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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Labour as a 'one trick pony'

The Sunday Times reports on warnings by senior Labour party figures if their party continues to base its election strategy on a “cost of living crisis”, it risks becoming a “one-trick pony”.

The paper highlights that the warning comes as polling for The Sunday Times shows that the Tories are closing the gap on the issue, and that Labour now only has a narrow lead on its ability to tackle high prices, boost living standards and provide jobs. The Tories have also extended their advantage over Labour when it comes to questions of economic competence:

A senior Labour frontbencher said that with the election just over a year away, Ed Miliband needed to find something different to say on the economy. “This is the endgame . . . therefore it is really important we are not seen as a one-trick pony on the cost of living. Everyone believes that Labour would tackle that better than the Tories but if they feel that is all we are offering and the economy is doing a little bit better then it won’t be enough.”

The former Labour cabinet minister Alan Milburn also warned that as the economic landscape shifted, so must Miliband’s economic strategy.

“As the economy rebalances Labour needs to rebalance its policy,” he told The Sunday Times.

“Labour wins a majority in parliament when it rewards aspirations and doesn’t just recognise injustice, and when it focuses as much on creating wealth as distributing it.”

The remarks reflect increasing unease among Labour MPs about Miliband’s insistence on making the cost of living the central plank of the party’s election campaign. They fear the improving economic climate could mean it will not be such a decisive issue for many voters by the time of the general election.

Yet more unrest in Labour's ranks as the leadership of Ed Miliband comes under greater scrutiny.
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