Labour is the only party that can make good on the claim “we’re all in it together”, Ed Miliband has insisted.
The party leader said the coalition could no longer lay claim to the mantra after cutting the 50p top rate of income tax and “picking a fight over petrol” that provoked panic at the pumps.
He insisted Labour would show “what that phrase really means in these tough times” by making different choices.
On the campaign trail in Southampton, Mr Miliband said: “I think it was this spirit the Government was getting at when they took office, saying we are all in it together.
“I think they were on to something but while their words were good, they have failed in deed.
“Two weeks on from the Budget, that is its lasting legacy.
“Whatever their twists and turns, their complex justifications, they can’t cut taxes for millionaires and then raise taxes for millions.”
He added: “This Government can no longer say ‘we are all in this together’.
Mr Miliband also claimed British voters are yearning for old-fashioned values like solidarity.
He insisted the principles his father Ralph, a left-wing academic, held dear were still relevant now as he continued his local election campaign tour.
He said: “Seeing the port here reminds me of my Dad’s service in the Royal Navy. He used to talk to me about what that service was like. About how welcoming people were to him, a refugee, who had arrived in Britain barely three years earlier.
“He talked above all about the camaraderie, the sense of solidarity.
“Think about that word: solidarity. It sounds old-fashioned but I think it speaks to our time, to what people are yearning for.
“Not ‘us versus them’ but a sense that we must all look out for each other. People know times are tough, people know the answers aren’t easy.
“But they want a sense that there is a national purpose with shared sacrifice and reward.”
Later he discussed his fears about the NHS reforms and the unfairness of the Budget with local party workers.