Ed Miliband's speech on responsible capitalism19 January 2012
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party, said at a visit to Which? this morning:
"From bank charges to train costs, from energy companies to low cost airlines and pensions, the Government can act.
"You’ll have noticed that it’s not just me talking about irresponsible capitalism.
"We had a speech earlier this week from the Deputy Prime Minister and today we have a speech from the Prime Minister.
"I welcome the fact that other leaders are coming onto the ground that I set out in my Labour Party conference speech about the need to tackle predatory capitalism.
"But what I say to David Cameron is:
"Let’s judge you on your deeds and not your words.
"If he is serious about tackling irresponsible capitalism he needs to clamp down on the fact that train companies are ripping people off.
"If he is serious about tackling irresponsible capitalism he needs to take action to break up the rigged energy market.
"If he is serious about tackling irresponsible capitalism he needs to take action to stop those exorbitant bank charges.
"That’s the proof that he is really serious about this agenda.
"And if he takes action, we’ll support him.
"But if he doesn’t take action, we’ll call him on it.
"Because I frankly don’t believe that this Prime Minister is serious about this agenda.
"Why? He attacked me last year when I talked about irresponsible capitalism and I’m afraid its never going to work if your basic view is that government should just get out of the way.
"What you need is government willing to take action - willing to stand up to the vested interests.
"I strongly believe that this agenda is incredibly important to people at this time when people are hard pressed. We are determined as a party to show that we will stand up for the squeezed middle.
"We as a Labour Party are determined to be champions of the consumer.
"We are determined to stand up against the vested interests that are imposing a surcharge culture on people."
Ed Miliband also highlighted the Government’s lack of action on executive pay and bank bonuses. He said:
"I think that you’ve got to judge politicians on their deeds, not their words, on this issue.
"Look at everything that the government have done so far: not making it easier for train companies to overcharge customers, not acting on the energy market, and not acting on the bonus culture in our banks. We’ve got another example of that today with Stephen Hester’s potential bonus from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
"All those things suggest that this is a government not acting in a way its rhetoric would suggest.
"I’m up for any politician talking about these issues. But let’s judge everyone on their action, not on their rhetoric.
"That is the test for David Cameron today. Not whether he can talk the talk on responsible capitalism, but if he walks the walk.
"What action is he going to take on behalf of hard pressed consumers, on behalf of the squeezed middle who want action from him, not words."