Ed Miliband goes to war on ‘rip-off Britain’

British consumersEd Miliband has launched an attack on Britain’s “rip-off consumer culture” and is urging the Prime Minister to intervene to stop exorbitant charges for savings, holidays, banking and parking. The Labour leader says that the Government must take a more positive approach to stop British consumers from being exploited by “predatory” companies.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he says a tough new consumer watchdog should be created to limit pension fees, car parking charges and airline levies.His intervention comes amid growing concern in Westminster that middle class families are being exploited by “irresponsible” companies at a time when they are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.Earlier this week Nick Clegg called for companies which offered shares to employees to be given tax breaks under plans to create a “John Lewis economy”.

David Cameron will tomorrow make a speech in which he is expected to call for a “genuinely inclusive and popular capitalism” following several months of Government discussion. Mr Miliband today sets out for the first time his plans to curb the worst excesses of companies.He says: “In every area, you have to call time on the surcharge culture. Making a fair profit is important, but it can’t be done in an underhand and predatory way.

“This is about power in relation to private services and how government can be on consumer’s side. Lots of businesses recognise this. It’s part of how you build a competitive economy in the world.”“It’s about the rules that government sets. This is a specific argument about a number of private services to the public. [For example] we’re not proposing to go back on taking the railways into private ownership, but maybe in transition not enough was done to protect the public. – Ttelegraph