The economic policies of both the Labour and Conservative partyís are too similar and give the electorate very little choice, one of Labourís largest funders has argued.
John Mills, gave over £1.5 million of his shares in 2013 to the Labour party, and has emphatically disclosed his opinion that party head Ed Miliband is highly ëboxed iní with his economic stance on different policies.
He called for the party to adopt a more radical approach towards their future economic policy, or else they risked offering very little to the public than the Conservative party in the upcoming general election.
Mr Miliband has defended his partyís current policies, arguing that they have been ëstanding upí for a multitude of different work groups and classes, rather than the middle class and wealthy orientated policies of the coalition.
The Labour party has come under fire recently for being slow to respond to the Chancellorís budget on Wednesday last week, which has garnered widespread acclaim for its new pension programme.
Mr Millís remarks come as the 2015 General Election draws closer and closer, with political analysts forecasting that it will be one of the most hotly contested elections to take place in years.
Recent opinion polls taken last week indicated that Labour are just a single point ahead of the Conservatives at present, with a multitude of party members and left wing think tanks calling for leader Ed Miliband to take a more innovative and radical approach in order to capture the attention of the electorate and give them a real alternative to the Conservative partyís polices in the lead up to the General Election.
Thus far, Labour have refused to object to the coalitionís announcement of a radical reform in the pension system in the UK, despite it being widely believed that they initially were opposed to the idea and many party members continuing to hold this stance.
Mr Mills praised the current efforts of Ed Miliband as opposition leader, but argued that he has been limited in his scope with economic policy proposals as the reduction in the public budget deficit has been an integral and significant factor to address in the post-recession era.
“Well I think he is very boxed in, to be honest with you,” he said.
“With the economic policy structure that we have got at the moment there really isn’t much room for the Labour Party to be very different from the Conservatives.”
Mr Mills suggested that the British pound should be devalued in a bid to bolster export and import levels, as well as business investment, arguing that the resulting impact of such a move would be a 5% rise in yearly GDP growth.
Moreover, he identified that such a policy could capture the working class vote, as it would lower the necessity to instigate more public spending cuts, or implement tax increases in the future, as Labour have currently supported.
ëReal things that people relate toí
Former cabinet minister Hazel Blears, who served in both the Blair and Brown administrations, argued that Labour should act now and present themselves as a party that represented everyday people, in order to separate themselves from their Tory counterparts.
“I think there are some big themes here,” she said.
“But we do need to make a bit faster progress on turning them into real things that people can relate to.”
Ms Blears highlighted that the party had a massive opportunity to present alternate policies on energy, childcare, house
building and employment, that would give the impression that Labour are concerned about the everyday worker.
The largest criticisms made on the current administrationís policies have been their failure to penalise large companies such as energy and transport firms for their persistent price hikes, and their persistent welfare cuts at a time when household finances have been at their worst and inflation has consistently been higher than the rise in worker wages.
And Ms Blears argued that Labour could capitalise on the consensus that the coalition are more concerned with the wealthy, and are unconcerned about the condition of the poor, in a bid to capture populist attention in the lead up to the General Election.
“We’re 12 months out from an election. You need a good long period, as I know from being party chair, to campaign on your pledge card, your five promises that you’re going to get out there and talk to the nation about, and we need to make faster progress at the moment.”