"If you start driving a coach and horses through universality you're effectively saying to middle Britain, 'you've got no stake in the welfare state.' I think the Tories and Liberals are making a very big mistake on child benefit. There's an answer to people on higher incomes and that's they pay higher taxes. And that is the answer to squaring that circle."
Miliband is determined to defend universal benefit regardless of cost and he also favours a 50:50 split between tax hikes and spending cuts to reduce the deficit – a policy that would require £61bn to be raised in tax. Miliband and Alan Johnson will reveal Labour’s economic policy on Monday; expect it contain a fetid dram of Old Labour.