Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband's speech counters claims he has no plans to deal with borrowingReuters

Ed Miliband has promised to deal with the UK's deficit and balance the nation's books.

The pledge was part of a major speech from the Labour leader ahead of the 2015 general election next May.

The address countered claims that he has no plan to tackle the government's high-levels of annual borrowing, estimated to be £91.3bn ($143.4bn, €115.2bn) for this year and £75.9bn in 2015/16.

The Labour leader stated that Britain must deal with the deficit to create the strong economic foundation needed to build prosperity for working people, attract investment and fund our public services.

Miliband argued that boosting wages and taxing the better off, in addition to budget cuts in most areas, can contribute to eliminating the deficit by 2020.

"These are the principles of deficit reduction a Labour government will follow: balancing the current budget, not destroying productive investment; an economic strategy to bring the deficit down, not drive it up; sensible reductions in spending, not slash and burn of our public services; the wealthiest bearing the biggest burden, not everyday people; and fully funded commitments, without additional borrowing, not unfunded tax cuts that put our NHS at risk," he said.

"This is the central contrast between our approach and the Conservatives. We will deal with the deficit but we will never return to the 1930s.

"Our tough and balanced approach will balance the books through an economy based on high wages and high skills, common sense spending reductions and fair choices on tax."

In addition, Labour said Ed Balls will write to members of the Shadow Cabinet to let shadow ministers know they should be planning for departmental budgets to be cut each year until the next Labour government has balanced the books.

But Business Minister Matthew Hancock blasted Miliband and said Labour's policy is to "run deficits forever".

"Labour's policy is to run deficits forever - more borrowing that would add to the national debt every single year," Hancock said.

"That would mean more debt than hardworking taxpayers or our children could ever hope to repay.

"This risk to the economic recovery is exactly why Miliband simply isn't up to the job."