David Cameron and Nick Clegg have failed in their mission to ensure both rich and poor share the burden when it comes to tackling Britain's financial problems, Ed Miliband has said.
During the coalition's first year in office ministers were often heard to repeat the mantra "we are all in this together" when explaining the choices they made on public spending cuts.
However the Labour leader said the government's recent Budget, which cut the 50p rate of tax for the rich and its bungled handling of a potential fuel strike showed it had abandoned that cause.
Speaking in Southampton on Wednesday as he kicked of Labour's local election campaign, Miliband said the country needed to know there was shared sacrifice and reward.
"Seeing the port here reminds me of my Dad's service in the Royal Navy," he said.
"He used to talk to me about what that service was like. About how welcoming people were to him, a refugee, who had arrived in Britain barely three years earlier.
"He talked above all about the camaraderie, the sense of solidarity. Think about that word: solidarity. It sounds old fashioned but I think it speaks to our time, to what people are yearning for.
"Not 'us versus them' but a sense that we must all look out for each other. People know times are tough, people know the answers aren't easy.
"But they want a sense that there is a national purpose with shared sacrifice and reward."
He said he thought it was that spirit the government was getting at when they took office saying "we are all in it together".
"I think they were onto something but while their words were good, they have failed in deed," he said. “Two weeks on from the Budget, that is its lasting legacy."
"Whatever their twists and turns, their complex justifications, they can't cut taxes for millionaires and then raise taxes for millions. That's not we're all in it together.
He added: "You can't pick a fight over petrol and provoke panic at the pumps. That's not we're all in it together."Suggest a correction