government tomorrow we would cut the tuition fee to £6,000, the maximum tuition fee.

“In my view that is not enough. I think it is a start. It is what we can afford, we have shown a way of doing it and it would reduce the debts that people are going to face.”

He also called form a bigger focus on vocational training and reiterated his desire to see the voting age brought down to 16.

Going on the offensive, Mr Miliband criticised the government over unemployment and housing costs. However, he added that, whoever is in government following the next election, tough economic choices will have to be made.

“Whoever wins the next election will be faced with a huge deficit,” he said. “If it is a Labour government, we will have to make difficult decisions. We will not be able to reverse all the cuts.

“We will take decisions about priorities, like putting jobs ahead of pay rises. But don’t believe those who say that all politicians are the same, because our decisions will be different.

“We would always put the interests of millions of working people ahead of tax cuts for millionaires.”

The Labour Party conference starts on Sunday and continues to Thursday at the Manchester Central conference centre.

It follows last week’s Liberal Democrat conference, at which Nick Clegg announced that Paddy Ashdown will lead the party’s election campaign.The Conservative party conference starts on Sunday 7 October in Birmingham.