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Ed Miliband pledges to give councils powers to ban payday lenders

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has been in our region today, launching his party's campaign for the 2013 local elections.

This morning in Ipswich, he pledged to give councils new powers, to stop pay-day lenders and betting shops swamping our high streets. He also set out proposals to change planning laws so councils can refuse permission for certain businesses.

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Miliband launches Labour's local election campaign

Ed Miliband launches Labour's local election campaign in Ipswich.

A Labour government will give councils new powers to stop pay day lenders and betting shops swamping high streets, Ed Miliband pledged.

Businesses that do well out of hard times are springing up in place of shops, restaurants and banks but town halls are almost powerless to act, the party leader warned.

He set out Labour proposals to change planning laws so councils could refuse permission for certain businesses, including payday lenders that "engulf" people in debt.

Labour's election launch pad in the East of England

The long and probably bitter campaign leading up to the next General Election may have begun right here in the East of England.

Ed Miliband chose Bedford as the setting today for his first major policy announcements.

The Labour Leader wants to see the reintroduction of the 10p tax band which was famously scrapped under former Labour PM Gordon Brown. And funding for it. would come in the form of a new "mansion tax."

Click below to watch Elodie Harper's report and reaction from Westminster from ITV News Anglia's political correspondent Emma Hutchinson:

Click here for more on this story.

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Labour leader speaks to ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has been telling ITV News Anglia why he chose Bedford to launch his party's economic strategy for the next General Election in 2015.

Mr Miliband made his keynote speech at the Bedford Training Group where four-year apprenticeship are offered.

He said Labour would re-introduce the 10p tax rate that Gordon Brown scrapped.

Mr Miliband told ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper that he came to Bedford because it was there in 1957 that the then Conservative Prime Minister told Britain that we had "never had it so good."

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Miliband calls for new economic strategy

Ed Miliband made an audacious bid to outflank David Cameron on the economy by calling for the 10p rate of income tax to be brought back. The Labour leader insisted reintroducing the band - controversially scrapped by Gordon Brown - would make society fairer.

In a keynote speech in Bedford, he said the move could be funded by a new "mansion tax" on homes worth more than £2 million.

The announcement was a surprise inclusion in the address, which had been billed as featuring no significant policy - a prospect mocked by the Prime Minister yesterday.

Speaking in Bedford - where Tory premier Harold Macmillan delivered his famous "You've never had it so good" line in 1957 - Mr Miliband said: "A One Nation Labour Budget next month would lay the foundations for a recovery made by the many, not just a few at the top."

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Davey: Miliband tax plan 'is best form of flattery'

The Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey has told ITV News he is "delighted" Labour has "seen the error of their ways" by announcing plans for a "mansion tax" on houses worth £2 million:

Our flagship policy is fairer taxes.

People copying you is the best form of flattery.

If Labour are realising they should have supported the "mansion tax" when we argued for it when they were in government and could have delivered it, then I am delighted that they have seen the error of their ways.

– Energy Secretary Ed Davey
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