◦Ed Miliband's speech: Liberal Democrats are delivering where Labour failed
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats
Ed Miliband's political education didn't take place at school in Primrose Hill but in the Treasury under Gordon Brown. He and Ed Balls were special advisers to Brown when they let the banks run amok and claimed to have abolished boom and bust.
In his speech to Labour Party Conference he attempted to airbrush out his and Labour's record in power. On taxes, youth unemployment and taking on vested interests, Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are delivering where Labour failed.
Labour plunged us into austerity. It is the Liberal Democrats who will get us out.
Ed Miliband's 'One Nation' theme is also a repeat of the theme of Nick Clegg's Spring 2012 conference speech: "A one nation party seeing not what divides us - but what unites us"
Compare and contrast: Taxes
· Labour hit low income workers by scrapping the 10p tax rate. Liberal Democrats have cut taxes for working people by £550 a year and lifted more than 2m of the poorest workers out of tax altogether.
· The top rate of tax was 40p for all but 35 days of Labour's 13 years in power. Liberal Democrats have raised taxes on the wealthiest, cracked down on tax avoidance and are pushing for further wealth taxes.
· Under Labour, the wealthy were taxed the same on their assets that their cleaners were taxed on their income. To stop this, Liberal Democrats hiked up Capital Gains Tax.
Compare and contrast: Young people and skills
· Labour devalued skills training. Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have delivered record growth in apprenticeships. There were 60% more apprenticeships in our first year in Government than Labour's last year.
· Youth unemployment shot up under Labour, starting long before the recession. It rose steadily from 2001, rising by more than 40% by the time they left office. ONS stats show that when Tony Blair came to power in May 1997 there were 652,000 unemployed 16-24 year olds. In May 2010, there were 930,000.
· Liberal Democrats have introduced the Youth Contract to give every young person the opportunity to earn or learn. It will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds who are struggling to find jobs.
· The Coalition is on track to deliver 24 University Technical Colleges, which were committed to in the 2011 Budget. Many are already up and running. They will create opportunities for more than 10,000 young people.
Compare and contrast: Taking on the vested interests
· Labour spent 13 years in power cosying up to the banks and the Murdochs. Under Ed Miliband, they are in the pockets of the trade unions who provide the vast majority of their funding.
· Liberal Democrats are not in anyone's pockets. While Labour was in power we warned about the banks and stood up to Rupert Murdoch. And unlike Labour we are not reliant on trade union donations.
Labour's big ideas (things they didn't do in 13 years but now say they will, that Liberal Democrats are actually doing in Government)
· Boosting apprenticeships
· A business bank
· Separating retail and investment banking
· Boosting house building