This morning Ed Miliband was in Ipswich to launch Labour’s local election campaign (and pledge card), including an announcement that Labour would crack down on legal loan sharks on the High Street. Here’s the speech:
It is great to be in Ipswich.
I am proud to be supporting Labour controlled Ipswich borough council.
It’s doing a fantastic job.
And I am proud too to be launching our county council campaign here in Suffolk as well.
Suffolk has not traditionally been a Labour stronghold.
But launching here is a sign that my arty is dedicated to taking its message to every single part of our country.
A One Nation campaign.
From a One Nation Labour Party.
I am here with a simple message today for the whole country.
Britain needs to change.
This Government has had its chance.
It has failed.
Three years of failure.
Low growth, falling living standards, and now rising borrowing.
This Government cannot change Britain in the way that people want.
And all it offers is more of the same.
Years more of falling wages and living standards.
With the wrong ideas.
Standing up for the wrong people.
And dividing, not uniting, our country.
I know what many people are asking: “can anyone change Britain?”
Our problems seem so deep, so profound.
But my emphatic answer is yes.
We can turn Britain around.
And for Labour that is what this local election campaign is about.
A party with the right ideas.
Standing up for the right people.
Understanding that we have always succeeded as a nation and we will again when we unite not divide our country.
Recovery Made by the Many
Rebuilding Britain starts from a simple truth.
We need a recovery made by the many, not just by a few at the top.
You can’t do that if your priority is tax cuts for the richest in society, while hitting everyone else.
What this Government most fears is people knowing whose living standards are rising and whose are falling as a result of their policies.
So let me tell you the facts.
13,000 millionaires will get an average £100,000 tax cut as a result of the Government’s decision to cut the 50p tax rate.
Someone on five million pounds will be getting nearly £250,000 as a result of their decision.
George Osborne might be telling everyone else that they are better off.
But they know the truth.
They are worse off.
Average wages have fallen by £1,200 a year since David Cameron took office.
And this Government is making it worse.
The Government’s own changes have made people £891 worse off from tax rises and from cutting back on the tax credits that make work pay.
And they’ve also done nothing to stand up to powerful interests, like energy companies and train companies.
So why are they cutting taxes for millionaires?
It is not an accident.
It’s because they have a different view.
They really do believe that is how you create the wealth in this country.
That it trickles down from the top.
They are wrong.
Wealth doesn’t trickle down.
And it is not how you make an economy strong.
The real wealth of Britain comes from the forgotten wealth creators.
It comes from those who put in the hours, do the shifts.
Those who open their shops early in the morning.
Those who get to the office or the factory when George Osborne’s curtains are still closed and come back home after he has closed them again for the night.
To get Britain moving again, we need a government that is really on their side.
That’s got their back.
That stands up for them.
And to do that, we’ve got to get growth moving.
We should be building homes again.
Putting the 100,000s of construction workers who have lost their jobs back to work.
It means providing proper vocational education and apprenticeships to the 50 per cent of young people who don’t go to university.
It means a new regional banking system to support small business.
It means mobilizing the talents of everyone with a compulsory jobs guarantee.
For young people a guaranteed job after one year, and for over-25s a guarantee after two years.
Proper rights to work with a responsibility to do so.
And if we are really going to have a recovery made by the many we can’t have a situation where family budgets are squeezed year on year on year.
The living standards crisis that so many families face.
British families need the security and confidence to buy the goods and services our economy produces.
To tackle the living standards crisis, we would make different choices now from this Government.
Different priorities about who we stand up for, and different ideas about who to stand up to.
We should cancel the millionaires’ tax cut, and protect the tax credits that make work pay for working people.
We should introduce a Mansion tax on houses worth over £2million to help bring back a 10p starting rate for income tax and make work pay for millions.
We should stop the big energy company rip-offs, with proper reform of our energy market to break the stranglehold of the big six energy companies.
We should crack down on train companies putting the price of the daily commute further and further out of reach.
And we should do something else.
Something that really matters to people all over Britain.
Everyone here today knows how important our high streets are to towns and cities across Britain.
They’re not just the places we go to shop.
They’re the heart of our local communities.
But today our high streets are changing –and often not for the better.
Take an example.
One of the fastest growing businesses on the high street are the payday lenders.
In hard times, it is no wonder people turn to them.
But often they just engulf people in debts that they cannot pay.
Interest rates of over 1000 per cent.
Of course we need national action to cap the cost of credit.
But we also need local action too.
Currently if a bank branch closes down, a payday loan shop can move in and open up in the same place.
Even if there’s already a payday lender just down the street.
And there’s nothing the local council can do.
That can’t be right.
It is why people like the Labour group leader on Medway council have been calling on the Government to give councils new powers to permit people to shape their own high streets.
New powers so that local people can have a say about which type of shops they want to see and which they don’t.
We should give councils that power.
It means that when they want, the people in our towns and cities can say “no.”
Enough is enough.
David Cameron’s Government used to say it would give local people that kind of chance.
But it hasn’t delivered.
In fact, it is moving in the opposite direction.
Not standing up to the powerful interests.
But caving in to them.
But for me this is what politics should be about: standing up for those who do not have power and giving power to them.
And that is what this idea is about.
The card we’re publishing today, lists five ways in which we will make different choices to this Government.
They are each about a country where we rebuild through standing up for the many.
There is a big choice in Britain today.
I would be a Prime Minister who wakes up every single day asking how can I support the many in Britain, not just a few at the top.
Nobody believes that of David Cameron.
And this month, the month of the millionaires’ tax cut, we know nobody will ever believe it again.
He just cannot do it.
He will always stand up for the powerful few.
That’s the choice at these local elections between a One Nation Labour party rebuilding Britain by standing up for the many and a Conservative-led Government standing up for the few.
Times are hard in Britain, harder than people can ever remember.
But I am absolutely certain we can overcome this.
Through the strength of the British people coming together, joining together, working together.
Taking on the common challenges we face.
Using all our talents.
That is how we will succeed as a nation.
A different vision of Britain.
One nation, not two.
That’s the choice in this local election campaign.
And that’s why I hope you will give us your support.