Ed Miliband: Ministers Sitting On Their Hands And Putting Jobs At Risk

Ed Miliband: Ministers Putting Jobs At Risk

Millions of UK jobs are at risk because ministers are "sitting on their hands" and wrongly blaming the eurozone crisis for Britain's economic woes, Ed Miliband is to say.

The Labour leader will say that while there is a "pressing need" to resolve the major problems engulfing the single currency, far more domestic action was required to stop Britain sliding back into recession.

Volatile markets rallied on Friday as two of the most troubled European countries, Italy and Greece, took steps towards stabilising their politics and putting in place tough austerity measures.

In Athens, new prime minister Lucas Papademos took control of an interim coalition government after days of intense wrangling following the departure of George Papandreou. Meanwhile, politicians in Italy are expected to give final approval to a series of reforms, which should be the trigger for the resignation of premier Silvio Berlusconi.

With technocratic administrations being put in place to calm fears in those countries, focus was shifting to Germany which has been the block to the intervention of the European Central Bank in propping up ailing economies.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg all issued stark warnings on Friday of the potential fallout of the eurozone troubles on domestic fortunes.

Mr Cameron said there was "a big question mark" over the future of the single currency and he could not rule out a "double-dip" recession in the UK as a result. He said he was doing everything possible to steer Britain "safely through the storm" but that the country faced "a difficult time because of what is happening in the eurozone".

Mr Miliband will use a speech, however, to accuse the Government of using Europe as a smokescreen for failing to take action to promote jobs and growth in the UK. Addressing a party conference in the West Midlands, he is expected to say: "It is time David Cameron and George Osborne started taking responsibility for what is happening in the British economy.

"There is an urgent and pressing need for the crisis in the eurozone to be resolved. But when people's jobs, homes and businesses are in jeopardy it is not enough for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to use the eurozone crisis as a cloak to hide their lack of action."

They and Mr Clegg have made "terrible misjudgements which will cost Britain and British families dear", he will say. "Their mistakes could cost millions of people's livelihoods and jobs. They could cost our children's futures. They have shown themselves to be deeply out of touch with the needs of British business and British families who are crying out for a proper plan for growth and jobs."


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