Ed Miliband has admitted that the Labour party did not regulate the banks sufficiently and would have had to introduce cuts if re-elected in May’s general election.
The new Labour leader said that the UK economy had been left too exposed by Gordon Brown and the resultant deficit meant that cuts were inevitable.
Mr Miliband was speaking on the Andrew Marr show when he said that Labour should have acknowledged earlier that there would be cuts under the party and admitted their culpability on bank regulation sooner.
Mr Miliband said:
“We should have acknowledged earlier – and I think this is the mistake we made – we should have acknowledged earlier, after the financial crisis happened, that eventually there would have to be cuts under Labour.
“Our plans involved cuts and we should have acknowledged that and I think the problem we faced was, if you like, we sometimes looked like we were pretending there weren’t going to be cuts under Labour when in fact there were, so that is a point that I acknowledge.”
On bank regulation the Labour leader added:
“I think we should take our responsibility for not having regulated the banks sufficiently, along with governments around the world.
“I think that the British economy was too exposed to the crash in financial services because we were so reliant on that as an industry to support us and I think we also should have acknowledged earlier that our plans – our plan to halve the deficit over four years – would have involved cuts.”
Commenting on the interview SNP MSP Brian Adam said it undermined Iain Gray’s attempts at Holyrood to try and pretend Labour have no responsibility for the cuts or the financial crisis.
Mr Adam said:
“These remarks totally undermine Iain Gray and his Holyrood party’s attempts to pretend the cuts are nothing to do with Labour.
“It is yet another example of how Labour put in place their own devastating cuts and how the banking collapse happened on their watch. Iain Gray and his spokespeople can no longer pretend that they are innocents in this matter.
“It is the SNP which is working hard to minimise the impact of a series of Labour, LibDem and Tory cuts on Scotland’s families, communities, and services. But without the job creating powers we need to invest properly in economic growth we are faced with Westminster cuts that are too fast and too deep.”
The SNP MSP also repeated his party’s calls for more economic powers for the Scottish parliament and accused Labour of abandoning Scotland to years of Tory control.
“Labour, Iain Gray, and Ed Miliband must explain why they prefer these additional Tory cuts and Tory control of Scottish taxes and spending to Scotland having the responsibility to raise our own finances and spend our own money, to create jobs, and grow the economy.”