New Labour leader Ed Miliband has given his strongest signal yet that he would put up taxes in order to protect public services from spending cuts.
Deputy leader Harriet Harman will today bring down the curtain on a tumultuous party conference, when she delivers the closing address to the delegates gathered in Manchester.
In an interview tonight with Channel 4 News, Mr Miliband reiterated his determination to “improve” Mr Darling’s deficit reduction plan which would have seen two thirds come from spending cuts and one third from taxation.
“We should look to do more from taxation. For example, taking more from banks or tackling tax avoidance,” he said.
“If we can protect ordinary families with higher taxes on banks, of course we should.
“If I was in government at the moment, I would be looking - whether it is a tax on the banks or tackling tax avoidance - to lighten the load and the cuts and the impact that it is going to have on ordinary families.
“I would do more from taxation than Alistair proposed in his plan.”
Already Labour’s plans contrast with the coalition government’s aim to cut 80% of the deficit through spending cuts and 20% through higher taxes.
The Conservatives claimed that Mr Miliband would have to raise taxes by a further £35 billion - the equivalent of 7p on the basic rate of income tax - in order to meet the commitments he made during his leadership campaign.
Tory MP Matthew Hancock said that Mr Miliband needed to spell out how he would find the money.
“Ed Miliband said he would set out how he would deal with the deficit by the time of the spending review, but it’s increasingly clear he has no plan,” he said.