Ed Miliband Promises 'Hope' and 'Concrete Steps' For Voters in 2013

Ed Miliband has promised that 2013 will be the year when he sets out "concrete steps" explaining how his party would create a one nation Britain.

In a new year message released on Friday, the Labour leader said he would be making policy announcements over the next 12 months on areas "from business to education to welfare" and that he would be offering voters "hope".

"We'll never eliminate struggle but we can tip the scales towards hope, that's what a one nation government is all about," he said.

Miliband used his party conference speech to brand Labour as a one nation party, audaciously grabbing a label associated with a strand of Conservatism, but since then he has been criticised for having said little to flesh out what the concept means.

In his message, in which he used the "one nation" phrase nine times, he said he would providing more detail over the coming year.

"We cannot write anybody off in our country, that is what one nation is all about. And that is what you will be hearing about from the Labour party in 2013," he said.

"We need to change the rules of the game for business, so that we have rules that encourage long term wealth creation which is what our country needs. In a world where there is less money around that for the Labour party is the route to a fairer society.

"One nation Labour is about reaching out to every part of Britain, it's about a party that is as much the party of the private sector as the public sector, a party of south as well as north, a party determined to fight for the future of the United Kingdom, and a party rooted in every community of our land.

"I've set out a vision of what this county can be, one nation, and in 2013 we will be setting out concrete steps on making that vision a reality from business to education to welfare."

Miliband said the coalition was "a government of broken promises and broken dreams". He went on: "They want you to believe that we have a good government being let down by bad people. We don't. We got a bad government that is letting down the good people of this country."

In his own new year message, Nick Clegg said the Lib Dems would continue to act as a moderating influence within the coalition.

"Whatever 2013 throws at us, the Liberal Democrats will continue to anchor this coalition in the centre ground," the deputy prime minister said.

"We will hold firm to our key purpose in this government: the Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy, in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life."

He also hinted that the coalition's mid-term agreement, which is due to be published in January, would include measures to cut childcare costs. "We will cut income tax bills and help with childcare bills," he said.

Downing Street said David Cameron would be releasing his new year's message nearer to 31 December.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Andrew Sparrow, political correspondent, for The Guardian on Friday 28th December 2012 00.02 Europe/London

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image: © EdMiliband