Ed Miliband forecasts difficult year

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has warned that 2011 will be a year of "consequences" as the coalition government's public-sector cuts and tax rises begin to bite.

In his New Year message, Mr Miliband claims there are "forbidding and unheeding" forces at work in Whitehall and says the consequences of their decisions will be felt by "hard-working families across the country".

He says: "Many people feel powerless in the face of these decisions that will affect their lives, families and communities.

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"It is the message I get talking to young people about the loss of their educational maintenance allowances and trebling of tuition fees, people in different areas worried about their services and those wondering where the new jobs are going to come from."

He goes on: "Labour's challenge and duty in 2011 is to be people's voice in tough times".