Ed Miliband To Target Bad Businesses In Conference Speech
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Bad businesses and bad neighbours are to be targeted by Labour leader Ed Miliband in his keynote speech to the party's conference in Liverpool.
Mr Miliband will say that councils should give priority in allocating scarce social housing to people who work and contribute to their communities over benefit claimants and trouble tenants.
And he will say that a Labour government would offer rewards and incentives to businesses which give something back to Britain, while penalising "asset strippers" who make money without contributing to the communities in which they operate.
Mr Miliband will set out the terms of a "new bargain" on both welfare and the economy which will offer "something for something" to individuals and business who do the right thing.
In a speech influenced by the experience of the banking crash, the phone-hacking scandal and riots in England's cities, Mr Miliband will say that the country is facing a "quiet crisis" caused by "an economy and a society too often rewarding not the right people with the right values, but the wrong people with the wrong values".
He is expected to say: "Labour will always stand as the voice of the people, our people. Their values will be heard. And we will challenge the vested interests that benefit when the wrong values are rewarded. Never again should they be able to take advantage of a system which doesn't work to the values and instincts of decent people in our country. We need a new bargain. Based on a different set of values."
Under his proposed shake-up of the welfare system, social housing would no longer be allocated purely on the basis of need. Precise details of schemes would be left to individual councils, which could give priority to factors such as voluntary work, good neighbourliness and responsibility in looking after property.
Meanwhile, Mr Miliband will reject Tory claims that Labour is an anti-business party, insisting that all political parties must be pro-business in the modern era. But he will accuse the Conservatives of failing to distinguish between businesses which genuinely create wealth for the nation and those which make money by asset-stripping without contributing to the communities within which they operate.
A Labour government would use tax breaks, regulation and the spending power of the state to favour companies which give something back to Britain, he will say. Companies which secure government contracts would be required to offer apprenticeships and tax incentives would encourage skills training and long-term investment.
While praising those who get rich by "hard graft", Mr Miliband will say: "The wealth of our nation is built by the hands not just of the elite few, but every man and woman who goes out and does a day's work."