LONDON — Families in Britain are facing a “cost of living” crisis that will persist for years to come, Labour leader Ed Miliband said on Monday. Miliband said the expectation that the next generation would always do better than the last was now under threat at a time of rising inflation and growing wage inequality.
Looking at potential remedies, Miliband said that the banking system should be reformed to support business and a range of ownership structures should be considered when the government sells its stakes in high street banks. The Labour leader accused the coalition government of making things worse for families with children by decisions such as pushing up VAT sales tax and changes to tax credits. “The crunch will be felt first and worst by low and middle income families, particularly those with children,” Miliband said. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has made great use of the phrase “we’re all in this together,” stressing that the pain of its deficit-cutting measures would be shared by all. The Conservatives said that families were feeling the effect of Labour’s mismanagement of the economy. “The high cost of living that low and middle-income families are facing is the consequence of Labour’s record bust,” said Michael Fallon, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.