Ed Miliband: 'Labour gets the cost of living crisis and will do something about it' (From St Helens Star)
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Ed Miliband: 'Labour gets the cost of living crisis and will do something about it'
6:56pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
ED Miliband visited St Helens today, vowing that a Labour Government would help businesses large and small tackle spiralling energy costs and help squeezed families recover from a cost of living crisis.
The Labour leader has witnessed a week dominated by a row with the Daily Mail over “slurs” against his late father.
But touring Pilkington’s Cowley Hill's £36million glass coating factory on Friday morning he was back focussing on policy – specifically his goal to freeze the charges set by energy giants.
He estimates the policy could save £1.5billion a year for 2.4million UK businesses.
He said: “I really enjoyed the tour. It was great to look around a great British manufacturer.
“We’ve also been talking a lot about the issue of energy costs because Labour’s planned energy price freeze will not just be good for families but good for businesses too.
“It’s a pro business measure which will help businesses who are really struggling. Energy costs are one of the biggest issues many businesses face - both large and small.”
Mr Miliband acknowledged that Japanese-owned Pilkington was a great company that had faced tough times during the recession but said the Government could help by bearing down on the costs that they face, such as by cutting business rates.
He added: “What Labour stands for is helping companies such as Pilkington grow and prosper in the future but also you need a skilled workforce and we’ve talked about how that can happen.”
With mounting numbers of families in St Helens falling behind on rent payments since the introduction of the bedroom tax – and more than 10,000 people thought to be earning less than the living wage, he vowed that Labour would drive policies that would improve living standards.
He added: “Labour has clear policies to abolish the bedroom tax, freeze energy bills and strengthening the minimum wage, making changes to childcare - all properly funded by making different choices about how the country can move forward.
“I think what you have seen over the last few weeks is that it is Labour that gets the cost of living crisis and will do something about it.”
He added: “We have got to get our young people back to work and we will guarantee jobs for every young person who has been unemployed for more than a year - including here in St Helens.
“Talking to businesses in particular it makes no sense to leave young people year after year out of work.
“We actually believe you can do something about it because it doesn’t have to be that way – we can do a lot better as a country.
“We will guarantee them work, paid for by a tax on bankers’ bonuses. Using that money to say to businesses we’ll pay the wages, you provide the training and let’s get our young people back to work again.”
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