Ed Miliband ‘accepts reality’ over cuts

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Labour cannot go into the next General Election on a promise to reverse coalition cuts and return to the high public spending and redistribution of the Brown era, Ed Miliband said yesterday.

Instead of redistribution of income through measures such as Gordon Brown’s tax credit programme, a future Labour government will have to focus on “predistribution”, by doing more to ensure that work pays for the disadvantaged in society, Mr Miliband said.

In an interview with the New Statesman magazine, the Labour leader said that he accepted the “absolute reality” that government must now function in a more constrained fiscal environment than in the period of the Blair and Brown administrations.

It would be “politically crackers” for him to tell voters he would be able to spend in the same way his Labour predecessors did or to promise to reverse coalition cuts to benefits.