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UK opposition leader promises to build fairer society, as he unveils election manifesto

UK opposition leader promises to build fairer society, as he unveils election manifesto
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By Euronews
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Britain’s opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband has unveiled his shop window of election promises, as he bids to become the country’s next prime

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Britain’s opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband has unveiled his shop window of election promises, as he bids to become the country’s next prime minister.

Miliband’s manifesto pledges to protect national finances and end tax avoidance by the rich.

Speaking in Manchester, a party stronghold in northern England, he said he would build a fairer Britain.

“My vow to you, the British people. Everything in this manifesto is funded. The deficit will be cut every year. The books will be balanced and the national debt will be falling,” said Miliband.

“With me as prime minister, no powerful interest will outweigh the interests of working people of our country. That is my mission as prime minister.”

The first page of our manifesto isn’t a list of promises, but a guarantee: Labour will secure the nation’s finances: pic.twitter.com/Bkeirq7EUr

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) April 13, 2015

The party’s fiscal aim, to balance the books by 2020 at the latest, is looser than that set by the Conservatives – who want to run a surplus by 2018/19.

But there is more than just the economy at stake in the election, billed as the tightest race in recent times.

Incumbent Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

While the Scottish nationalists, who want Scotland’s independence, are seeking a kingmaker position.

There is also the influence of the anti-EU, UK Independence Party (UKIP). Polls have shown it has been siphoning more supporters from Cameron’s party than from Labour.

Britain’s first-past-the post electoral system means UKIP is unlikely to win more than a handful of seats, but its popularity threatens to split the Conservative vote.

One of the most recent polls gives Labour a three percentage point lead over the Conservative party.

Cameron will launch his party’s manifesto on Tuesday. He claims Labour, in power from 1997 to 2010, a period which included the 2008 financial crisis, left the country almost bankrupt with Britain’s biggest peacetime deficit.

Labour won't balance the books. As the IFS puts it, "...literally we would not know what we were voting for if we were to vote for Labour."

— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) April 13, 2015

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