'Responsible capitalism' - fair businesses flourishWhich? says an example should be made of the banks

19 January 2012

Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband voices his concerns over 'rip-off consumer culture'

Ed Milband has declared his support for a stronger financial regulator following his address to consumers at a breakfast debate hosted by Which? this morning.  

On Thursday 19 January, the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband MP, met a panel of consumers at Which?.

He answered questions and listened to attendees' views and experiences of dealing with companies and public service providers during the economic downturn.

If you missed the event, you can replay it here.

Tough consumer watchdog

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, said: 'There's no doubt that a tougher approach by consumer watchdogs is needed in some industries to protect people from unfair practices and excessive or hidden charges.'

He added: 'It's right that political leaders take a stand against these rip offs and do more to make sure that the businesses which play fair flourish, and those that don't are punished.'

'Responsible capitalism' agenda

Ed Miliband said: 'The responsible capitalism agenda is incredibly important to people at this time when people are hard pressed.'

He added: 'I also recognise that this agenda will only succeed if we work with organisations like Which? because its their role in pressing forward the case of the consumer, in mobilising consumers on these important issues, which will make an enormous difference.'

Private versus public sector

During the debate, consumers aired their concerns that the public sector may follow the private sector in sales and data gathering techniques.

Peter Vicary-Smith said the government should set an example by forcing the bailed out banks to work in the interest of consumers.

He added 'putting people first should be the rule in public sector services too.'

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