Ed Miliband: Being rich is good¿ so long as you make money the hard way

| September 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

By
This Is Money Reporter

08:56 EST, 15 September 2012


|

08:56 EST, 15 September 2012

Sharing views: Labour leader Ed Milliband

Sharing views: Labour leader Ed Milliband

Being rich is ‘good’, Labour leader Ed Miliband has said, so long as you ‘make it the hard way’.

Mr Miliband added that though he does not object to wealth in itself, ‘the scale of inequality scars our society’.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Labour leader said he felt capitalism was ‘the least worst system we’ve got’, but needed saving from itself.

The comments come after Labour signalled a lurch to the Left this week, in the hope of attracting disaffected Lib Dem voters.

Mr Balls revealed that Labour is actively considering plans for a new ‘wealth tax’, while Mr Miliband said he wanted the introduction of a ‘living wage’ for the low paid.

Mr Miliband suggested ministers should pay less attention to controlling inflation, as it was clear it was not the key to growth and stability. ‘The old answers won’t work,’ he added.

Mr Miliband confirmed that Labour was examining proposals for a possible wealth tax, which could be based on the Lib Dem mansion tax idea.

And he called for wider implementation of plans for a ‘living wage’ of up to £8.30 – 36 per cent higher than the minimum wage of £6.08 an hour.

The Labour leader also unveiled his new concept of ‘pre-distribution’, which involves trying to ensure the poor have better life chances, rather than subsidising them with benefits later in life.

‘Pre-distribution is about saying we cannot allow ourselves to be stuck with permanently being a low-wage economy,’ he said.

Mr Miliband, who has been at pains to shake off his ‘Red Ed’ tag and whose father Ralph was a Marxist historian, acknowledged the merits of Margaret Thatcher’s aspiration agenda.

‘My dad was sceptical of all the Thatcher aspirational stuff, but I felt you sort of had to recognise that what she was talking about struck a chord. I want to save capitalism from itself,’ he told the newspaper.

The Labour leader said the ‘creativity’ of capitalism had to be harnessed and made ‘more decent’ and ‘humane’.

‘I believe capitalism is the least worst system we’ve got,’ he said.

Mr Miliband said the light-touch regulatory regime accepted by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had proved inadequate.

‘The consensus around regulation turned out to be really problematic,’ he said.

Mr Miliband also said the last Labour government had been ‘too easy and accepting’.

‘It’s just not true that all the top CEOs will leave the country unless we pay them whatever they demand,’ he said.

And he dismissed the suggestion that socialism was dead, describing it as ‘a set of values’ and ‘a tale that never ends’.

‘While there’s capitalism, there’ll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice,’ he said.

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