Ed Balls nods to Beveridge

The big take-home from the Shadow Chancellor’s speech to conference this morning is his proposal to use the proceeds from the 4G auction to fund 100,000 affordable homes and a stamp-duty holiday for first-time buyers.

Just before he concludes his speech, Labour’s Ed Balls draws on the Beveridge legacy (see quote below).

Will the Conservatives also call upon Beveridge at their conference next week in Birmingham?

But that Labour Cabinet also remained focussed on the long-term task ahead. And they learned from history and rejected the failed austerity of the 1930s.

And that meant they could put in place long-term reforms, enduring achievements, vital to our country’s future: the Beveridge report; new homes for heroes; the school leaving age raised; and, for the first time ever, a National Health Service free to all, based on need not ability to pay – over 60 years later, celebrated in our Olympics opening ceremony for all the world to see, still today the greatest health service in the world.

Conference, they were very different times. But it is our task to recapture the spirit and values and national purpose of that time.


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