Ed Miliband pledges more say for consumers on competition


Ed Miliband: "We have got to make sure we have a system in place to shine a light on broken markets"

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A future Labour government would involve consumer groups in ensuring there is genuine competition between businesses, Ed Miliband has said.

The party leader told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show bodies such as Which? and Citizens' Advice would help regulators draw up an annual competition audit.

Ministers would have an obligation to address any concerns raised.

Mr Miliband said addressing greater competition was a way to tackle pressures on the cost of living.

It follows his announcements of plans to promote more competition in the banking sector and reform the energy industry.

The pressure on living standards has become a political focus for all the parties ahead of the general election next year.

'New economy'

A new regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, is due to take over the roles of the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading from April.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Miliband called for a "new economy" based on "open" not "broken" competition.

Start Quote

The task for the next Labour government will be to earn and grow our way to that higher standard of living, not being able to engage in lots more spending”

End Quote Ed Miliband

He said Labour aimed to be "the party of the consumer" and would legislate to enable consumer groups to be involved in tackling potential problem areas.

"Unless you bring the consumer into the heart of these things, we are not going to get the change we need," he said.

"We've got to make sure that we have a system in place to shine a light on broken markets."

He said Which? and Citizens' Advice would work alongside the authority "providing the information, setting the agenda for the future, setting the agenda for how we can ensure competition to benefit consumers and businesses".

He added: "They will be sending a report to Parliament and it will be framing the work for the year ahead."

In response to Mr Miliband's comments, employers' organisation the CBI said the Competition and Markets Authority should be allowed to operate free from interference.

Union votes

Mr Miliband also told the programme the party would make "fairer choices" to achieve its aim of eliminating the deficit in the next parliament.

"There won't be lots of money to spend, things will be difficult," he said.

"The task for the next Labour government will be to earn and grow our way to that higher standard of living, not being able to engage in lots more spending."

He went on to say he was "determined" that changes to the way Labour elected its leaders would be made as part of reforms to its links with trade unions.

A special party conference to discuss changes to the voting arrangements is to take place in March.

Labour MPs currently make up a third of the electoral college, with the other two thirds split between unions and constituency parties.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    @318.Aamir khan

    ''...Labour will make the UK great again... it has single handedly reinvigorated this country!...''

    I'm guessing that you aren't really into politics or economics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    Can some one tell ED we don't want competition we want nationalisation,
    We don't trust the Bank,Energy Company's, Rail Company's, Water Company's.

    So if you are really listening to the people this is what they are saying, so come on Ed be what you are elected to be a PUBLIC SERVANT....
    That will make you different from all the other MPs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    Anybody who listens to today's File on 4 concerning the mysterious finances of ThamesWater will more clearly understand the tangled mess privatised companies have created for the consumer.
    There are 17 layers of different private companies between Thames Water and it's shareholders all with very fat fingers in the pie.
    Thames Water is said to be planning to ask for 10% above inflation on bills.o

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    Promise, Pledge, Triple Lock, Aim To, they're all same. They've lied and lied and lied before. Why would we trust what he say's now? Give me just one good reason.BTW, Government and Businesses don't LIKE competiton, they endeavour to keep the status quo.If they wanted real competition then they should stop the centralisation of the energy and car markets..But, guess what? Not a squeek about those.

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    Can't he give us at least ONE day OFF from his lucky dip policies.

    It's a Sunday, please. Give us all a break. We can't be doing with your views, you're NOT going to win the next election because of your record in power AND in opposition. End of.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    When we have some party leaders who've done some real jobs we might get some sensible ideas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    A proposal for yet another toothless quango. Labour have never understood the realistic behaviour of commercial businesses.

    To limit out of control enterprises requires legally enforceable actions. Boundaries need to be set in statute which if crossed result in penalties.

    I'm not in favour of government getting involved in business, however detrimental actions have to result in consequences.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    Face it, the UK is doomed. Accept it now to avoid being disappointed later.

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    You would have to stark raving mad to vote Labour after what they did to us last time ! I suspect however there will be some clowns that do!"

    Afraid so, its been said before but you could pin a Red rosette on the back end of a donkey & it would get votes..nothing so strange a folks!

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    295 Mao Zedong in Cheek

    Fully agree what you describe is what a Liberal party should stand for. In the current context this party should be leading public opinion but instead we have a Lib Dem party in chaos.

    It is not just tuition fees, there is also a competence issue. They need to carve out their territory in the centre as the voice of reason. (and lose Vince Cable and Nick Clegg as well)

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    Labour stands for big Government and micro-management.

    The Governments takes and spends too great a proportion of the wealth the Country produces by devious means. You almost certainly pay more in local rates, motor fuel duty and VAT than you do in income tax.

    Cut taxes, cut Government and watch the economy and wages grow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    @312 David
    "We need politicians that have spent time in the real world"

    Yes,it's a bit worrying really that the Archbishop of Canterbury has had more experience here than most of them.

  • Comment number 318.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.

    It's a shame New Labour broke the economy in the first place.

    Giving them another chance would be like getting back into bed with the person that gave you VD because you don't like the medicine you have to take to cure it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 316.

    305 well they have got you rattled

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    1 Minute ago
    Say want you want Miliband, i would rather vote for the "Raving Looney party" than Labour, Conservative or Lib Dems.


    Ah, UKIP

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    300. gerry egan
    strange how many torys are airing there views on the bbc site after calling it a left wing run company has the daily mail closed down. your running scared of labour
    You assume an anti-Labour view is pro-Tory?
    The BBC is a public corporation NOT a company
    You assume anyone anti-Labour is a DM reader
    You assume we're 'running scared'
    You assume Labour will get in? I think not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    The biggest benefit for the UK would be having more competition in politics. Unfortunately, Mr Miliband is not providing it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    Miliband's political rhetoric reminds me of Grammar School debating societies.
    We need politicians that have spent time in the real world and know about something else other than institutionalised politics. I find it scary that a politician can get to such a senior rank without having worked at least a few years doing something real.

  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    Just more hot air from clueless Ed. Apart from costing a lot of money what can the audit do? Fine the offenders - that will be of no help to consumers as the Government gets the money. Until and unless companies have to give more money back to customers than they wrongly take it will have no effect. Sorry Ed it as Labour that alloed this to happen initially and you cannot close the door now


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