There were a lot of problems with the Labour leader’s umpteenth relaunch speech yesterday – and you can read several of them here.

Now it seems even he is aware of at least one of them. This morning, Miliband has released a four minute version of the speech in the form of a blogpost.

As you might expect, it includes his new soundbite on the “zero zero economy”:

‘…people are asking why we have zero-hours contracts while some at the top seem to get away with paying zero tax.’

Except that line isn’t quite the same as it was in the Senate House yesterday. Here’s the original:

“People asking why they are on zero hours contracts while some of those at the top get away with paying zero tax.”

A crucial word has been added: ‘seem’. There’s a world of difference between saying that “those at the top get away with paying zero tax” and ‘those at the top seem to get away with paying zero tax’ – one is a claim of reality, the other is a claim of perception.

Could it be that the edit was necessary because, as pointed out on ConHome yesterday, the allegation of the rich paying “zero tax” is simply balls?

Here’s an infographic from the ONS showing the reality of taxes paid at the top and the bottom of the economic scale:


If Ed now wants to tackle the fact that those at the top “seem” to get away with paying zero tax, surely the place to start is with politicians who falsely claim it to be the case?

18 comments for: Miliband starts rowing back on “zero zero Britain” after less than 24 hours

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