Miliband calls for return to industrial intervention

THE GOVERNMENT should take a more active role in the private sector, Ed Miliband will say today, as he warns against returning to “business as usual” in the wake of the slump.

Speaking at the CBI’s annual conference, Miliband will argue that government should not shy away from pursuing a policy of industrial interventionism.

“What it means to be pro-business in the 2010s is different to what it meant in the 1990s. It means more than just getting out of the way,” he is expected to say.

“Government should not be afraid to provide support to business that the market will not offer. That is the way to rebalance our economy.”

Miliband will also claim the government has become obsessed with spending cuts at the expense of an economic strategy, a charge the Prime Minister will try to deflect with a series of pro-growth announcements to day.

And the new Labour leader will champion small businesses at the expense of big business, adopting a tone that is remarkably similar to the coalition’s.

“The change Tony Blair brought to our party certainly made us more welcoming for big business, but we must do more to understand the real importance of small business.”

Meanwhile, Miliband is expected to defend his stance on the deficit, which he thinks should be paid down more slowly.