Ipswich: Miliband visit boosts Labour campaign

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband - Credit: Archant

THE region’s importance in the national political battle was being emphasised yet again today as Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Ipswich to launch his party’s local election campaign.

In doing so, he became the fifth national party leader to visit Suffolk or north Essex in the last two weeks as this region forms a key battleground in the local and national electoral picture.

Mr Miliband is to go into battle against payday loan companies and betting shops – and offer local authorities new powers to try to protect high streets.

And he will outline five key policies for this year’s local elections:

• Cancelling the tax cut for those on highest incomes.

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• Introducing a “Mansion Tax” on homes worth more than £2million.

• Reforming the energy market to ease the “stranglehold” of the largest companies.

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• Preventing train companies from putting up fares for commuters.

• And giving councils the power to control payday loan companies.

His visit to Ipswich comes two weeks to the day since the Prime Minister made his major speech on immigration at UCS in Ipswich.

On the same day UKIP leader Nigel Farage made a speech on immigration at Brandon, and since then Nick Clegg has visited the Colchester seat of Lib Dem veteran Sir Bob Russell and on Saturday Green Party leader Natalie Bennett boosted her candidates during a visit to Stowmarket.

During his visit to Ipswich, Mr Miliband is due to say: “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, sometimes charging extortionate rates of interest.

“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%.

“Too many councils are finding that they don’t have the real power to stand up for local people. But that is what politics is supposed to be about: standing up for those without power and giving power to them.”

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