How Labour says it will run the country

Ed Miliband will borrow from the New Labour playbook today as he launches the party’s general election pledge card.

Tony Blair boiled down his pitch for power ahead of his 1997 landslide victory into five promises - on the education, health, unemployment, crime and tax - and today Miliband will do the same.

Speaking at a rally in Birmingham, Miliband will insist that voters face a choice between hope and fear at the election. He will argue that Britain can prosper only when people of all backgrounds are succeeding, telling 1,500 activists: “Any civilised country is built on the idea of the common good.”

With 54 days to the election, he is attempting to rally party morale in the face of polls pointing to a gradual strengthening of Tory support as well as massive SNP gains from Labour.

The five pledges are:

1. Balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

2. Raise living standards by freezing energy bills until 2017, banning zero-hours contracts and lifting the minimum wage to £8 an hour.

3. Boost the NHS by hiring 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.

4. Control immigration by stopping new arrivals from claiming benefits for at least two years and banning exploitative pay rates.

5. Cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year, offer an apprenticeship to every school-leaver with basic grades, and reduce class sizes in infants schools.

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