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 810.

    NO Its FACT I’ve many photo's to illustrate this Being watching this country all over for quite some time expecting to see a complete re occurrence of similar difficulties that I have very personal experience of abroad I’m not a one man country by any means I’ve traveled lived in quite a few, have seen training abroad in comparison to UK training I dont base comments on lies

  • rate this

    Comment number 809.

    711 - Spotty
    "..put down your Daily Mail and start thinking"

    What an original comment from 'a thinker'

  • rate this

    Comment number 808.

    794. Bob

    Mmm - Like what?
    Three day week & blackouts under Heath?
    Destruction of Industry under Thatcher?
    Poll Tax - first tried & failed in Scotland - then brought out in the whole UK - and failed again for exactly the same reasons: Doh!

    The FSA was brought into play after 1995 and the failure of Baring's bank but was the renamed Securities and Investments Board - Thatcher!

  • rate this

    Comment number 807.

    @787 - Damn, it would appear so!

  • rate this

    Comment number 806.

    This government cuts spending and then keeps ending up paying huge amounts to sort out the problems it causes,usually by rushing and not looking at cause and effect.Flood defences anyone?? Labour did not cause the banking problem it started way back and Tory-lite Blair did not change it.The only way to make banks behave is to not have them too big to fail.Tories have dragged their feet on this!

  • rate this

    Comment number 805.

    ED - all what you have to do is take on the epedemic

    White-collar crime

    and the UK will never have a budget deficit again !!!


  • rate this

    Comment number 804.


    "I stop listening to anyone that starts a sentence with 'look'..."


    You could seem very silly, next time someone says "look: your flies are undone" or "look: your offside rear tyre's flat" etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 803.

    Loads ofTory trolls out tonight must be an election round the corner

    Simple fact is cameron and osbourne are a waste of space the voters know it and all the tory guff wont change a thing they are out in 2015 and we all know it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 802.

    Now its hitting them bloody hard No employment of course shipped all manufacturing to europe No need to train Most europeans are better qualifiied than us now cheaper The reasons to this are now becomming even more evident than ever before Obvious as to what theyve done isn it not Hence why Scotland wants thier inedendance cant say I blame them Thats what you get for all these YOP schemes etc

  • rate this

    Comment number 801.

    Start with the railways ("if you want competition, just move somewhere else"), Google & Youtube (a truly global monopoly), Amazon, Ebay, defence contractors, the banking elite (whom I hope you are not related to)..

    I think you've bitten off more than you can chew, but it's the first thing you've said I've liked. And I'm not even a lefty.

    Yet the comments here on the BBC are bashing you. Odd.

  • rate this

    Comment number 800.

    This sounds good to me. Business has had its own way for far too long.

  • rate this

    Comment number 799.

    @ MarkH2012 792, 785 & 778

    Stating “FACT” in capitals at the end of every of every sentence does not make it so. It’s simply your opinion. It would be a lot easier just to use a full stop but you seem to have misplaced that on your keyboard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 798.

    791. Keith95a

    Blimey! Are you for real.

    If you truly believe the last administration did a good job then you and Miliband deserve each other.........

  • rate this

    Comment number 797.

    @791 - wow! Tory deregulation?!

    You may wish to read about the FSA, who empowered it and how ineffectual it was.

  • rate this

    Comment number 796.

    I stop listening to anyone that starts a sentence with 'look'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 795.

    "Can we also focus on 'fair employment' not just 'fair trading'?Example:why are we still allowing IT companies to bring in IT staff on VISAs when we have such resources here in the UK?"

    I work as a developer and this infuriates me. The UK job market has been flooded with Indians, and wages are going through the floor as a result. Must we drive every salary down to minimum wage??

  • rate this

    Comment number 794.

    @ Keith95a

    Just shows how little you know I'm afraid

  • rate this

    Comment number 793.

    509: More competition seems a good idea to me but it seems little is (still) being done against unfair practices by companies- whether cowboy builders or huge multinational banks.

    Have we all got to retrain as hot -shot lawyers (to try to) protect ourselves when we open an account or get a plumber, because the State tends to pass the buck to save money ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 792.

    Doesn’t to much to be able to work this out anymore does it ?? Results over quite a number of years An entire section of communities without trades, skills, education of course even more trouble than ever before FACT Would you also believe most of these are now white people not black people as you might have thought This government past / previous have always never bothered about this until now

  • rate this

    Comment number 791.

    I find it amazing that a financial crisis born from the USA, that exploded in Britain because of Tory bank deregulation - gets dumped on the Labour party.

    Just because Cameron, Osborne & Clegg tell people 'its Labour's fault' doesn't make it true.

    We are still printing money & borrowing more than under Labour.

    The only difference now is that more people are out of work and things cost more.


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