Miliband: 'We Must Tackle Middle Class Crisis'
A crisis of confidence for the middle classes is the "greatest challenge for our generation," according to Ed Miliband.
The Labour leader argues families believe their chances of getting good quality jobs, secure pensions and affordable housing have been "undermined".
And he claims middle class parents are worried their children do not have the same opportunities as the older generations.
In an article for The Daily Telegraph Mr Miliband writes: "Our country cannot succeed and become collectively better off unless Britain has a strong and vibrant middle class.
"Indeed, the greatest challenge for our generation is how to tackle a crisis in living standards that has now become a crisis of confidence for middle class families."
The article will be seen as an attempt to reach out to the middle class households seen as the political centre ground. Labour has already tried to toughen its position on welfare in order to grow the party's appeal outside of its traditional support base.
He adds: "The cost of living crisis is not just about people on tax credits, zero hours contracts and the minimum age. It is about millions of middle class families who never dreamt that life would be such a struggle."
Britain's improving economic performance poses new challenges for Mr†Miliband.
As faith in the recovery grows, Labour's initial argument of "too far, too fast" has already been replaced by a renewed focus is on the cost of living.
However, there is concern that if wages begin to rise at a faster pace than prices this argument could also lose its resonance.
A Guardian/ICM poll shows Mr†Miliband's party has dropped two points to stand at 35% - just three points ahead of the Conservatives.
Labour hopes to tackle this challenge with a series of speeches by key Shadow Cabinet ministers including Tristram Hunt on education, Rachel Reeves on welfare, Emma Reynolds on housing and Ed Balls on the economy.
Mr Miliband will be giving a speech on Friday setting out his own policy ideas.
Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps said: "Ed Miliband has no plan. He has opposed every difficult decision we have taken to start turning our economy around.
"All he offers is more of the same old Labour policy that got us into a mess in the first place - more spending, more borrowing and more taxes. That would mean a less secure future for hardworking people and their families."
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