Miliband pledges to back resort businesses

Labour leader Ed Miliband, wife Justine (left) and candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys Sam Rushworth (right) arrive at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool to meet Labour activists.
Labour leader Ed Miliband, wife Justine (left) and candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys Sam Rushworth (right) arrive at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool to meet Labour activists.
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Ed Miliband said today his party would help small businesses in Blackpool to become the catalyst for turning things round for families in the town struggling to make ends meet.

The Labour party leader was speaking during a visit to the Imperial Hotel in North Shore to meet supporters.

He said his party’s policies - cutting business rates for small business, tackling the way they are treated by the banks and helping them cut their energy costs - were key to creating a stronger economy.

Mr Miliband added ending the “epidemic” of zero hours contracts, supporting more apprenticeships and raising the minimum wage would help residents on low incomes.

And he agreed to consider appointing a dedicated tourism minister if he is elected Prime Minister in May.

He told The Gazette: “I think small businesses are the lifeblood of a successful economy and Blackpool relies on its small businesses.

“So we are going to cut business rates for small businesses, because lots of them are operating on the margins and we want to make life easier for them.”

He said he would retain Blackpool Airport’s status as an enterprise zone - announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Budget last month.

And he added: “But I think more needs to be done to help Blackpool around how we get decent apprenticeships, how you help small and medium sized businesses and how you have an industrial policy that helps places like Blackpool to succeed.”