Labour leader, Ed Miliband, is attempting to shore up support from businesses by announcing his plans to support them if he were to take power in 2015.
At the Federation of Small Businesses’ Conference today, he will tell attendees that he wants new rights given to SMEs and the self-employed, the latter being a group woefully ignored by the current Chancellor, George Osborne.
Miliband wants to shake any sentiments people have that Labour are anti-business. He will say he wants small companies to “make bigger profits and become bigger businesses”. He wants to show that Labour are “the party of small business”.
The Labour leader is also planning to help protect SMEs from unfair energy prices saying supply firms are guilty of “unacceptable treatment” towards small businesses. He wants to create a regulator to stop the practice of companies being put onto higher tariffs and then facing huge back-dated bills.
Householders already receive similar protection and Miliband wants this extended to businesses as well. He also wants to give news rights to groups like the FSB to enable them to take firms or government departments to court for their members due to problems such as late payments.
Miliband said: “We have to mend the broken energy market and freeze bills up to 2017 not just for customers of one company but for all customers of all the energy companies.”
In the speech he will add: “The next Labour government would ban the energy companies from rolling small businesses on to more expensive tariffs without their consent. And we will create proper competition enforced by a new regulator to keep prices as low as possible.”
Image by Eugene Burnand.