February 10, 2015

Bill Esterson and Ed Miliband

One of the messages that I hear from you when I am out and about in Maghull, Formby, Aintree and Crosby, is that you want our NHS to be rescued from the perils of privatisation that the current government has introduced, while making sure that our schools, police, fire service and council services like care for the elderly are improved and the cuts reversed.

But that can happen best if the economy works for the majority of people, not just for a few of the wealthiest. And that means supporting businesses of all sizes not just the multinationals and those who always seem to do well no matter what the state of the economy.

Labour will provide the support and certainty businesses need to grow and thrive. 

The next Labour Government will work with Britain's businesses to build a broad-based recovery based on rising living standards, with fewer low skill, low paid jobs and more high skill, high paid jobs. That's why we are committed to staying in the EU, cutting business rates for small businesses and freezing energy bills for businesses as well as families.

Labour will tackle tax avoidance and support businesses that play by the rules - as the vast majority of businesses do. When people are found to have used aggressive tax avoidance schemes they won't just have to pay the tax that's owed, but for the first time will also face a penalty. And we've said we'll close tax loopholes that see some firms avoiding paying stamp duty when they buy shares.  

We also need banks that work for smaller businesses and for ordinary people and that is why we will create a British Investment Bank and a network of local banks to support local businesses. A return to a stable, reliable, safe banking system, where bank staff know and understand their customers whether in business or personal banking will mean that local businesses can thrive and can grown, safe in the knowledge that their bank is right behind them.

If we win the election, Labour will support business owners and those of you who work for small businesses. 

Our priority will be to encourage the creation of good, well paid jobs. Because that is the way for us all to see living standards go up not down and for the next generation to be confident of their prospects for the future. 

And it is the way to make sure that our economy is strong enough for us to have an NHS and public services that we can all value and rely on.

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