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Labour's Miliband names himself champion of 'hollowed-out' middle class as working class suffers

Labour Party leader ignores low incomes and housing crisis as he commits to keep Tory spending policy if he wins 2015 election

Ed Miliband paraded himself yesterday as the champion of the “middle classes” — mere days after voting for a severe Tory welfare cap on the poor and the sick.

The Labour leader declared in liberal newspaper The Independent that the middle class is being “hollowed out” under an assault from government policies.

But he omitted to mention the working class.

He also failed to abandon his austerity policy of sticking to Tory spending cuts in the first years of a Labour government.

Mr Miliband’s article appeared just 12 days after he led most Labour MPs into the Tory voting lobby to back Chancellor George Osborne’s permanent cap on welfare benefits.

It followed a similar article in the Tory Daily Telegraph in January headed: “I can save the middle class.”

The Labour leader wrote in his latest article: “The middle class, once the solid centre of our economy, is being hollowed out with growing insecurity and the prospect for the first time since the war that their children will be worse off than they were.”

Until the 1990s, wages for “middle-income Britain” had risen in line with economic growth.

“That no longer holds true, because the link between growth and the living standards of middle Britain has been broken,” he said.

Mr Miliband predicted that Tory policies would leave wages continuing to lag and “middle-income families will be locked out of the benefits of growth.”

The Labour leader referred to his party’s policy reviews aiming to get young people back to work, tackle zero-hours contracts and “encourage” the living wage.

He also promised new proposals on low pay, housing and regenerating Britain’s cities and towns.

Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths commented: “While Labour needs a broad appeal to win the next election, Mr Miliband should get his priorities right.

“He should concern himself more with the low incomes and poor housing conditions of millions of working-class people.

“Furthermore, nothing would be more popular among his so-called squeezed-middle electors than public ownership of the railways and energy monopolies.”


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