Miliband calls for ‘predistribution’

A new approach is needed to tackling the growing income gap, based on the idea of 'predistribution', according to opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Speaking to a think-tank audience in London, Miliband said society needs to care about predistribution as well as redistribution – both are part of a long-term solution to the problem of inequality. 

Key points

  • Redistribution is necessary to tackle inequality, and will remain a key aim of Labour when it is next in government. But redistribution by itself is not enough to achieve Labour's goals. The redistribution of the last Labour Government relied on revenue the next one will not enjoy.
  • Predistribution is about refusing to accept being a permanently low-wage economy. The aim must be to transform the economy so it is a much higher-skill, higher-wage economy.
  • Centre-left governments of the past have tried to make work pay better by spending more on transfer payments. Those of the future will have to also make work pay better by making work itself pay.

Source: Speech by Ed Miliband MP (Labour Party leader), 6 September 2012
Links: Speech | BBC report | Independent report | New Statesman report | CLASS blog post | Fabian Society comment | Policy Network blog post | CMPO blog post